I read this to Ava (now nine and a half, going on seventeen) and she said, "Mom, you would never do that now." And I knew she was right! I needed to figure out why. It is not as simple as the fact that she is growing up and I expect more from her, it's actually not about her at all. It's about getting so bogged down in the minutiae of everyday life that you cease to find joy, or even a mild chuckle, in the situations and predicaments life hands us so regularly.
Now, whenever a day is going particularly awry, I use my Scarlett O'Hara mantra, "Tomorrow is another day". Life has an amazing capacity for offering us "do overs". We can go to sleep, get a good night's rest, wake up and vow to do better the next day, even if just a little bit. This is a little bit of a cop out, but it has worked for me in the past(!)
However, imagine if rather than waiting for the next morning to start fresh, we accept life's little challenges as they arrive on our laps and greet them with a fresh perspective. What if we laughed when the cat tipped over the milk, we sang that song playing on the radio instead of cursing at the slow car in front of us, or we apologized for snapping at our kids or our spouse for something of relatively little importance.
I have just read an amazing book that chronicles the ability that we all have within us to begin to greet life's challenges with a positive attitude and increase our joy, hopefulness and gratitude exponentially in a way that will truly change our lives. It calls to mind the concept of "mindfulness" in Buddhist traditions that has been associated with alleviating anxiety, depression and a host of physical ailments. (No, I do not get a commission!) Check out the link below and read a few pages from this true pioneer in the field of psychology, for free!