Playing Many Parts

The Key to Happiness

birthdaycakeI turned another year older yesterday.  It wasn’t a milestone of any kind, but after 35, turning another year older can be more and more depressing, if your perspective isn’t right.

I did wake up yesterday feeling a bit glum.  I didn’t have any plans for my big day, my own fault, but still sad.  I had to work all day at a job I don’t love.  And the worst part of all, family and friends were all busy and I was planning a quiet dinner and cake alone.  I do NOT recommend this approach to a birthday.  If you want to be happy, do not spend your birthday alone eating cake.  That is recipe for both weight gain and misery.

However, something kinda awesome happened after I showered and got my first cup of coffee yesterday that kept me from going down a dark hole of self pity and sadness.  I started thinking of all the things I am grateful for.  I literally started counting things I love about my life and was soon overwhelmed with peace and even happiness.  As I got in the car and headed off to work, I kept thinking about more things I was thankful for. And as I was getting happier and happier, nice little surprises started coming my way.  I got a beautiful card from my Mom, my daughter posted a generous note to my FB wall, many friends sent me well wishes, and I even got a surprise monetary kickback from my bank!

I started to wonder if maybe being thankful not only changes how we feel, but changes how others feel about us. Could it be that being thankful opens us to receive more?  Since I was so happy and open, others were able to be open with me. They were free to share thoughts and feelings and I could graciously receive them.  All I know for sure is that when I could have easily gone down a dark road yesterday, being thankful saved my day.  It seems to me that if you are counting your blessings, noting all the things you are thankful for, it is hard to be sad.  If you start to realize all the things you have (it helps to remember that most of the world lives on less than a dollar a day), it is hard to feel sorry for yourself.

So I challenge you empty nesters who are sad, depressed, and looking for ways to make it through another day to start counting you blessings every morning.  Count things like being able to shower.  Clean drinking water from your tap.  A place to live and sleep.  Your next meal or cup of coffee is a real blessing.  You are alive today.  You are probably reading this on a smart phone, computer or tablet.  Are you employed?  Have kids?  Have a significant other who makes you smile ever?  Do you enjoy your freedom?  Are you educated?  Try to come up with a list of at least 10 things you can be thankful for.  Then try 100.  How about 1,000?


Something New A Thankful Hump Day!

I was driving in to work today, bored to tears with my commute and I found my mind wondering to how I might be able to make my blog more interesting, or at least more meaningful. So today, I would like to focus on something that makes me happy, and very thankful.

I am thankful for my transportation that reliably takes me everywhere I want to go. I love that it has 4wheel drive, is convertible and is RED! But more importantly, if I let it, it reminds me daily that I am loved, cherished, and cared for by my husband.

You see, when DD needed a car last year, it was quickly decided that my current car was perfect for her, and that I needed a new one. My husband suggested a car that he thought I really wanted, but I’m a modern woman, I no longer wanted that car. I had only to mention once that I had always dreamed of owning a jeep when we were off to the dealer. My stoically Dutch husband may not be the most affectionate person, but when it counts (and his pocket book ALWAYS counts), he finds AWESOME ways to show me just how much he cares. I am blessed, and I choose to meditate on that and have a very thankful Hump Day.

What are you thankful for? What gives you hope and inspiration? What nice thing has someone done for you recently?