Tag Archives: encouragement
Learning to be happy is a skill.
With all the awful things happening in our world today, our hearts are ripped out of our chests on a daily basis. Hate seems to reverberate from the walls, causing defensiveness, if not hostility, in return.
We can simply turn off and be numb to all going on around us, or we can LOOK for positive things that help us deal with the bad as well as possible. Being happy is a deep-down choice you make. It comes from within you, recognizing all the good you have around you and filling your heart with it.
When you decide to be happy, it flows outward, affecting those around you. All you have to do to test this is to smile at people you don’t know when you’re out in public. Most of the time, people may look surprised, but they smile back. Not a word has been said, but you’ve communicated and both of you feel better.
This blog is a place where I can share the good things I find with you. I hope that some of it lifts YOUR spirits, too. :0)
August 2022 is almost a thing of the past. Time is whizzing past my head at an astonishing speed and the year will be gone if I blink. I spend too much time being upset at what is going on in the world around me, helpless to do much, if anything, to stop it. I find myself grateful for all the things I have to insulate me from too much grief.
Listening to music, playing in my art room, reading books, talking with friends, gardening and time to myself all help me deal with what is going on around me. If I can’t FIX what’s happening, at least I can make it so I’m not contributing to it. I have more than enough to handle in my OWN little world.
I hope that you, also, have things that help you cope.
To me this means that we should strive to EXPAND our interests, our knowledge, our activities for as long as we are here. We need to actively try to leave our comfort zone, trying something new every once in awhile, meeting new people, finding new sources of information, and more.
I feel lucky that I can learn new things every day simple by being curious on my computer. I enjoy it SO much I have to be careful not to be sucked into a rabbit hole, reading one thing that leads me to another until a good amount of my day is gone.
I don’t want to color with fewer and fewer crayons, allowing my world to gradually implode around me.
It’s in your hands most of the time. Sure, things happen suddenly that swamp us, but most of the time we can choose how we view and live life.
I made a promise to myself awhile back, to include some joy in every day, no matter what else is happening. My happiness comes from within ME. It’s up to ME to splash some paint around.
I MAY be finally old enough to accept this.
My parents were both only children. They had my brother and me so we “could keep each other company,” but then unconsciously fostered intense competition and rivalry between us. The end result was that we were never close, and got the strong idea that our worth depended on what we had accomplished lately and how that compared to each other. We both knew they loved us. That was never a question. But the competition lasted throughout our lives.
My parents wanted us to do well in school. This meant ‘grades’ to them. I learned to value what I had actually LEARNED and the fact that I knew how to learn more throughout my life, but I guess that was the easiest way to measure how we were doing THEN. My brother brought home almost straight A’s throughout his schooling. I brought home a “C” in math one quarter. There was a distinct coldness and withdrawal of affection until the next grading period (9 weeks) when I was able to bring my grade up. When I went to college, earning enough for my first semester each year teaching swimming during the summers from the time I was 14 through the end of college, by brother got a full scholarship to the University of Colorado and was a Rhodes scholarship finalist. He ended up with a doctorate, of course. :0)
I have always felt that my worth depended on what good I had done lately, rather than any idea that I was ‘enough’ just as I was. I was eager to please my parents, and that meant grades, honors, accomplishments. I was eager to please my husband, too, and wasn’t happy unless he was noticing what I was doing. The only area where I dropped the self-doubt was when I was teaching.
I taught in the public schools on the north side of Tulsa OK for eight years. I fell in love with my students. Since my kids there lived pretty tough lives, totally different that I had enjoyed, they didn’t see the need to learn to read or do math, or write, or think. I had to get really ‘creative’ to come up with ways to show them why they would be happier, stronger, and more in control of their lives if they would give me a chance to work with them. Every day I forgot who I was, immersed in trying to take them from where they were, give them what they needed to move forward, and listen to their concerns. I never felt I was ‘enough,’ but I felt good about what I did.
Now that I’m older than dirt, I realize that each person brings a package to the table. Each of us has a different set of skills, hopes, dreams. And each of us is valuable because of it. THAT is enough.
“You are enough just as you are.”
Even if I had read this years ago, when I was in junior high, I wouldn’t have been smart enough to heed the wisdom of it.
I’ve spent most of my life waiting. When I was in junior high (14 years old) I met my husband-to-be just before he joined the Marine Corps. I waited for a letter each day. I would watch out the window for the mailman. He knew I was in love – and was a wonderful guy – so he would break the rules and put the red flag on the mailbox up if there were a letter from him for me. He would grin ear to ear as I came flying out of the house, running down the driveway to get the mail.
I waited for my husband-to-be to get leave from the Marines, when I could start to live again. We were inseparable, of course, watched carefully by both sets of parents, until he had to leave again. I remember one leaving-taking in particular, when my mother-in-law-to-be allowed me to ride to the airport with them and see him off. I cried my heart out, nose against the glass as his plane went down the runway.
When he got out of the Marine Corps, I went to Oklahoma State University. He went to the University of Tulsa, so I waited for weekends and holidays. My parents said I had to finish school before we could marry. They finally compromised when a program opened up where I could do my practice teaching in Tulsa, and we were married. I waited so long to marry him that I cried on the way back down the aisle that we were finally together and I could begin to live.
I feel stupid typing this. I wasted so much of my life ignoring what was around me, focused on the next time my life ‘would start.’ How much I missed, marking days off the calendar until the next “big thing” in my life. I’ve spent a lot of my working life wishing Mondays away, waiting for Fridays. Waiting for vacations. Wishing days, weeks, months and years away.
So, even though I was too stupid to realize what I was doing, or unable or unwilling to change my behavior if I DID realize, I think living in the moment is THE most important thing I have ever learned. Better late than never. Better some than none.
NOW is what is important – the people you are lucky enough to know and love – what is happening right – this – minute.
Wring every drop of joy out of whatever you are lucky enough to have.
Appreciate your life.
This image really hit me between the eyes.
It reminds me that as much as we are overwhelmed by what’s going on in the world, the power lies in each of us to do what we can, where we are, with what we have. It may be enough.
Our weather is yo-yo-ing, not sure whether we’re still in the fall or at the beginning of winter. Storms are due this evening into tomorrow, with record high temperatures here today and a cold front coming though. Mother Nature is really in a snit lately. We will hopefully have a quiet day with a very wet evening. Right now it’s really beautiful outside. I’ll try to get out to play today.
One of my dear friends from Lunch Bunch fell last week. Our medical community is giving her the run-around on giving her some real help. She needs an MRI to find the extent of the damage, but it isn’t scheduled until NEXT Monday. Meanwhile, she’s in pain and can’t keep pain medicine down. Her husband took her to Ft. Smith yesterday to see if they could get some help. I will call her later to find out if they were successful. I want to FIX her, help her to quit hurting, help her to feel sassy again.
I’m now waiting to schedule another health test. My ‘adult’ side peaks her head out, mainly during the day. At night, I’m at the inner child’s mercy. I came down in the middle of the night and read for about an hour to chase away scary and dark thoughts. Happily, during the daytime, I’m MUCH better able to find joy.
I had a nice chat with our son this morning, who lives and works in Thailand. We are so lucky to be so close to him, even though we’re physically across the world from each other. We can talk about anything, help each other handle what life gives us, encourage each other, even giving virtual hugs.
I hope that you’re having a good Wednesday.