“We can go through our whole lives worrying about our future happiness, and totally miss where true peace lives- right here, right now.”
I know I have written a lot about being grateful lately but it is only because I am so grateful for all I have been given. It is only lately that I have understood that the events that have triggered my gratefulness these days have always been there but were mostly overlooked. I am pleased that I have finally found out how much better life is when we pay attention to what it has to offer. Taking time to examine the moment and where appropriate appreciate it can make a world of difference in our day-to-day lives. I think the thing I like most about paying attention is that it allows me to say thank you, thank you to friends, thank you to servers, thank you to contacts and best of all thank you to strangers. When I thank those who seldom get thanked their pleased response further brightens my day.
I recently found this article on the web that I like, I hope you will also. I don’t know who wrote it, if I did I would tell her thank you.
The first thing I do each morning is take a deep breath and thank God for the start of a brand new day. As a nurse, I’ve seen people with lung diseases and terminal diseases struggle for each breath and this taught me to fully appreciate the fact that the ability to simply breathe is a blessing which most take for granted.
Florence Nightingale said, “Live your life while you have it. Life is a splendid gift.” Nurses are more aware than most of the fragility and preciousness of this thing we call the life force. One moment we’re here, and in the next breath we could be gone. Various faiths explain what happens after death in different ways and those who have only their own personal beliefs may feel all existence ends at the time of death. Such things may be up for debate and no one knows for sure what happens when we die, but we all know that our time on earth is limited. The wise among us, celebrate life as a splendid gift to be savored, not wasted.
Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” I am grateful that I have the ability to plant seeds of joy wherever I go and make a conscious effort to do so whenever possible. Spreading smiles, love, kind words, kind thoughts and actions costs nothing and brings great joy into my own life and I’ve found that it’s a natural antidote to depression. When I focus on helping others I am less focused on my own problems or worries.
In this regard, we can learn from the bees whose work ensures the beauty in our world by pollenating flowers:
“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.”
Saint John Chrysotom.
Becky was on her deathbed, with her husband Jake at her side. He held her cold hand and tears silently streamed down his face. Her pale lips moved.
“Jake,” she said.
“Hush,” he quickly interrupted, “don’t talk.” But she insisted.
“Jake,” she said in her tired voice. “I have to talk. I must confess.”
“There is nothing to confess,” said the weeping Jake. “It’s all right. Everything’s all right.”
“No, no. I must die in peace. I must confess, Jake, that I have been unfaithful to you.”
Jake stroked her hand. “Now, Becky, don’t be concerned. I know all about it”, he sobbed. “Why else would I poison you?”
A wise schoolteacher sends this note to all parents on the first day of school: “If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I’ll promise not to believe everything he says happens at home.
Martha Stewart did not dine with us this Thanksgiving. Since Ms. Stewart did not come, we made a few small changes:
Our sidewalk was not lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.
The dining table was not covered with expensive linens, fancy china or crystal goblets. We used dishes that match and everyone got a fork. Since it was Thanksgiving, we did not use the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins from last Christmas.
Our centerpiece was not the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that I promised. Instead we displayed a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper. The artist assured me it was a turkey.
We dined fashionably late. The children will entertained you while everyone waited. They shared every choice comment I made regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims and the turkey hotline. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00 AM upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds. As accompaniment to the children’s recital, I played a recording of tribal drumming. If the children mentioned that I don’t own a recording of tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They are lying.
We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional method. We’ve also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounded, everyone gathered around the table and sat where they liked. In the spirit of harmony, we did ask the children to sit at a separate table. In a separate room. Next door.
Now I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This did not happen at our dinner. For safety reasons, the turkey was carved in a private ceremony. I stress “private” meaning: No one, under any circumstances was allowed to enter the kitchen and laugh at me. I used an electric knife. The turkey was unarmed. It stands to reason that I would eventually win. When I did, we ate.
Instead of offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we served a traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and small fingerprints.
Martha Stewart did not dine with us this Thanksgiving. She probably won’t come next year either.
I am thankful.
“What are the three words guaranteed to humiliate men everywhere? “‘Hold my purse.'”
A young woman meets her old, retired, parish priest and when he asks her how she is, she bursts out crying. “What’s the matter child?” he asks.
“Oh, Father,” she says, “it’s my boyfriend. He won’t marry me because I’m Roman Catholic.”
“There, there child. Here’s what you do. Explain to him the faith of the Church, the traditions, the ceremonies and the rites. That’ll bring him around.”
Tearfully, the young woman says she’ll try it. About a year later, they meet again, and again she bursts into tears when he asks how she is doing.
“Is it your boyfriend, child?” he asks. “Yes, Father.”
“Did you explain about the Church as I suggested?”
“Yes, Father,” she says, “but that was the problem. He was so taken by it that he’s now studying to be a priest.”
“The foolish seek happiness in the distance; the wise grow it under their feet.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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