Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's the Little Things

I don't very often get down in the dumps.  I suppose if I took the time to dwell on all the unpleasant things that have happened over this lifetime, I could work up a pretty bad case of the blues.  I choose not to.  Those things are gone.  I remind myself from time to time to "Look Forward."

This has not always been the case.  There have been times when I have let past hurts and disappointments overwhelm my thoughts.  This was brought home to me a while back when one of my children told me that all I ever did was say negative things about my ex-husband, her father.  That hurt me so much that I started to cry.  Not because of what was said, but because of the fact that she was right.  And I hadn't realized it until it was pointed out to me.  And I felt awful about hurting my children with my negativity.

From that day forward I made up my mind to do my best to banish that kind of negativity from my life.  I don't always succeed, but I do try my best.  And it has helped my whole outlook on life.

There are still unpleasant things to deal with.  There always will be.  But I think that the trick is to deal with them and then move on.  I am finding more and more that it is the little things in life that make me the happiest.

An excited phone call from my granddaughters telling me all about their latest dance competition.  That makes me happy.

Spending a few days making a surprise gift for my grandson who graduates this year makes me happy.

Looking at a huge bouquet of lilacs on my kitchen table, picked from a neighbors lilac bush, makes me happy.

Watching Jessie Jane and Lily do their twirling, whirling Yorkie Dance Team dance in anticipation of a treat makes me laugh out loud.

Sharing a couple of jars of homemade jam with a neighbor who was delighted to receive them because they reminded her of her days on the farm, makes me very happy.

Looking through my old photos makes me happy.  Sometimes I feel sad, knowing that so many of the people I have loved are no longer here, but the good memories of when we were together overshadows the sadness.

I am not a Pollyanna or a Little Miss Sunshine type of person.  Nor do I bury my head in the sand and pretend that everything is all love and sunshine.  I am realistic enough to know that there are bad things and bad people out there.  I know that the economy could go down the tubes in a heart beat.  I know that the damaged nuclear plant in Japan could collapse in another earthquake, doing horrible damage to the entire world.  I know that going outside my own door at night these days is not the wisest thing to do in my neighborhood.  I know that politicians wouldn't know the truth if it bit them in the butt.

I can't change any of these things.  I can only change my attitude.  I can be aware, but not allow the negativity and the bad stuff to keep me from being a happy person.  So I find joy in the little things.  The last time I talked to my brother, he said that I sounded happier than I had in many years.  I think I will continue to look for the little things to make me smile.  It seems to be working.

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