In my case…

Bitter sweet is an over used phrase that describes a moment a feeling sad and happy at the same time. This is double the work for the over thinker. I become living proof every time a teardrop follows dead flowers into the garbage can. And every time the predictable post vacation sadness kicks in.

I thought that clarity would stop the head spins. But this empty room’s memories of little heads in my lap are not fun to be with. In a minute though, when I stretch my legs and dominate the remote, the solitude won’t feel so bad.  If walls could talk, I would be in the middle of a never ending dispute. One like peace while the other misses chaos. One likes cleanliness while the other misses fingerprints.

Like anything that is not good for you, unwanted thoughts are a bad habit. You know you shouldn’t do it, but you still do. Time has made it a part of you. And while you know you have a choice to stop, a twisted comfort doesn’t let you.

If you are afraid of change, you are not alone. Choices become repetitive when we realize that we like how they make us feel. In my case that’s vanilla over chocolate…drama over comedy…sweatpants over skirts. In my case it’s pinching a piece of skin to stop tears with a dam called pain. It’s better than being falsely accused of being unstable or under the influence.

In my case it’s working every single day on creating new and better habits. It’s praying for karma over plotting revenge. It’s dismissing over dwelling. It’s appreciating more. I asked a question in my very first post and I ask it again. Will you go treasure hunting with me? You don’t need a shovel, just a mirror.

YOU are a treasure!

 

Crazy Talk

When or how did you last say or think of the word crazy? Did it describe a situation, a thought, a person? Was it a circumstance that threatened your comfort zone? Was it someone who, Heaven forbid, didn’t think or act the way you thought they should?

Is crazy a mental status as described by our dictionaries? Or, is it an insensitive reaction to contrast? Crazy according to Sarah is allowing differences to weaken relationships that we want and need. The selfish will not understand this. Allow me to share some real life examples:

Parking lots make me nervous, so, I almost always get front door service while my husband walks alone. I have turned many perfect moments with him into unprepared therapy sessions. And, the poor guy will probably never see all of his bucket list destinations because I am afraid of…well…just about everything.

Do my “issues” make me unlikable or give me character? Is this selfless man crazy for putting up with me or am I crazy for letting him? Is he crazy because he can ignore clutter or am I crazy because I can’t?

If we allow differences to limit our interactions, we accept a risk of loss; loss of more knowledge, loss of more companionship and so on. My daughter puts ketchup on her eggs. I find that completely disgusting, yet she will always be one of my favorite people to be around.

Ask “why” more often. You may find that adventure lies ahead. You may find a reason to feel sorry for that person who treated you poorly. You may find a reason to love yourself more. You should because…

YOU are a treasure!

Shine!

In honor of the long awaited “spring ahead,” here’s a re-post!

Treasures Around Us

This North Eastern girl recently paid tribute to the adorable John Denver while welcoming the long awaited daylight savings time. Did you know that “Sunshine On My Shoulders” was actually written on a rainy day? It’s true. Look it up!

What this tells me is that on a day typically associated with gloom, Denver chose to look on the bright side, literally. The result was a moment of happiness that he chose to create. And out of that moment came a song that a lot of people enjoyed. Speaking of “Singing In The Rain,” let’s give a shout out to Gene Kelly who did just that because it “made him happy again.”

A friend sent me a message this week that read “obstacles are an opportunity to shine.” This “shine” that Angie speaks of comes when you earn instead of take, when you overcome instead of accept.

Let’s first remember…

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Dear Sarah

A letter to myself as the Holiday season begins…

Dear Sarah,

When you spend so much time putting others first, it’s normal to feel exhausted and anxious this time of year. But, at the start of this journey, you made yourself a promise…a promise to create the happiness you deserve by making changes both big and small. Though it was not a perfect year, you made progress. May the following advice help bring internal peace and memories worth cherishing:

Don’t feel guilty that twinkling lights and sleigh bells aren’t enough. You are wired differently, but still a good person.

Leave the dust on the floor. You can create a beautiful environment in many other ways.

Serve the semi-burnt cookie. At least you tried.

Make a gift for someone and think about how much they mean to you the whole time.

Don’t make a wish list. It will distract you from what you already have, which is enough.

Put your change in the red bucket and be grateful you can afford to.

Be proud of what you celebrate and don’t be offended by differences.

Smile when it’s hard. There are many people spending this time alone.

Above all, never ever forget that YOU are a treasure.

With the most love I have ever had for you,

Sarah

The Night Shift

My friends, I need your help. It appears that Mr. Sandman is mad at me because I will no longer allow him to be an enabler. As I work on being an optimist, I am deciding to embrace each new day instead of wishing it was over. My pillow is a temporary comfort zone, not somewhere to bury my face.

I multi-task to the point of exhaustion, so the world at 3:00 am should be one I do not know. But, I know it too well. This world is quiet, it is lonely and it allows unnecessary worry to bleed through my walls.

Some say that when insomnia comes knocking, you should get up and make the most of your idle time. Unfortunately, for the distraction chaser, the dishes are already washed, the laundry is folded, the emails are answered. Most of you who can relate are probably anticipating plans that haven’t even happened yet. It is comforting to know that some of you also understand random and unexplained sadness.

Here is my commitment to you. I will count treasures instead of sheep, no matter how difficult that may be. In return, I ask you to do the same. Remember, the purpose of my words is to help us all make more time for happiness and appreciation, even if it happens to be in the middle of the night.

