Sunday, July 29, 2012

So Cherish Your Gumballs

"If you can't find joy in the little things along the way, whats the point of getting to the end? If the end goal is made up of joy in lots of little things, what's the point of getting there?"

I'd wager that most of us have heard the advice to "find joy in the little things". Meaning instead of waiting for the big Mile-Markers of Happiness to reach you, take pleasure in what you have from moment to moment. Ah, what wisdom. And it's almost too sagely when you're in the middle of lots of plain-old-crummy-things that sometimes pop up in life, and what you'd rather do is simply eliminate the "little things". Far more satisfying than struggling to smile when trips on the sidewalk, stains on clothes, traffic tickets, indigestion, and unhappy conversations are on the loose. But the woman who spoke the above words knew her stuff--because it's entirely true (of course).

This is how it finally made sense in this blogger's mind: gumballs. Picture this scenario--you are working and waiting your whole life for this huge jar of colorful gumballs. That's the goal, and you will have everlasting (gobstopper?) happiness if you live a good life and earn your eternity's worth of gumballs. Pink, green, tangerine, yellow, blue, grey, violet, cherry red, speckled white, turquoise, lime... so bright and colorful and happy! And all you were given at the start of your life is a giant, empty glass jar. Each time you laugh, each time you snicker at a birthday card, any time you smile, any peace you suddenly feel, every moment of joyful relief, whenever you find something beautiful or uplifting, you get a gumball. Regardless of why you ended up smiling or feeling good, a little pink or yellow or aqua or purple gets added to your once-empty jar. And at the end of your life, you excitedly remember that it's time! Your life's aim and effort is about to materialize in perfect bliss! But then you look at your brimming jar and realize... you already have your jar of gumballs. That huge happiness is right there, waiting for you... and it's not a new bunch of gumballs. You are familiar with every single one, and how it got into that jar. Because your happiness at the end is literally made of the happiness you enjoyed along the way. . . . .

The idea that underscores it all is up at the top. Take pleasure in what you have from moment to moment. Don't berate yourself, don't get down if you forget. Remember that there is always, always, always something you are grateful for; that Gumballs are made of Gratitude; and that you can add to your jar no matter what the circumstances in life.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Endings: The Only Option

"It will all be ok in the end. If it's not ok, it's not the end."

This is such a happy! Is there anything more to say? If we're doing good and trying hard, it will all be great and grand and gloriously ok. And if you can get that idea in hand, then the second half will send you on your way with a smile. Things aren't feeling ok? Then it's not the end. Because you will get nothing less than a Happy Ending when you keep holding on and doing what you can. So smile! That's essentially like someone telling us that if you can just make it to the end of the race (not win, just get there), you WILL get an extra large ice cream cone. (If you're lactose intolerant and reading this, you can have a stack of homemade cookies.) That's so happy--it's a guarantee! Even people who don't like running can get ice cream if they walk, skip, army-crawl, or cartwheel their way to the finish line.

Bottom line: you will get your ice cream cone. Things will be ok. And if you feel like they aren't, and you've reached a dead end with no ice cream to speak of, then your race isn't over. So keep going. :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Believe HARD

Odd name for a title, I realize. Here's what it means....

There are lots of words for "believing", right? Lots of inspirational thoughts and quotes and pretty wall hangings that encourage us to "Believe" and Hope, and have Faith, and Endure. (Don't get me wrong, I love those inspirational words and wall hangings. I will one day buy them.) But "faith" is one of those abstract ideas that was always hard to wrap my head around (like economics), and practice is probably the only way to do so. And recent practicing led to this aha--that there is a distinct difference between "believing" and "believing hard". You can put lots of little steps into it, too, like "wanting to believe" and "hoping it will work out" or even "wishing with your whole self". And people believe for looong periods of time. We trust and hope and try to do the follow-your-heart and wait-patiently; and those enduring hearts will keep it up for centuries, rain or shine. But there is a different feeling when you believe hard. Believing hard is a solid thing. Something about it is empowering, and you don't know any more or less than you do when you are believing. It's not even necessarily doing something more because sometimes there's simply nothing else you can physically do! When you believe hard, you have a fire. You still know it's a risk, you still know that you don't know, and you still acknowledge that things aren't perfect yet. But, oh sonny, they will be. And suddenly there is no risk, because you aren't paying any attention to fear or doubt, and you are going to keep believing and move heaven and earth to do so; because you are believing hard. Nothing can touch that. It's when you can say, "I know everything is going to be good," and you feel something more than hope. You may not know what, or why, and certainly not how, but there's so much more to this than what you can see... and that's what you do know.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's a Start

There are plenty of blogs. This could be just another one. And that was really the fear from the beginning: I didn't want to be "just another" blogger. But y'know something? That's not the point behind all of these future posts--to be different. This is the motivation: to lift and lighten.

The "aha"s that follow are for you. Some are my own quotes and some are things I've heard and jotted down from others. They've already done me good, and I think they have more to offer, so please peruse and partake. In the face of bad hair, bad shoes, bad drivers, bad dogs, bad technological devices, bad language, bad apples, bad music, bad luck, and bad days, every single person needs a way to step back and find the good. It can even become a blessed habit each time things go wrong. So if Just Another Blog can help you step back after Just Another Negative Thing, that's good enough for me.

"It's a Start". That's the upward lift this evening--it's a beginning. After weeks of attempting to create the perfect blog in my brain, I decided I needed to just start. And here I am. And here you are. And how many times have humans run into this problem of fearing to begin? Bottom line: we don't have to fear, and the only way to hurdle that hump is to just try. Something. Anything. It may not be pretty, it probably won't be perfect, and we may find some immediate setbacks. But goodness me... isn't that better than endless anxiety and procrastination? And the best part--once you try, you've begun. It's not perfect; "It's a start."