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Friday, November 04, 2005

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Back in the sixties, when I was an angsty teenager, my mother used to tell me, "You're not happy unless you're worrying about something."

In my opinion there was plenty to worry about...war and political unrest, getting into college, finding my soulmate. I was worried, yes, but happy? No.

Once I figured out that worrying about the big problems in life wouldn't change things I began to alter my thinking. What if, I wondered, if allowed myself to take pleasure in the small things?

When was the last time you were awake to see the sun come up? Or took a minute to appreciate the colors of the sky at dusk?

Think of them as life savors.

Little girls giggling. Having your first real conversation with a three year-old. Watching the squirrel who raids the seeds in the bird feeder by hanging (and eating) upside down. An icy cold soft drink (make mine a Diet Coke) after working in the yard.

Gel pens.

The heart-shaped pink marble paper weight I won at my RWA chapter meeting. The velvety black nose of the gigantic Percheron I petted at the Dixie Stampede on Friday evening. Typing 'the end' on that long manuscript (that one was for my writing friends).

I could go on and on (it's been a really good week), but I'll bet you've already thought of a few simple pleasures of your own.

When was the last time your significant other took out the trash without being asked? And where did that pencil with the perfect point and the soft, efficient eraser come from?

Go ahead, you can do it. Relax and take a deep breath. Enjoy.

Now, don't you feel better?

Karen

4 Comments:

At 5:47 AM, Blogger MaryF said...

I love it, Karen! I'm like your mother wold say - I'm always worrying about SOMETHING! You're right to point us to the simple pleasures!

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Great reminder, Karen, especially as we get ready to go into the crazy, busy, stressful, holiday season. I've been enjoying being outside at a time of year when it's normally cold already. There's a slight breeze, the leaves are turning and flying, and it's warm. I love it.

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

I am a huge fan of smelling the roses and Hakuna Matata. Don't worry be happy is a good one, too! I often look out at the stars and enjoy sunrises and sunsets. And yes, Christmas can be stressful unless we refuse to let it be! Let's all shop for gifts this year and weave through the crowds with smiles on our faces. I plan to put lots of love into my x-mas decorations this year and enjoy every moment. Simple pleasures...the best!

 
At 10:09 PM, Blogger Jennie Lucas said...

Karen, we must be soul sisters because I love to worry, too. I'm constantly thinking, planning, scheming & fretting, mostly about things that never actually occur. Jennifer James says that worrying over things is like paying interest on a debt you might not even owe, but that never seems to stop me.

Your post reminds me of the John Lennon saying, "Life is what happens while you're making other plans." Taking time to enjoy the little pleasures, even while we dream about the big ones, is what separates wistful dreamers from dissatisfied whiners. It's the little, cumulative moments of childlike joy that sustain us.

 

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