Finding Joy in the New Year

Green Honeycreeper, male, Trinidad

In this fresh new year — try to find a spark of  joy in every day.


It could be a spot of bright nature;

Azure Kingfisher, Australia


or something new you’ve never seen before;


Male Kudu, Botswana, Chobe River


Conversely, joy could appear in something you see every day, but never stopped to appreciate.


Monarch Butterfly, Horicon Marsh, WI


Twelve-spotted Skimmer Dragonfly, California


We can find joy in remarkable human engineering feats;

Sydney Opera House, Australia


or inspiring people;


Gandhi Statue, The Ferry Building, San Francisco


Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC

or art, so many forms of art.

Ancient Kangaroo Rock Art, Kakadu NP, Australia

Chihuly Sea Star, Seattle, WA


Some of the most cheerful joy comes in simple forms.

American Robin nest, Wisconsin

California Honeysuckle, lonicera


There will be times, however, in the new year when difficulty or despair take over.


Joy might not be readily accessible in the darkness.


Olympic Peninsula, Washington


For these times, go to sleep, rest…


Grey-headed Flying Foxes, Sydney, Australia


… and try again tomorrow.

Warmest thanks to my blogging friends and readers, for a year filled with joyful sweet moments, warm words, happy smiles, vicarious adventures, stunning images, and heartfelt sharing.  Gentle wishes for a new year filled with joy.

Written by Jet Eliot
All photos by Athena Alexander.


White-bellied Woodstar, Peru


Maui, Hawaii



125 thoughts on “Finding Joy in the New Year

  1. The Gandhi statue – a great place to meet! We wish you and Athena a happy new year ahead, one filled with pleasant surprises and all the peace and good health you undoubtedly deserve after a tough recent run.
    Thanks for this wonderful post, Jet!

  2. Thank you for all the wonderful stories and photos you’ve shared during the year. Many of which provoked many a walk down memory lane for me. Wishing you and Athena much love and laughter throughout 2019! x

  3. This is a heartwarming post, reminding us of all the beautiful things around us that bring us joy if we just open our eyes and ears to notice. Lovey post, Jet. Have a wonderful year of snapping photos and traveling when the mood suits you. I look forward to your posts next year.

  4. What a wonderful post to round out the year. Thank you for taking us to so many beautiful places, and for sharing the stories and photos this past year, Jet. Wishing you and Athena peace and joy in the new year!

    • It is wonderful how we all, as bloggers, get to see the rest of the world through the adventures of others. My best wishes to you, Jill, for a terrific new year ahead; and my warmest thanks for your kind message.

    • There’s joy everywhere we turn, we just have to keep our eyes open; and you’re right, Jan, in nature or the face of a child. Warm thanks for your visits every week, always great to “see” you here.

    • Delightful to have you stop by, Teagan, thanks so much for your visit and wonderful words. I’m going to head over to your fluffy blog cloud and see what you’ve been up to….

  5. What a wonderfully inspirational post, Jet! Loved Athena’s beautiful pictures and your thoughts, and I agree that finding joy every day is a great premise for the new year. Happy New Year to you both!

  6. A simply Beautiful post with which to close out the year and dance into the new one! Thank you so much for all the beauty and joy you’ve brought us this year. Sending best wishes for peace and joy and light to you and Athena. With love from your faithful reader and sister.

  7. Very nice post my friend, beautiful words, adorned with wonderful pictures. I know, we are getting to the end of 2018. I wish for you and your partner to enter a new year with health, happiness and prosperity. You are my friend. I appreciate your friendship and your good sense of life. Thank you for being YOU… 🙂

    • Very kind words and sentiments, HJ, thank you so much. This year we have enjoyed a lovely exchange of words and kindnesses, and so many delightful birds from all over the world. There is much to celebrate, and I hope your new year is filled with celebrations for all this beautiful life we are surrounded by. Your friendship and kindness are much appreciated. 🙂

    • I am warmed by your kind words, dear Lauren, and am thrilled that you received the gifts of the new year post from both myself and Athena. Cheers to another year full of gifts.

  8. So many beautiful images, it’s hard to pick a favourite, Jet. I’ve never seen a dragonfly like that one, which makes it a standout, and you find the most amazing birds. Thank you for sharing and for the good wishes. I hope that 2019 is kind to you. 🙂 🙂

    • Yes, we are blessed with so many amazing creatures on this planet, aren’t we, Jo? Thanks so much, my friend, for your visit and kind words…always a pleasure. My best to you for a wonderful new year in your new community.

  9. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much beauty the world contains. Best wishes to you and Athena for the New Year. We all profit from your stories and photos, and I’m looking forward to enjoying many more in 2019.

    • Thank you so very much for your comment, Linda. Yes, it is sometimes easy to forget about the beauty in our world, fortunately we have each other in the blogosphere for gentle reminders. My warmest thanks for your thoughtful comments and appreciation, and glorious days ahead to you in the new year.

  10. 💥❤️💥Happy New Year! 💥❤️💥
    Jet, this is a very gorgeous and positive post/message!
    I’m a very haphazard blogger, with no routine and a hearty dislike of the Reader. I always enjoy your posts when I do visit. Thank you for your visit to my blog. It reminded me how wonderful yours is.

  11. This post of yours was sheer joy! Thank you for all the smiles and cheer you’ve provided throughout the past year. Wishing you and Athena much peace and joy through this coming year! 🎉 🕊

    • Oh my goodness, how I loved hearing you found “sheer joy” with the new year post, Gunta. It has been such a pleasure this year to share the world on my post. Equally as delightful have been the visits to your blog all year long–the lovely photos of coastal vistas, wildlife and wilderness, your avid adventures; and always, the profound quotes. My warmest thanks and best wishes for a spectacular 2019.

  12. This is so WONDERFUL, Jet. What a sweet gift. Thank You!!! I wish You all the same. Sending HUGE hugs Your way and wishes for a New Year full of Love and Joy to You and Yours! ❤️🥂😊

  13. Thank you for showing us joy coming from different forms. Beautiful, yet so moving.
    Thank you for giving us much joy to appreciate the beauty of nature through you words and lens in the past.
    Happy 2019 to you and Athena!

    • Always a delight to share the beauties of the world, Amy. And it is reciprocal — a great joy to see the world through your camera lens and worldly visits. My warmest thanks for a great 2018 exchange, and best wishes to you and your family for another great year ahead.

    • I’m very glad you dropped by, too, Frank. Many thanks for your visits and comments throughout 2018, and my best to you for a vibrant 2019 filled with great adventures and images.

  14. Such wise words Jet. I do think that in times that often seem dark finding the joy and beauty in often unexpected places is a tonic for our lives. I especially smiled at the statue of Ghandi, taken on a brighter day obviously than when we were together. Still it instantly brought happiness to my heart at the memory of the day. Warmest wishes to you and Athena from Dave and I.

    • Yes, as you know, Sue, it is easy to be bright on bright days, but it’s the dark ones when finding the light really makes a difference. When I first saw you from a distance at the Gandhi Statue, I knew right away it was you. Happy day. Thanks so much, Sue and Dave, for your strength and adventure and brightness throughout this past year. Thank you, too, for the fantastic gratitude post, truly a work of art; I look forward to referencing it in the weeks ahead and finding new blogging friends. Every January I find new blogging friends through your end-of-the-year post, and they’re always great friends and they stick around and share great insight and adventures. Cheers to a great new year.

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