August 20, 2015

Finding the Good in Life

Finding the Good in Life -

Bad days stink.

The occasional bad day isn't too bad. You can put your head down, push through, and wait for a new day because, as Annie sings it, the sun will come out tomorrow! A good night's sleep (and some good quality chocolate) can make a world of difference.

When the bad days start to pile up, however, it's not as easy to bounce back. Layer upon layer of negative vibes begin to weigh heavily on your shoulders and soon the whole world seems to be just a kaleidoscope of gray.

At that point, you have a choice - to be a victim of circumstance or to get that (figurative) sword out and start slaying your dragons. Trust me - being a dragon slayer is way more fun.

The easiest place to begin slaying those droopy dragons is to simply find the good in life. No matter how bad things get, the good is always there.

It doesn't have to be grandiose and impressive. In fact, my favorite good things are the small and simple.

I polled my friends on Facebook to see what made them happy. When I began reading their responses, I felt my burdens lift and the world brighten. And I wasn't even having a bad day!

That's the thing about seeking out good things. No matter how good or bad things are going for you, finding the good can lift you up.

Little acts of service - both given and received - also prove there is good in this life.

Mini story #1:

The other day, I was coming out of the store with a full shopping cart. I'm usually very good about parking near a cart return, but for whatever reason, I didn't that day. Just as I put the last bag in my car, a passing gentleman offered to take my cart for me. I happily accepted his kind offer and we both walked away from the encounter with smiles on our faces.

Mini story #2:

This week was my 6yo's first week of first grade. I volunteer at his school in the mornings - helping direct traffic and soothing sad children. Yesterday, I met a sweet boy named Andy and his mom. Andy had the sweetest dimples I've ever seen. He was a bit nervous about going to school, so I gave him my biggest smile and chatted with him for a minute. Before he went in, I told him I would always be available in the mornings if he needed to talk or had any questions. Later, his mom came up to me and thanked me. Andy had told her I was really nice and he really liked me. 

Mini story #3:

This morning, I went to Walmart to pick up a few things. As I was wandering the craft aisles looking for something to bling up my reflective orange vest I wear as a volunteer, I ran into a store associate who offered to help me. I swear he spent at least twenty minutes helping me brainstorm ideas, both of us running back and forth through the store, firing off suggestions and seeing what was available. When we couldn't come up with an acceptable solution in the store, he tried to help me find something online. I walked away from that encounter laughing and smiling.

None of my mini stories were anything out of the ordinary. In fact, I see people going out of their way to help complete strangers almost daily. The key is not only to recognize it, but to appreciate it. Even better than appreciating a good deed is to be the one doing the good deed.

So remember, whenever those gloomy days loom and the clouds begin to gather, simply start counting your blessings. They're closer than you think.

My blessings (a.k.a. things that make me happy)

  • Driving down the street with the windows down.
  • Making someone smile.
  • My writing desk.
  • Pride in a job well done.
  • Little boy kisses.
  • "Mom, I love you more!"
  • Sitting in a shady spot on the cool grass.
  • Connecting with someone new.
  • Dark chocolate lavender mints.
  • A quiet moment.
  • Lazy mornings.
  • French toast.
  • Freshly painted toenails.
  • Color changing nail polish (thanks to a favorite aunt of mine).
  • Surprise gifts!
  • A kind word.
  • Graphic t-shirts with images and words that speak to me.
  • Soft sheets in my warm bed.
  • Breathing in the scent of jasmine.
  • Singing at the top of my lungs to a favorite song.
  • Taking off my shoes at the end of a long day.
  • Snuggles.
  • Dandelion bouquets.
  • Completing a project.
  • Writer's high after a completely satisfying writing session.
  • Philly cheesesteak pizza.
  • Sunsets and sunrises.
  • A new haircut.
  • And a million more...

Share the good in your life - what makes you happy?

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