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Every year, people make a New Year’s Resolution list and then don’t do it. One of my friends suggested making ONE “New Year’s Promise” and sticking to it, something that would truly improve your life. Well, this year I’ve made two promises, but both of them will benefit me (and others) a great deal.

One is personal, and has to do with daily devotions. So far, so good – and I’m enjoying reading my Bible, too!

The other is this:

“Bring Happiness, Not Misery.”

That seems… odd, doesn’t it? But think about it. There’s so much awfulness in our world that I don’t need to contribute to it in any way. I realized, waking up the morning after Christmas, my pillow tear-stained thanks to a terrible twist in one of my former-favorite British dramas, that the show had ceased to bring happiness into my life and instead brought me misery. I hated that realization. I hated that feeling. And I hate the writer who did that to me.

So, as a writer, I vow never to do that. I want people to read my stuff and for it to bring happiness into their lives. I want them to laugh, have fun, and look forward to the things I write, not have them sobbing into the midnight hours and cursing my very existence. That’s no way to be.

But as much as this promise is about others, it’s also about me. I’m going to do things for my own enjoyment, to please no one else. For whatever reason, possibly because I think so little of myself, I don’t do things just for me… and I’m going to start. I’m going to paint my fingernails whatever color I want, for no reason whatsoever. I’m going to do whatever I want with my hair, whether or not anyone likes it. I’m going to read books that make me happy, whether or not anyone else thinks they’re “good.” I’m going to buy those inexpensive items that I love, even though I have no logical reason to do so, other than they delight me. And I’m going to talk about the things I love, even if no one else loves them!

So far, in the last week, I’ve had my parents build me a new desk in my office so I can start crafting again. I’ve painted two desks, one wall, and a cabinet a gorgeous shade of blue that makes my heart sing. I’ve played my Phantom of the Opera CD so loud the cat hid under the bed. I bought three things the other day that simply made me smile. 2013 is going to be about me being creative and finally using the gifts God gave me – to spread joy, in myself and in others. I’m so often depressed, I need to find happiness in life. I need to trust Him more. I need to take chances.

In the coming days, weeks, and months, I’ll do my best to spread happiness. Maybe you can even do it with me.