• Sarah Joy

Reflecting on a Resolution: My Word for 2018 was Play

The past few years I’ve rebelled against setting new year’s resolutions. Instead, I have chosen a theme for the year. It began with forgiveness in 2015. Then joy in 2016. And gratitude in 2017.

2018 threatened to be a very hard year. It threatened to be the hardest year of my life. My ex and I decided to end our marriage in December of 2017. That meant I was facing a year of firsts (or at least firsts in 15 years): living alone, Valentine’s day, sitting separately in church, car repairs, family functions, our “anti-versary”, my birthday, and so much more. I couldn’t imagine how I would get through it all. I especially couldn’t imagine enjoying my life while getting through it. I knew I would need help. And I knew how effective it was to set a theme for the past 3 years. So I chose my word: PLAY.

Play seemed like quite a stretch goal in the first half of the year. What the hell did play even mean? I spent time exploring that question. I asked my women’s circle how they play. I asked my coaching friends. I Googled it. I listened to podcasts. And finally, I got quiet and asked myself. I came up with a definition and lots of good ideas…

Play (verb): Fully engaging in life, laughing with abandon, expressing exuberance to the point of embarrassment, remembering to let out the child in me.


  1. Go shopping and try on beautiful, expensive clothes just for the sake of feeling attractive

  2. Sing karaoke

  3. Play board games

  4. Explore recipes and cook real meals

  5. Dance

  6. Use a hoola hoop

  7. Go to Pound (drumming) class

  8. Attend festivals/concerts/etc

  9. Take a pole dancing class. Seriously, it’s a workout class!

  10. Make art

  11. Try laughing yoga

  12. Blow bubbles

  13. Spend time with babies/children

  14. Hike to waterfalls

  15. Travel

  16. Drive with the windows down, radio blaring, singing at the top of my lungs

  17. Swim

  18. Hug trees

  19. Get on the dating apps. Remember how to flirt. Go on dates

  20. Take silly pictures

As I write this list, I am blown away. See, the intention worked! There is only one thing on this list that I didn’t do. ONE THING! I set the intention to play, and play I did. And the year I dreaded, the year that I feared would be the worst of my life, that year turned out to be the best year of my life.

I played. I played hard. I went a little crazy with my play. I had fun. I laughed until I was doubled over. I danced until I couldn’t breathe.

Some things I only did once (use a hoolahoop) and some have now become part of my norm (I LOVE my Pound class).

I learned how to use the dating apps and I remembered how to flirt. I went on too many dates to count, but it helped to heal my heart. It helped to heal a part of me that I thought was broken. I learned that I am enough. I am attractive. I am fun to be with. I am a catch. Once I remembered these things, I didn’t need the apps anymore. I didn’t want the constant swirl. I wanted REAL. And all my play led me to that too. I found Colin.

Although 2018 is over, I will continue to play. How I play is evolving, but it won’t go away. The importance, the impact, has imprinted on me. It has changed me. It has healed me.

Oh, the one thing out of 20 that I didn’t do?

I never made it to a pole dancing class!

BUT, I’m choosing the word “generosity” for 2019. Perhaps I’ll buy 2 pole dancing class passes and treat a friend!


#ProjectRestoreJoy #SheerJoy#Divorce #Healing #ThisIsHowIPlay #NewYear #IntentionsNotResolutions #BestYearOfMyLife #But2019WillBeEvenBetter

#Play #Divorce #Healing #SheerJoy #ProjectRestoreJoy

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