I hope everyone had a very happy holiday season. I had so many moments where I paused and recognized how genuinely happy I felt. I feel simply grateful to have these times with family and friends. I’m glad that I’ve been able to not only live in the moment, but to stop and savor it. I hope you have been able to as well.
This period between Christmas and New Year’s is one of my favorites because it is a time of reflection. Sure, it’s been a tough year. But there are enough news stations to cover that. This is a place for happiness. Not a place for denial or ignorance, because I think it’s so important that we educate ourselves, no matter how painful the truths of our world may be. Instead, this is a place where we can CHOOSE to find the good—because it is there—and put our focus on that.
So in my traditional ways, let’s take a look back on this year and how happy it’s been. I’d love if you’d share your happiest times as well:
1. Visiting Disneyland: I went to the happiest place on Earth a record of FIVE times this year! This is my place of childhood wonder, and I love the innocence and nostalgia that surrounds Disneyland. I went with people I love—my mom, my best friend, my Chi O sisters, and my boyfriend (all at separate times) and I don’t think I’ve ever smiled more.
2. Turning 21: No, it wasn’t the traditional 21st birthday you’d expect. Instead of bar hopping all night, I spent a spa weekend with my best friends in Ojai. Getting massages and sitting by the pool just talking was truly amazing. I also had a great family birthday dinner with only 20 people that I treasure. I feel happy just thinking about it.
3. Working for Disney ABC Television Group: This was truly a dream come true. I worked for the company for nearly a year and I learned so much during that time. I am beyond grateful for the experience. In case you couldn’t tell, I truly love Disney and it was amazing to spend a year working there.
4. Celebrating two years with my boyfriend: There’s been a lot of change for us in the past year: he’s graduated from UCLA, moved to New York and started at Columbia Law School. But we’re still so strong and it’s only gotten better and better. I feel so thankful to be with a person who is so loving, compassionate, and thoughtful. Not to mention, the pinning ceremony he planned for me was so special and unforgettable.
5. Times with my cat: How could I not give thanks for my best animal friend? Kiko has been with me every step of the way with the writing of my book. Even though I think I may be getting allergic to him, I can never pet him enough.
6. My cousins: They are 3 and 5 and they are at such fun ages. Quite frankly, I never was a huge fan of children until they came into my life. I’ve never laughed or smiled so much when I’m in their company. Watching them learn to walk and now read is truly miraculous.
7. Lisa Bloom: A continual mentor for me. I loved having the opportunity to work for her this summer and she continues to inspire me every day to read more, speak thoughtfully, and go for your dreams.
8. My book: 2013 is the year. This has been my heart and soul for the past three years. I am so excited to see it come to fruition. Shooting the cover a few months ago made it seem more of a reality and I can’t wait!
9. My first magazine publication in The Eleusis: I was thrilled to see my article featured in our Chi Omega national magazine. What an honor.
10. Watching UCLA beat USC: I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest football fan but it was so amazing to be apart of UCLA’s victory. Even though we stood in the pouring rain for hours, I had a blast watching the game. Every minute was worth it.
What were your happiest memories this past year? I hope 2013 is just as amazing!
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook