Happy New Year

in Featured Events

I have been reading (and re-reading and re-reading) Anna Quindlen’s “A Short Guide to A Happy Life”, and trying to take her advice as best I can. It is an easy read – fifteen minutes cover to cover, but an important reminder to slow down and think about life and live it in the moment. Below are excerpts from some of my favorite bits…I hope I haven’t butchered it too much in taking just pieces, but I can’t copy the whole book for you, so go buy it. It’s wonderful…

“It’s ironic that we forget so often how wonderful life really is. We have more time than ever before to remember it. The men and women of generations past had to work long, long hours to support lots and lots of children in tiny, tiny houses…
There are new generations of immigrants now, who work just as hard, but those of us who are second and third and fourth generation are surrounded by nice cars, family rooms, patios, pools – the things our grandparents thought only rich people had. Yet somehow, instead of rejoicing, we’ve found the glass half empty – our jobs take too much out of us and don’t pay enough, we’re expected to pick the kids up at preschool and run the microwave at home.
C’mon let’s be honest, we have an embarrassment of riches. Life is good.
…Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live…”

Maybe this year as you make your New Year’s resolutions, consider how you can REALLY LIVE. I don’t mean the five pounds you’d like to lose or the pay raise at work – I mean the desire to make the very best of the choices you have made and the life you are leading. Perhaps it is one small thing a week that makes you happier or more fulfilled. Find a new passion. Take ten minutes a day to do something of interest, read a book, or take a walk. Be kind to your spouse, or make your child smile in a new way. Chose to live your day rather than just get through it. Be yourself, and like it. Take time to see a friend who makes you feel good about you, hold the door open for a stranger, pay a favor forward, surprise your loved ones with a hug or a thank you for no reason. Make the world a better place with your smile and learn to just BE in it.

Impossible? Too big to bother? I don’t think so. Sometimes all it takes is a promise to yourself to THINK about life and how you are living it to make the small changes that matter. Promise yourself one less complaint and one more happy moment a day, one less sarcastic snip and one more positive thought. Maybe not every day or every second of the day, but maybe, just maybe for five minutes a day you can look around and really enjoy it. It is your life and the shame of wasting it is so real. We all have troubles, and life can be hard in so many ways, but sometimes if you can put that aside while taking a peek at what really matters, you’ll find some amazing surprises waiting for you.

We wish you all the very best in the New Year – may happiness, ease, and contentment find you and bring you new adventures, wisdom, and smiles. Lots and lots of smiles.

All the best for a wonderful 2012.

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