Someone recently suggested to me that when I get anxious or upset about something, I should think of the most calming thing I know. Something that makes me joyful — and that makes me feel the most at peace. While beautiful scenes of clearwater beaches flashed in my mind, they quickly disappeared.

In a few seconds, I realized the purest joy I have felt in perhaps my entire life is holding my niece, Giovanna. It seems to me that all the horrible things in the world could be descending upon me but if I got to sit in the rocking chair at my parents house and hold her to my chest while she’s sleeping, I could be at peace.

That doesn’t last long and it’s already been three months since I’ve seen her now. But I love her so much and am truly thankful for the joy and life she’s brought to me and my family. So when I’m feeling anxious, I just picture Giovanna, hold her to my chest and breathe.

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