Today when I arrived home from my day-to-day, I found myself smiling uncontrollably. Not just a sly little grin, either. I was beaming brightly like a first-grader on picture day! There was nothing exceptional about my day at all. I didn't get any roses from anyone "Just to Say I Love You" nor did I get a special call from a long lost friend. My place wasn't squeaky clean when I got here either (usually the sight of the kids' toys make me cringe). But nonetheless, I was undeniably happy.
You see, from time to time I have a tendency to focus on the stressful aspects of life: deadlines, unmet requirements, mile-long to-do lists, you get the idea, right? Well today, I decided to focus on the positive things. Training required for my social work program requires that one learns to face situations from a solution-focused/strengths-based perspective. Rather than identifying a problem and mulling over it, one should use his or her obstacles to draw up possible solutions. And instead of thinking about all of the things going wrong or the things one is without, he or she should identify all of the strengths and positive energies circulating in his or her direction. I rattle on and on about all of this to say that I was genuinely happy. I got out of the car and smelled the rich floral scents on the way in. My jacket enveloped me from the cool, crisp weather outside. I was able to drink in the beautiful horizon and the smile of my wonderful children when I crossed the threshold with perfect eyesight. I, as well as my family, are in great health and we are well nourished. I lived to see another day. God gave me another day to sort through dreams and aspirations of my choice. Realizing these "little things" that I often forget brought joy to my heart.
As trite as it may sound to some, when we look at all of the highlights of our lives, we have no room to mull over the dark days. So I invite you all to let the little things in life bring you happiness. Take time to stop and smell the roses. Enjoy a refreshing cup of pomegranate tea as I am doing while I type. I encourage you to take part in any small gesture that makes your soul smile. Just thinking about the small blessings you have received in your life should bring you happiness. And if not, know that being able to read these words is a great blessing within itself. I wish that my dear father would have been able to read some of my words before he passed away, but he began to lose his sight as his health failed. So just remember, blessings are all around you. Just take the time to let the "little things" make you smile.
from the archives: november 2010