Keep Your Sunshine, Baby
Imagine what a full 24-hour day would look like if nothing got you down. If no one cut you off on the road, if you didn’t forget the one thing on your list at the grocery store and get all the way home, if the staff at the drive thru didn’t accidentally give you a steeped tea when all you wanted was your coffee. If you didn’t drive past that pig truck on its way somewhere very very sad, if you didn’t read that article about that horrible thing, if your colleague didn’t drive you bananas.
Imagine you woke up, on any old day, with a smile on your face, had a great breakfast, made it where you were going on time, had the Best conversation with a stranger, read about some uplifting story in the news, made someone smile, had a door opened for you and at the end of the day, you felt on top of the world, brimming with positivity.
What makes every day different is how we react to situations that ‘happen’ to us. Does our spirit immediately drop down a happy notch, or do we roll with it and say “meh, I’m going to let that one roll off like water on a ducks back”. With so much negativity in the world, it’s SO easy to fall into the trap. Here are a few ways I try to keep my spirit light and mind kind.
Remember that everyone has bad days. Every day, something happens to someone. They lose a family member, a beloved furry friend, their job, sign divorce papers, receive bad news….the number of things impacting somebody’s day are endless. The thing to remember is, that we have the opportunity to be a positive influence. Maybe the last thing they expect is for someone to be kind to them and you walk along and simply give them a smile, hold the door open or let them go first in line. It truly takes nothing away from someone to be kind, but it might just make someone else’s day or week. You’d hope a sweet soul would be kind to you, so always remember you have that beautiful opportunity every day.
It’s cliché, but life is short. I’ve had my fair share of losses in my life…huge ones like my Grandma, who was my inspiration, my best friend when I was 14 and my soul kitty (yes, my sweet boy was one of my very few soul mates). I was in a relationship for 9 years that definitely was not meant to be and was a major lesson in how to treat people and how you deserve to be treated. All of these experiences shaped who I am and how I now believe that every day is a gift. Every day I have another shot at life, another chance to say I love you, to hug those near and dear to me. I know that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, for me or anyone I love. Knowing that slows me down just enough to remember how lucky I am to be here.
Take time to notice the small stuff. Every day I make sure I’m aware of life around me. Our day to day lives can be so busy, we can barely remember what happened as we lay our heads down at the end of the night. I make sure to look at the sweet little flower struggling to come up out of the earth, the bud on the tree dying to bust out into bloom, the true blueness of the sky as the clouds part, the sound of the wind racing through the trees, the way freshly zested lime smells, the way my dog looks at me with gentleness as I type at this very moment. They are tiny tiny things, but they ground me. They bring me back to me. I encourage you to take just a few moments each day to ‘just be’.
Remember that the only thing you have control over in this life is how you react. There’s a great romantic movie called About Time that I’ve seen at least a half a dozen times, just because it’s all about this. About living life as if you had no do overs. No one is perfect, we’re never going to be and we shouldn’t expect ourselves to be. But we have just one shot at life, one at bat, one ride around the merry go round. I hope you live it, showing off your sunshine. :)