You know, sometimes life’s lessons come in the strangest forms don’t they? Sometimes a silly song lyric, or a quote from something on TV is just what you need to get you through a particularly hard day. Sometimes just seeing a small child in the grocery store, with a big goofy grin and a free cookie from the bakery, is all I need to remind me of why life is so very, very good. It’s all I need to remind me of all the wonderful blessings I’ve had in my life and all the amazing times I’ve shared with people I love. It’s all I need to get me through whatever challenges today holds.
Of course in this day and age we have lots of chances to find wonderful things to make us smile if we know where to look! Who doesn’t feel better after spending time online chatting with an old friend, relaxing with a game of on online Scrabble or looking at silly pictures of babies, puppies and kittens? I mean really, who can stay in a bad mood after looking at pictures of cats in Halloween costumes or dogs in funny hats? In fact, a study out of Hiroshima University this week suggests that employees who do detailed work actually perform better after viewing cute puppy pictures (so there). In fact, I dare you to continue having a bad day after checking out cuteoverload.com.
This is consistent with my long held theory of “garbage in garbage out” when it comes to my own sanity. (I also held this belief while raising children). If I fill my mind with garbage well then I can’t expect to be my most wonderful self. In addition if I allow bad memories of the past, regrets and failures to fill my conscious than I can’t expect to have a cheerful productive day. If, instead, I choose to focus on positive things; good friends, fulfilling projects, pleasant music, uplifting movies and positive memories, I can guarantee my day and my outlook on life in general will be much better. I often can’t control the outside circumstances of my day but I can control what I choose to focus on! Rather than wallowing in the negative, I can choose the positive. As often quoted “fake it ‘til you make it” and eventually you will realize you are no longer faking it but that you actually do feel pretty good!
A young friend of mine who is going through a hard time posted a quote from the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” on her Facebook page this week. I had forgotten about this quote and was so pleased to read it again because it is so very true. I, who had tried to make her feel better, was instead uplifted by this strong, courageous, wise young woman who already knows exactly what I had been trying to tell her, that it is never too late to change your life.
“It’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be.
There’s no time limit.
Start whenever you want.
You can change or stay the same.
There are no rules to this thing.
We can make the best or the worst of it.
I hope you make the best of it.
I hope you see things that startle you.
I hope you feel things you never felt before.
I hope you meet people who have a different point of view.
I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start it all over again.”
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Screenplay by Eric Roth
While life, unfortunately, does not provide us the chance to go back in time and have a do-over, it does provide us the chance to learn and grow from those experiences. In fact, when we look back, it is the most painful experiences, the very ones we wish never happened, that we learn the most from. It is the most difficult, heart wrenching experiences that change who we are to our core and most often change us for the better if we allow it. What we do with those experiences is completely up to us. It is never too late to turn it around, to make better decisions and better choices. It is never too late to surround ourselves with positive people and positive things! It is never too late to learn again to see the joy that life has in store for us, if only we know where to look.
You get a new chance, every single day. What are you going to do with today? If today is the day you are going to make changes in your life, than I wish you the courage to do so.
But if you aren’t quite ready yet, at least try looking at those puppy pictures. You can’t help but smile!
“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”
George Eliot (pen name of Mary Ann Evans)