Friday, July 24, 2009

Only The Good Friday – The Good Is as Good Does Edition

A lot of times I begin writing a blog post having no idea where I’m going with it. I just need to put some words on paper (or, more accurately on the computer screen) and see where they lead me. Eventually, hopefully, if it all goes according to plan, by the middle of the first, or at the very least, the second paragraph, I’ve got a blog post forming.

Sometimes, however, I am forced to scrap every word I wrote, and start all over again. The words I have written may flow nicely together, but they say nothing.

Today’s post started much the same way, and I have to be honest, here, at the third paragraph, and I’m still not entirely sure where we’re going with it…let’s see…

Today, is Only The Good Friday, and as is customary, this means that I will focus this blog post on ONLY GOOD THINGS. Shelly started this meme to spread positivity and goodness throughout the blogosphere, and I strongly support the notion.

In fact, I strongly support spreading positivity and goodness every moment of every day, in whatever it is you do.

Sure, we all have “off moments”, days when we wish we could scrap every word we’ve spoken and start all over again. But here’s the beauty. We can.

Every new moment is a chance at a blank slate. You don’t have to wait till “tomorrow” to change your mood, your attitude. You can do it RIGHT NOW, this very second. And honestly, it is not one of those “sounds easier than it is” things. It is that easy.

RIGHT NOW, how are you feeling? Are you in a good mood? If so, then I congratulate you on your choice (yes, I said choice) to face the day with a smile.

But what about those of you NOT feeling so chipper and in love with life? The thing that ways you down could be trivial, or it could be gigantic. Truth is, there are, without question, events in life that warrant some sadness, moodiness, even downright depression. And we should be allowed those emotions. For a time.

What we shouldn’t do, however, is to wallow and linger in misery. For then, what is the point of living?

Whether you are sailing through an easy patch of life, or struggling through a dark and dreary one, you opened your eyes this morning. You were given another chance at the world. We’re each here for such a limited time, it is easy to get caught up in the negativity and misery around us. But even in the darkest moments, beauty and goodness surround us.

It is then, up to us, to CHOOSE to focus on the little things. The lightning bugs and butterflies, the comforting feeling of a friend’s hand on ours, a hug, a smile, a silly television show that makes us laugh. And on the big things too. The magic of a grandiose sunset, the billions of stars in a night sky, love (for is there anything grander than love of any kind?).

And if nothing else, if you truly can’t find a way to change your mood, then focus on someone else. Reach out to someone else with a smile, a hug, a kind word. You have no way of knowing how that small gesture could possibly change someone’s life, but if it does, then in turn, imagine the feeling of goodness that’ll wash over you?

It’s sort of win/win, isn’t it? You spread goodness, you receive goodness. You believe goodness, you feel goodness.

You begin to write a blog post with just the word “good” in your mind and well, look at that…I guess I did have something to say after all.

Also, in a bit of that “coincidence” thing that I don’t really believe in (I believe everything happens for a reason) after I finished writing this post, my good bloggy friend Michelle of Bleeding Espresso sent out a Tweet about “the Happiness Project”. I checked out the website, and found this post which basically says what I’ve been trying to say in this post, only much more succinctly and clearly.

Funny how those things happen huh?

Happy Only The Good Friday, I hope you’ll leave here a little less heavy than you came in. And don’t forget to stop by Shelly’s to see what other Good everyone’s been up to.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thank You

Picture This

The scene opens on a woman, early 30’s, fit, dressed comfortably, but fashionably in a long t-shirt, hoodie and tights. Hair in a careful constructed, yet messy bun, and comfortable ballet flats on her feet.

She takes one last look around her condo. Not a flashy apartment, but a stylish yet homey place. She smiles to herself as she turns off the last light and grabs her suitcase, purse, and sunglasses.

She is off once again on an adventure, headed to the airport, for her third vacation in less than 7 months.

To herself she is thinking “Damn, I am blessed, I lead a charmed life…please God, don’t ever let me take any of this for granted”.

In that moment, she quickly assesses her life. She is single, but extremely comfortable, and at peace with that fact. She has the greatest family, and without questions some of the best friends anyone could ever ask for. A good job, her own home, a new car, and other less necessary, but still highly enjoyable material possessions. She travels frequently, enjoys an active social life, and also has the opportunity to spend quality time with herself, all alone, on her comfy couch in front of the television. She has grown in her relationship with God by leaps and bounds recently, and is also a leader with the youth of her parish, a position that gives her much joy and pride.

Blessed does not even begin to cover it. Charmed seems too…superficial to truly explain it.
But life is good, no doubt, and as she sets off on this next trip, she can’t help thanking God once again for her many blessings, and praying that she always notices each and every one of them.

Life isn’t always sunny, and there are internal struggles, and stresses, and off days. She has moments of great despair, fear, and even confusion. At times, there is even great loneliness that overtakes and envelops her.

The future is uncertain for everyone, and even she, with all her blessings, wonders what lies in store. Will she fall in love ever again? Will she ever have a family like the one she is heading out to visit with? Will she grow old without a partner by her side? Will she grow old? Will some great tragedy strike and knock her on her knees? Can life possibly be this wondrous, this amazing and sustain itself?

Often times those thoughts can knock her breathless. Take away all strength and reason.

She pauses for a moment as all of this washes through her. The good and the bad. This eternal, internal battle we each face daily. To appreciate the blessings and fear the unknown. To embrace life, and yet, be prepared for it’s curveballs.

She adjusts her purse on her shoulder and smiles once again. THIS MOMENT…the only one she can, should and will concern herself with, is beautiful. The unknown will just have to wait it’s turn.

For now, life is beautiful, it’s a blessing, and she…she is grateful.

She? She is me. Thank you God.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Coming Home

I love traveling. I love the anticipation before a big trip, the packing (well, okay, maybe I don’t love the packing so much), the planning. I love getting to the airport, boarding the plane, buckling my seat belt and preparing for take-off. I love settling in for a long (or short) flight, digging into my book or magazine, turning on my mp3 player and enjoying some time away from, and high above, the “real world”. I don’t so much love the landing part, but that more to do with my ear problems and the altitude changes.

I love arriving at a new place, exploring the sights, seeing loved ones or friends. I love taking pictures, learning new things, being a guest in a place different, yet the same from home. Because although I may be on vacation, here, in this place I visit, everyone else is going about their business, work, school, errands, “life”. And as a guest in their world, you get to glimpse a bit of that life, and realize that although different, we are all so much the same.

I love traveling.

As much as I love traveling, boy do I love coming home.

No one wants a vacation to end. The end of vacation means a return to “the grind”, to work, to duties, responsibility, schedules, deadlines, to do lists. And yet, even though we mourn the end of our time away, there is a certain pleasure to knowing that soon we will be home. Back in our comfort zone, our safe haven. There is something to be said for routine, is there not?

We spend much of our time complaining about our busy schedules, our running around, our hectic lives, and yet…this is life, isn’t it? And perhaps only when we take a break from it, when we step away on a short vacation, a small trip, do we realize how much our routine, our “life” is such a vital part of who we are.

I don’t think words can do justice to the feeling, but anyone who has traveled away from home for any extended period of time can probably relate. You know the feeling, don’t you? When you put your key in your front door, walk through and drop your bags. You walk through the house, turning on lights, opening the drapes, checking phone messages, maybe feeding the pets, yes…you’ve arrived back home.

Soon enough the whirlwind of daily life will take over, but for that one moment, there is comfort there. You are home.

Nowhere like it in the world, is there?

And just like coming home, after a short unplanned absence from blogging, due mostly to a busy schedule and hectic life, I am back. Feels good.