30 Reasons To Smile Again

30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude

 Today I REALLY need a boost:

  • My job search in Florida is taking far longer than expected; therefore, my confidence has taken a hit. 
  • I’m back in Pennsylvania for a visit and our family plans for Labor Day have fallen through, due to illness.
  • My 85 year-old mother’s health is declining. 
  • I’m missing my dad, who passed away 17 months ago.
  • Other people in my inner circle are dealing with work & health issues.
  • I’m seriously questioning whether moving to Florida was the right decision.

We all have our issues and problems. And it’s so easy to get sucked into the black hole of negativity. Seriously, we all know what it feels like to wanna crawl back into bed and pull the blanket over our heads! That’s what I’m tempted to do right now…

That’s what depression does for us; it saps our strength and energy. It makes all the disappointments seem so much larger and the fears insurmountable. It robs us of the capacity to feel good. 

I do believe that mindfulness is the key to fighting the effects of these killjoy emotions. Simple awareness can be the springboard for the change from a negative to positive attitude.

So, let me do a REALITY check here:

  • It’s a beautiful day; the skies are blue and the sun is shining. It’s a comfortable 79 degrees with no humidity. Perfect for…well, just about anything! 
  • I’m healthy 
  • Job searches vary depending on industry & circumstances – I’m limiting the geographic area; I’ve been somewhat selective of what I’m applying to; I have no network in Florida (no wonder it’s taking longer than I expected!)
  • The weather is predicted to be beautiful for the remainder of the weekend – I’m free to make other plans to enjoy the day tomorrow.
  • My mom is 85 – declining health is a part of growing old; I’ve been blessed to have BOTH my parents into their eighties (some people lose their parents as children & young adults.)
  • I can’t control or change other people’s issues, so I have to step back and do the only thing I can, and that’s to be supportive.
  • Moving to Florida doesn’t have to be a permanent decision. If I decide later that I want or need to move back to PA, I can! I have to stop thinking that every decision I make is final. 

Whew…I’m starting to FEEL BETTER already!

When negativity hits, it’s good to use rational thinking instead of catastrophizing!

Catastrophizing is an irrational thought a lot of us have in believing that something is far worse than it actually is. 

Okay, so WHAT NEXT?

  • I’m meeting a friend from high school later. We’re going to a local “watering hole” to sit on the patio and enjoy appetizers and drinks (and I’m pretty sure lots of laughter!)
  • Right now, I’m going to get the endorphins flowing with a walk in our beautiful local park.
  • I’m also going to start that Gratitude Journal that I’ve planned for so long. The 30 prompts above, courtesy of Pinterest, can get me started!

They are great reminders of the countless things we have to be grateful for. Too often when we think of blessings, we limit ourselves to the big stuff:  homes, cars, jobs, money, etc. However, if we really break it down, there’s so many more!

Gratitude Journals are a great way to remind ourselves everyday of all the reasons to smile. Some days I might write more and other days just a short description. Maybe I’ll get creative and sketch or use photos to illustrate that day’s blessings. The important thing is to keep it current. Maybe a journal is something that could help you, too.

I’m grateful for many things, including my readers. What are you grateful for today? Let me know with a one word response and help inspire others! 

Carpe diem!


Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge

Week 30:  After (the workout)


Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge




Photo credit: Romain Vignes/Unsplash

Many years ago, when I was in elementary school, a teacher asked the class to name something that we had “alot of” in our homes. It was during an open discussion where we would offer our thoughts about different topics. One classmate said furniture, another one mentioned pets, still another bragged toys. There were a variety of answers, the most amusing being ants. Apparently, a recently spilled pitcher of Kool-Aid in Michael’s kitchen had attracted an army of the tiny, six-legged critters.

My contribution came to mind immediately; books. All kinds of books. Hardcover and paperbacks, both fiction and nonfiction. Then there were dictionaries (English and German), a set of encyclopedias, and a thesaurus. Crossword puzzle books, the local newspaper, TV Guides, and an assortment of magazines that made cooking and home care less tedious for the lady of the house (it was the early ’70s.)

Readers Digest

And then there were the Reader’s Digests. In my mind they were in a class of their own. The convenient size fit comfortably in one hand and the table of contents on the cover was nothing short of genius! I could scan the articles on the way back from the mailbox without ever turning a page. Titles, such as “Are UFOs For Real” and “I Am Joe’s Tongue,” readily grabbed my attention. 

Then there were the regular features: All in a Day’s Work, Toward More Picturesque Speech, and my all time favorites Quotable Quotes and It Pays to Enrich your Word Power. I believe my enduring fondness for quotes began with the Reader’s Digest. I was also fascinated by the words that appeared on the Word Power page. I had never seen or heard most of them and wondered who on earth actually used them. They sounded foreign and were often lengthy (but not always.) The pronunciations were difficult. Of course, I was ten years old, so my repertoire was much smaller then. I recall thinking how intelligent I would sound if only I could memorize some of these impressive-sounding words. 

Eventually, we stopped getting Reader’s Digest and the TV Guide. Mom was cutting back on her subscriptions and there was a special channel that listed the programming lineups. I had also reached an age where it was more important to impress people with clothes and hairstyles versus my command of the English language. Fortunately, I never lost my love of reading and continued to do so, not to enhance my vocabulary, but to entertain myself.  

I was excited to discover a website that offers another way to build one’s vocabulary.  Wordsmith.org offers a variety of things, among them A.Word.A.Day. This is a link where you can sign up to receive a new word each day, complete with pronunciation, meaning, etymology, and usage. I don’t have to remember usernames or passwords and they come to me. How much easier can it get? The nerd in me even started a spreadsheet!

I’m happy to share this information with you in case you’d like to check it out. It’s a “plain jane” site in terms of visuals, but hey,…their business is words, not photos. You can read about how the site was started and other features they offer. I also added the link to the sidebar here on my blog, just under Recent Posts. 

I sometimes think we forget the power of words. In times of pain and sorrow they can bring a measure of comfort. In happy times we seek just the right combination to toast a celebration. They can be used as weapons to discredit and hurt others. Or, as a way to characterize the best qualities a person has to offer. 

Whatever the circumstances, we need to choose them wisely. It’s important to remember and respect the potential they carry to do good or to do harm. 

And in making our word choices we should also remember that “heterogeneity is the piquancy of life!”