So, talk to me! Share with me the treasures you thought about to help escape from gloom. Share with me the positive thoughts that have helped you remember that….

YOU are a treasure!

In Memoriam

In reality, very few figures of the past actually buried their treasure. The tales of these notorious buccaneers evolved into a fantasy that there are random riches underground where “X” marks the spot. My friends, by now you should expect what is coming next. A treasure is not just a box of riches, not just a bag of loot. A treasure is anything that has value to someone. Sometimes a treasure is obvious and sometimes, like the myth, a treasure needs to be discovered beneath the dirt, the rubble, the unpleasant.

Devastation can show up unannounced and wash away satisfaction, progress and hope. But beneath the fallen branches, there will still be roots. Beneath the crumbled structures, there will still be foundations. Beneath the worst of the wreckage, there will still be treasures. Some may be as short as a two second smile. Some may be as small as a brief distraction. The light of hope that shines with each “little treasure” carries a power that is truly massive.

With the help of others, rebuilding is not impossible. The pieces of your future weigh less when others help carry them. Do not ignore your ability to help someone find their treasure when the “X” is nowhere in sight. Unselfish, genuine care in a time of need has the power to change a life. When one gives this, it is not work.

YOU are a treasure!

Happier, Part One

Last week, a friend and co worker shared a quote that stayed with me longer than others have. It actually shaped the days that followed. By the end of the week, it had become a moral:

“Those who drink the water must remember those who dug the well.”

Celebrating another birthday left me pleasantly over quenched. Please do not allow the upcoming re cap to lead to misjudgment. I am not a bragger. I am not a hypocrite. I am not always happy. Each word I write I choose to share, but is ultimately meant for me as I strive to be happier.

The kick off was a visit from mom with expected gifts in hand. I am well aware that sounded selfish. You see, being an only child of a hard working single mother made me a self proclaimed receiver. I became the master of the guilt trip, making her absences only forgivable by means of toys and ice cream. I demanded and she accommodated. She just wanted me to be happy and each time she delivered, I certainly was.

Adolescence and adulthood turned the tables. Before we knew it, I was the one with the busy life. Discovering the beauty of true and unconditional relationships makes me wish I could take back some thoughts and actions of the past. My open heart and mature mind came together and put an end to the verbal demands. But mom never stopped listening.

This year, beneath the pink curly ribbon was a cutting board. I unwrapped the paper to find support of my healthy lifestyle. Mom never stops listening. Happy is the moment you receive. Happier is the moment you appreciate and you can appreciate any time you choose to.

As a spoiled child, not appreciating left me with nothing but bald barbie dolls and stomach aches. Thanks to my new attitude, each time I chop a vegetable, I will think of my mom. That, my friends is the extra that we all can bring into our lives. It is being happier.

YOU are a treasure!

Will you go treasure hunting with me?

I hope as I make these first key strokes that this is the start of something special. This is the moment that I am supposed to say something magical to capture and keep your attention. This is the moment that I am expected to present something powerful, something meaningful that will keep and grow my audience. Here it is: Be a Treasure. Make a Treasure. Find a Treasure.

My goal is to remind us of that, even on the days we feel the aforementioned is an impossible task. This is not because I claim to be an expert in happiness. I simply believe the world needs more of it. Take note that I am not saying kindness here. Kindness, to me, is more of an act than a feeling.  It involves effort that manifests from natural and internal joy. Have you ever pictured an angry person starting a random act or pay it forward chain?

So, why now this need to force myself to appreciate the small things? First, a very brief history lesson. “Treasures” was born as a simple poem when my children looked like they do on the cover. With nothing but ink and loose leaf, we created our own images of what a treasure was to us, from a shiny ring to a dirty blanket. As someone who has suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, the moments with my children and our “treasures” were a much needed escape to the happiness I deserved. But quickly and without notice, the pressure of being the perfect wife, mother and employee re directed my focus. I began to overlook and take for granted when I should have been enjoying and appreciating. I will share in future posts details of the decision and journey that brought me to where I am today (still far from perfect.)  A step in that journey reminded me that it is okay to tell life’s pressures that they come second sometimes. I am not at all implying that we quit our jobs and re-enact Thelma and Louise. I am saying that your world will not end if you set aside some time to recognize things that you enjoy. When I began to do this, my life changed, but I am still far from perfect.

The resurrection of “Treasures” was supposed to be nothing more than a check off the bucket list. But, oh, how the responses made my thoughts evolve. I unexpectedly found myself reminding others that there are always treasures around us, we just have to prioritize, focus and find them. The message in my book does not need to fade each time the front and back covers meet.

Now, back to the question of why now this need to go public with my new desire to appreciate the small things? Because thoughts become habits. And I had a habit of being sad and fearful for way too long.  I believe that with your help, I can train my mind and heart to take just a piece of each day to be grateful for things that others may consider small. Each time I am able to do this, I am replacing anxiety and depression with happiness. Just five more minutes of happiness each day, to me, is a treasure.

On that note, I ask you, my friends to hold me accountable. Inspire me by sharing the little things you would have never realized you were thankful for before reading my words. Show me that car with the rust holes and those muddy paw prints on your floor.

What if each day one more person felt appreciation for just one more minute of each day. Eventually, could there be a happier world? Perhaps. If you want it, join me. I ask you…Will you go treasure hunting with me?