#FindingJoieDeVivre #DespiteTheHolidays, that’s the goal. The busiest, most stressful time of year–the holidays–is physically and mentally exhausting. In fact, the  hustle and bustle is downright #Cruel #Punishing #NotFair #Unnecessary. Which is why I’ve decided to find joy in every day, in the small, simple, peaceful, quiet, noncommercial pleasures. Finding jollity amidst the chaos is not easy, but I share with you 15 small gifts I’ve been finding in each day to keep joy in my heart and Borrelia at bay.

  1. PBS. Yes, PBS. There’s something about nature, music and Masterpiece Theater that calms the nerves and feeds the soul.
  2. Independent Radio. Avoiding Christmas and Pop music and enjoying new artists and songs has been…refreshing and rewarding.
  3. Cream and cinnamon. In my coffee. Normally I avoid them, as I have a mild allergy to both. But a cheat day, oh what a treat!
  4. Mediterra Bars. Mmmmm savory Sundried Tomato & Basil or Black Olive and Walnut meal/snack bars. I know right?
  5. Zumba 20-Minute Express. Nothing like a little Cumbia after my morning coffee to get the blood and endorphins flowing.
  6. Religious Workout Music. Hilarious, right? Who does that? I do, when I need it. “You Raise Me Up.” “Amazing Grace.” “Let There Be Peace On Earth.”
  7. My new 8:22 bedtime. Because I’m tired and listening to my body. Because I love my fleece sheets…and snuggling with my 8 year old.
  8. Online shopping. Because malls are energy sucking time draining misadventures. And it’s just too early for xmas music.
  9. Low-sodium chicken broth. Unlike “regular” broth, it agrees with me and begs for kale, brussel sprouts, beans, sausage and quinoa pasta.
  10. Sips of Red Wine. Not 6 oz. Sips. Just a sip or two while cooking. To enjoy the art of wine and food without making myself ill.
  11. Spending Time With Customers. Gives me a rush and a high. Love talking with my customers. Hate working at my desk.
  12. Escaping in My Minivan. It’s like my mobile mommy cave. A place all my own. Where I can drink my coffee and listen to the radio and be alone with my thoughts.
  13. Time With My Hockey Family. Because ice is thicker than blood when you don’t have family around. And hockey families are just…different.
  14. Dark Chocolate & Pistachios. Because no day is complete without them. Wherever I travel, so do they.
  15. Bonjour Happiness. It’s the new book I’m reading and the inspiration behind this list. By Jamie Cat Callan. About how French women find their Joie De Vivre…in the simple things…from a beautiful scarf, to dinner parties.

#FindingJoieDeVivre #DespiteTheHolidays. It’s not easy, but we can find it, if we try. And let the French, as they did in Jamie Cat Callan’s book “Bonjour Happiness”, be an inspiration to us all. After all, just 2 days after the Paris attacks, the French were raising their wine glasses at the Beaujolais Nouveau wine festival in an act of defiance…and to reclaim their Joie De Vivre. This holiday season, I will have those families in my heart and mind and enjoy spending time with loved ones, the greatest Joie De Vivre for us all.