I absolutely love getting older.

Yes, you read that right.

As I get older, I learn things about myself that I never knew were possible to learn. Things that I’ve puzzled over for years begin to finally make sense. I slow down, calm down, as I perceive my role in my own life and in the lives of others differently.

The most recent edition of Good News for Eating Disorders Recovery, the eating disorders-specific ezine I publish monthly, has just been released, and in it I share one such “aha!” moment, courtesy of hitting (and passing) the 40-year mark.

I thought I would share it with you here.


You Can Hold Joy

I am reading a wonderful book right now (called “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”).

In this book, the author shares that only about 50% of our personality type is determined by genetics.

The other 50% is determined by personal choice.


Earlier in my life (I am 41 now so I have made an executive decision that I can now say things like “earlier in my life….”) I was a very pessimistic person.

My glass was always half-empty. To make matters worse (which I was very good at) I had also convinced myself that experiences like “joy” and “happiness” only happened to “happy people.”

Then later one of my mentors spoke about how hard it is to hold on to joy. She shared that both sadness and happiness can be habit-forming.

I was very surprised to learn this!

But I wanted to test out her theory. So I started to make a deliberate effort to grasp hold of each tiny moment of joy (and they were quite tiny to start with) and try to hang on and make it last as long as I possibly could.

Over time, I got better at it.

Today, I am living proof that, just as we can learn sadness as a way of life, we can also learn joy.

You can too.

You CAN hold joy.

I promise.

With great respect and love,


Today’s Takeaway: What life lessons are you learning – about you, your community, your path – as the years pass? What are you grateful for as you get older and wiser?



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    Last reviewed: 15 Sep 2013

APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2012). You Can Hold Joy. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 27, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mentoring-recovery/2012/04/you-can-hold-joy/



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  • Shannon Cutts: You are so welcome, Kristi!
  • Kristi: This is absolutely wonderful. Thank you for writing and sharing this!
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