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Friday, August 9, 2013

What I'm Learning About Cheerfulness

I believe I wrote in my gratitude post this morning that I've been struggling lately. But seriously, what would life be without struggles, right? Anyway, I took a different stance this morning. I got up and felt the same as I have for days. I decided to pray about the specific things that are concerning me--yet again. There have been no answers lately, but when I got up off my knees, I decided that maybe I needed to keep better track, so this post is a compilation of today's thoughts and lessons. These are the impressions that popped into my mind and heart as I went about today's work.

Looking back now, I'm surprised at just how many answers there were.

I kept my laptop on the counter in the kitchen as I did the dishes and made pancakes for breakfast. As I did something that made me happier, I jotted it down quickly and then got back to work.

The things listed here are what occurred prior to 2:00 this afternoon. After that time, I decided to run the kids to the park and let them run through the fountain. I guess we could add run around and do fun stuff  to the list, but life got to bustling after that, so here's my list of cheerfulness:

A little lesson for myself.....

  • Music matters. Something peppy--sing along and sing loud. Dancing's even better.
  • image: vinylartsa.com
  • I decide the weather. It doesn't matter what my situation, but in my home, it is of particular importance. You know the old saying, "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Well, that's true. The converse is also true. If momma's happy, everyone's happy.

image: wobm.com
“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate.It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming” (Haim G. Ginott).

  • Appearance matters. Wear something that makes you look good. Today, I wore a blouse and my happy green sweater with the white polka dots. I put my hair up and now I'm in search of some happy earrings.
  • Have a routine.
  • Pray--on your knees out loud.
  • Pray more--in your heart ALL the time. Any time you speak with someone, pray in your heart right before.
  • Don't get sucked in. Stick with your routine. Don't get caught up on the small stuff--like finding those happy earrings. If you can't find them, put on a glittery necklace or bracelet and call it all good. Now, on the other hand, if a child wakes up or one leaves the house, leave what you're doing to be there to greet or send him/her off.
  • Tell yourself "It's good."
  • Keep counting your blessings. When you see something good, cling to it.
  • No excuses. Recognize those excuses and rationalizations for what they are.
  • Insist that the kids help out. If they've left a mess and you know who left the mess, make sure they clean it up.
  • Don't get overwhelmed. Use a timer.
  • Don't fall into the habit of yelling across the house for any reason (unless the house is on fire, of course).
  • Don't EVER let them see you sweat. NEVER raise your voice. Keep calm and give logical choices.
  • Have a list. Prioritize. First things first.
  • Know when too much is too much. Don't be afraid to ask for help or delegate.
  • Let them handle their own problems, but again, pray.
  • Low tones.
  • Enlist the energy drain mentality.
  • NEVER let a tender mercy pass you by--like those happy earrings that just showed up, literally,
    See 'em? Thanks, Gayla!
    on my doorstep. Recognize every little blessing for what it is and give thanks for it.
  • Clean as you go. If you make the mess, clean up the mess, no matter how small.
  • Surround yourself with happy people and happy things. Don't seek out icky things--I find myself looking at pictures of Ariel Castro's house. STOP!
  • Don't return to your bedroom during the day--except to use the bathroom because who wants to use a bathroom where the kids have been? Wow, am I snobbish or what?
  • Be nice to yourself. Give yourself a break every once in awhile. But remember, breaks are like dessert, not the main course.
  • Be in control--stop something you like doing just to prove to yourself that you can--control the situation.
  • Feed your spirit.
  • Sing through the jobs you hate--sing even when, and especially when, you don't feel like it.
  • Listen to lots of Taylor Swift and as you do so, be SO grateful that the dating days are long gone and that you got the guy you did. Phew!
  • Wear an apron to cover those cute clothes--you don't want to have to change.
  • Look at everyone who talks to you. Restate what they say to let them know that you're really listening and for clarification.
  • Lower your voice. Do the opposite of what your urge is.
  • Enforce respect--have little people clean up after themselves, help them/remind them to look into your face when they talk to you.

Inspirational messages of the day:
  • "Courage is fear that prayed." --Thanks, Julia!
    image: tumblr.com
  • "This is a time of faith, not fear" (Ensign magazine)
  • "Be not afraid, only believe" (Mark 5:36)
  • "Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness" (Boyd K. Packer)
  • "Look up" (Thomas S. Monson)
  • "God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face" (Jeffrey R. Holland)
  • "Rapids are a part of our journey." They're the best part of the trip and add a sense of
    image: movingforward.net
    accomplishment and exhilaration.
  • "Answers to prayer and the solutions to our problems generally come as we begin to act, not while we are on our knees praying."
  • "There is nothing in this world that can defeat us."

image: fanpop.com

In short, this list is a lesson to me that answers come continually in many ways. If I seek for them, they will be found. And if, next time, I'm not looking in the right places, I can always come back here.

1 comment:

Julia Shinkle said...

Thank you for writing this. Thanks for the shot out too. This post really spoke to my heart. I appreciate you writing it down. I do set the mood and tone. Have a good day friend!

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