31 Days of Joy

Final 100 Days of 2020

“Just blame it on 2020.”

Maybe you’ve heard it in your circles, seen it posted on social media you follow, or even complained about this year yourself. It feels like this year has just beat everyone up.

I have to admit, it really has been a rough one, though one social media post I saw recently reframed it a bit for me.

I wish I could find it or remember more of what it said, but one piece mentioned that there were 100 days left in this year. The premise was something to the effect of: what if we found ways to use those days well instead of just writing them off? What if we believed good could be found in them? What if we invested them well?

Around the same time I saw this post I was battling some self-criticism and doubt about a few things. Comparison was keeping me from doing some things I love simply because I didn’t feel as talented in that as people I see around me.

Suddenly the thought crossed my mind: what if I spent 5 minutes a day for the next 100 days investing in working on that skill. What if I took the final 100 days to grow instead of writing myself off because I’m not already perfect? What if I allowed myself to be a beginner and enjoyed the process of exploring and growth?

To commit 500 minutes to a task means over 8 hours working on this skill. Instead of complaining that I’m not good enough, why not actually work on growing? And, as is often the case, a five minute daily commitment often ends up being 15 or 20 or even an hour of practice.

So the journey began. I’m excited to see how I grow.

But it wasn’t just a journey to grow in this one skill, this 5 minute a day commitment became a fight for a joy. A fight to reclaim some of what “this year” stole from me in the middle months. A fight, determined to not let this year end in a place of defeat and struggle.

While at the time of this writing we only have 87 days left now in the year, I want to challenge you to consider: how do you want this year to end? There are SO many things outside of our control, but there are so many things we do have control over as well. What’s something you could invest 5 minutes a day in to bring joy to your life?

5 minutes to play a musical instrument

5 minutes to write a quick note to a friend

5 minutes to clean up your workspace at the end of a day

5 minutes to laugh

5 minutes to exercise

5 minutes to practice a skill

5 minutes to simply be present with a friend or family member

5 minutes to read Scripture or pray

5 minutes to sit outside

5 minutes to put down the phone

5 minutes to list things you’re thankful for

5 minutes to grieve losses

5 minutes to snuggle a kid

5 minutes to hope

What would your 5 minutes hold? Now commit to that every day until the calendar flips to 2021… and maybe, just maybe, we can look back on 2020 and see more than just the hard. Maybe, just maybe, we can remember joy.

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