This is YOUR Year (If You Want it to Be)

Photo: Carla Coulson

“Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!” Auntie Mame pronounces. “Live!” she urges her mousy assistant, Agnes Gooch.

I’ve seen the film Auntie Mame about twenty times. Mame is my inspiration, my ideal: well traveled, fearless, indomitable—and, of course, impossibly chic. But at times, in the past, I’ve felt more like an Agnes Gooch. Picking at the crumbs. Hungry.

Courtesy of IMdB

I’m thinking I’m not alone in this. Sometimes we all need to be reminded that there is seat at the table waiting for us.

You’re Invited

Life is a banquet, bountiful and beautiful, but the current state of the world (or I should say the state our newsfeeds show us), appears dire, and many of us feel a sense of crisis coming on. It’s not easy to feel joyful and positive when we’re being fed negativity every day on social media. Sure, it might very well be that we are about to enter a difficult time for the world. But does that mean we have to curl up in a ball, like Agnes, afraid of life? Is it possible to feel happy and safe even if the world seems to be falling down around us?

Actually, yes. Happiness is a choice because true happiness is unconditional.

What if this year, you decided to take your seat at the banquet, to be an unstoppable Auntie Mame full of life? What if we all decided this? Imagine hundreds of thousands of people all choosing to believe that this year was going to be the year for change, growth, health, prosperity, happiness. This would positively affect what we share on Facebook, talk about with our friends, and would spread the idea of a new year filled with plenty. It could impact not only our lives, but the world.

Why is the negative more truth than the positive? A strong, positive collective mind is, like Auntie Mame, unstoppable.

Your Mind is the Key to Your Happiness

How you see the world, how you see your life, is absolutely up to you. It’s as simple as a choice. You can choose to buy into the news headlines declaring doom, or you can tune out the noise, the negativity, and focus on your life.

Start with you. Tell yourself this is your year. This is your year. Begin and end each day with this thought. During the day, stay present in the moment, monitor your thoughts, and do whatever you can to guard against negative news and images, negative people, negative ideas. Six weeks in, you’ll notice a change in how you see your life, the world. Six months in, you may feel a real shift in your life: more things will go your way; opportunities will knock. You will feel more empowered to take on the problems of the world, more at peace, too. And, yes, happier.

You can retrain your mind. It takes discipline and commitment—and a laser focus on an idea: This is my year. Whatever you want for yourself, your family‚ will happen this year because your mind will make it so. All you need to do is set your goals, make your to-do lists, and start. Me, I’ve put my ass squarely on my seat at the banquet this year.

So, are you Mame or Agnes? This is your year—if you want it to be. I’ll hold your seat at the table. Live!


Recommended reading to get you on your way:

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World—and Why Things are Better Than You Think, by Hans Rosling
Buy now


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Learn more about the journey that led to My (Part-Time) Paris Life in my memoir of the same name, ON SALE NOW

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24 responses to “This is YOUR Year (If You Want it to Be)

  1. Thank you for this !! So inspirational as you always are!! I’m excited to start my year and I have rented the movie too!!

    It’s fabulous! Watched it twice lol. Just as I read your book twice. Waiting for a part two in Paris.

    Have a wonderful new year and all the very best in 2019!!

  2. Yay! Nice and positive and do-able because you’re right: at the end of the day happiness is just a choice we make. Looking forward to reading more of your content 🙂

  3. Positivity is a wonderful thing but I’d say Auntie Mame was very hard to live with . And positivity despite what’s going on around you smacks of serious self delusion . And besides if we all adapted that strategy who would be left to try deal with serious issues ( yes the ones that might drag you down ) . The problem is that it is easy to descend into a spiral of negativity and this is what we should learn to avoid ________________________________

    • Hi, John. Thank you for your comment. I don’t agree that being positive despite what’s happening in the world is delusional. You can find things to be positive about no matter what is going on in the world: your family, your work, the beauty of the day, etc. Otherwise, yes, you spiral into helplessness and despair. How can you even begin to be helpful in the world, deal with the problems, become an activist for change, etc., if you can’t get your head off the pillow for the sadness? Fighters embrace reality, but they also are fighters because they are hopeful, strong, positive, and undaunted. This’s my point. I think you get me here.

  4. Lisa,
    Absolutely inspirational message. Pay no attention to the haters. Looking for good amongst the dross is not Pollyanna-ish at all. It’s what allows a lot of us to get through the day.

    We keep on keeping on because it’s what we have to do. Life is about choices. We can choose to be miserable and unhappy. Or we can choose to look forward and ahead.

    I’m with you. Be an Auntie Mame and not an Agnes Gooch.

  5. Auntie Mame is one of my favorite movies of all time. Thanks, Lisa, for reminding us all that we need to live, live, live!!!

  6. Lisa – thanks for your post. I’ve had a challenging 2018 and your words helps me recharge my optimism for 2019. It does take discipline. Hope to see you in Paris on my next trip!

    • 2018 was tough for many (according to the astrologists, anyway), but if we all manage the negativity we consume this year, we will be primed to handle the tough times, and open to the good things when they arrive. Here’s to a better 2019 for you!

  7. Nicely written Lisa, a message we all need to hear. Happiness is a choice! There are a lot of challenges in the world that we have to make the best of!

  8. Once again my dear; you have captured the hearts and thoughts of your readers, friends and counterparts. Thank you for sharing your gift of prose and insight; I look forward to seeing you in June!
    Your fan,

  9. I urge you all to read FACTFULNESS by Hans Rosling. And by all means, read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, and if you can truly live in the present, you will accomplish it all and the world will be a much better place. That’s what Mame had — the power of the present moment! Thanks, Lisa, for reminding us of how we control our own destinies.

  10. You go girl! Encouragement is what we need. Visuals of joyful positive expressions and bigger- than-life Auntie Mame! Super!! Thanks for the uplift (or lift up) in spirit!


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