I would like to thank each and every one of you for your very precious gift to me…the gift of “listening”. It is your priceless understanding that brightens my day every day. It is your support that lightens my load, and your “likes” that provide encouragement. Without you, I would be a lonely, little old lady, (well, little middle-aged lady,) keeping a diary on my computer just for myself. It would be nice to look back on someday, but does not provide comfort as life goes along. You have provided that comfort for me. I look forward to each and every “like”, and I am always encouraged to move on through another day. Your gift to me is greatly appreciated.
I am sorry I do not have such a valuable gift to you. I can only share my thoughts on ways to live a more fulfilled and happy life and hope that somehow they provide a small measure of encouragement that you have provided to me:
Smile often. Even if you are grumpy, smile as you hold a door open for someone. Smile at the person standing in front of you at the bank, and the teller who waits on you. Even if you were not anxious to smile in the first place, after several random smiles, it will come naturally and it will lighten your mood. If you really want to feel good about yourself, smile at someone who has wronged you, the car that accidently cuts in front of you in traffic, the person who has bumped into you, a person who has a growly look on their face. You will feel much better having smiled at them than haven gotten angry at them.
Always take care of yourself if you are taking care of others. I have hectic days with my kiddos and doctor appointments and school meetings and so forth, but every night I spend an hour soaking in the tub, fragrant bubbles popping all around me, drinking a frozen wine cooler, and playing Scrabble on my phone. I take care of me because if I don’t, I will not be in the right frame of mind to take care of my family.
If you are married, place emphasis on loving your spouse. It is easy in day to day activities to forget that you have a partner, hopefully a partner who will love you and support you no matter what. But this support person needs to feel loved and supported themselves. My husband and I make sure to plan quality time together. It makes me feel good and loved and supported. But it is something that I have to work at all the time.
If you are like me and you HATE to do the laundry, I suggest buying everyone there own style of sock…and only buy that one style. For instance, Steven likes no show black socks, Angel will do with ankle black socks, Marie likes white sports socks, Raymond wears grey work socks, and I prefer black dress socks. So these are the only types of socks we have. I buy them in bulk. It makes is SOOO much easier when folding clothes. Not only is it easier to find a match, but it is also easier to know who they belong to.
Find the joy in life. It is everywhere you look. It is in the squirrels collecting their acorns for winter, in the sun shining through the parting clouds, in the colors of the sunset, the sweet little old lady crossing the street with the cars all patiently stopped, in the smile of a baby when you make eye contact, in the stained glass window of the church, and in almost every place you look if you look at it in the right light. Life is a joy that should be appreciated. If we are not joyful, then how can we spread that joy to others?
Most of all, have fun. Go bowling with the kiddos, even if the kitchen floor should be washed. Play in the snow even as the dust settles in the house, and settles and settles… Watch a great television show where you can all connect and laugh. (Our favorite, because of Marie’s deafness, is America’s Funniest Home Videos.) Just do things together as a family. If you have a child with a disability, you will have to try extra hard to include him/her, but please do. Life should be enjoyable.
And my wish for you all if to find peace. Peace with yourselves. Peace with your families and friends. Peace even if you have to change your standards and lower your expectations. If you used to get angry at that person tailgating you…let it go. If you used to get annoyed that the line you chose in the supermarket is the slowest moving line on earth…let it go. If you used to get angry at your children for minor misbehavior…let it go. If you look for peace, you will find yourself peaceful instead of stressed out. I think my best quality is to be as stress free as possible in stressful situations. I don’t worry. I am peaceful. And I hope to extend a little bit of that peace to each and every one of you, because I am so thankful of the gift that you have given to me.