Happiness Blooms From Within

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Last night, before the sun went down, I watched as six robins flew freely about, singing and flocking their feathers in stray water puddles. I always love to experience the sight of robins after winter. There’s something magical about a change of the season. Spring is nearly here, and soon a mamma robin will be nesting right under my balcony from the same nest left year after year.

Today is my day off, and as I wait to see those robins again, I sip my coffee slower, not gulping it down to the last drop and jumping for the second cup. It wasn’t too long ago that I had stopped drinking coffee all together (a whole twelve days). Now I limit myself two to four ounces daily. It’s just enough to satisfy my craving, but not so much as to cause acid reflux or anxiety. It kinda sucks to get older and have to deal with acid reflux. After the new year something clicked in me and I decided to start making changes. A ton of changes. Call it my new years resolutions times two!

For awhile now I’ve been a mostly all organic grocery consumer, and very particular about what goes in my household as far as toxins go. But I guess this new year has challenged me more so. It became so that I was changing everything. I mean EVERYTHING! I got rid of our microwave and bought a new toaster oven. It’s actually amazing! I used my 40% off at Kohls to purchase a KitchenAid brand. I got rid of the last of our aluminum pots and pans and bought a really nice pair of All-Clad D5 Set of 2 French Skillets 9 Inch & 11 Inch which I bought at Williams-Sonoma, but amazon has them on sale often as well. Now my kitchen is stocked with Le Creuset and All-Clad cookware, and I completely love it! If you want to know more about this cookware checkout “A lesson on cookware” to see why I love these brands.

My changes didn’t stop there…

After my mom went through breast cancer treatment, I learned about wire-free bras so of course I changed out all my bras, too. Even all my candles are now only beeswax, though I’m craving to get some really good smelling soy candles. I found myself doing so much research about what’s healthy and what’s not. It was almost overwhelming. Henry said it’s just a phase I was going through after seeing my mom go through what she had and I believe that. It was hard, and maybe this is a way I cope. But, of course, my changes didn’t stop there…

I decided to make a dreadful doctor appointment to remove a mole on my back. No one wants to do this, ever. But it was here when I realized something. Right here, when I was cooking my oatmeal on the stove instead of the microwave, having Henry change my bandage on my back from where the mole was, and trying hard to overcome the sluggish feeling I was having after quitting coffee. I had realized that it was too much and I was frustrated because I couldn’t recognize my lifestyle anymore. I was trying hard, yet again, to be and do everything perfect. And that is a scary thing.

A huge part of me is glad that I made those changes though, because I learned a lot. I learned that I can overcome it. I learned that I can set limits on my coffee consumption. I learned that it’s okay to not be perfect. I learned that it’s a good thing to do things we are afraid to do, like make those doctor appointments and just go through with it. Because now I can be excited for our vacation to Florida and Door County to wear any bikini I want and not have to hide the mole on my back. Now, I can cook real food and reheat it without a microwave.

My decision to embrace these changes led me to a little spring inspiration. I took a shopping trip to the Jo-Ann store and picked up a copy of The Magnolia Journal (the only magazine where I’ve actually read all of it). I went with Henry’s mom and found a magnificent spider plant. My favorite houseplant for many reasons-one being a great air purifier. But while I was shopping I found a beautiful quote, “Happiness blooms from within.” Yes, it sure does. Happiness can be found by changing things in life, sure. But, don’t change too much, because we are who we are. Try changing things that would make your life better. And just remember, not all change is bad. Sometimes that change can bring new happiness into your life.

 

 

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Happiness Is Free

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I think at some point, in all of our lives, we start asking the question why. Why am I working at this job? Why am I here? And why can’t I? Just over a month ago I quit my first job after college. There are some things that simple won’t keep me at a workplace, and this was one of those things.

I’d wanted to quite the entire year I was there. Not because of the job itself, but rather because of two individuals. (Props to you two that got promoted on lies and scandal). I however, have moved on and along with moving on, I’ve learned a little bit more about myself, and I am proud.

It takes a strong individual to constantly try to be perfect in the eyes of others. What I’ve learned is this. It takes an even stronger individual to accept imperfection if it means doing the right thing. This was the case with my job. But lets forget about that now.

A month of summer has had a rejuvenating spell on me. Everyone has to work to make money. Money buys things, and therefore makes us happy. Can we be happy without money, or less than what we’re used to? Or for that matter, can we be happy with less-than-perfect lives?

Can money really buy happiness or is it free?

Some of the happiest people I know don’t have a lot of money. Others that do, seem so uptight and worried all the time about having enough. Where does the line have to be drawn?

When a hummingbird migrates North after spring when all the flowers are in bloom, do you think they worry about having enough money to travel with? Or do they fly carelessly, needing only the earth to survive? What makes us anymore special than that of animals or birds? A brain?

Why are so many things just so not important? If life is short, than why not live it happily? Why not do what you love and in the process make money? If living happily can mean imperfection, too, then sign me up because I’ve heard from a little birdie that happiness is free.

 

The night before life goes on…

There are ups, there are downs…but life continues like a roller coaster, a thrill, a scare, a great adventure. The more we ride along, the more we learn to enjoy, let loose and raise our hands in the air without a care. Nothing will ever go as we expected. Sometimes, just sometimes, it might go a little better. And those sometimes are as sweet as biting into a fresh summer strawberry.

Life. Breathe in, breathe out. Smile and go to work. Get home and enjoy the company of loved ones. Life is beautiful, life is sweet. Life is continuous…until it isn’t. But until that end, life goes on. We have to grab hold of our lives and love all the flaws that come with it.

This is how define life.

Some may say that I see life through rose colored glasses, that I’m a hopeless romantic and find beauty and meaning in everything.  And I do. I do believe that everything happens for a reason. When one thing knocks me down, I don’t cry about it. Instead, I see it as a sign that something better will come along. And usually it does.

Recently, I’ve graduated from college. I now hold a Bachelors of Science degree. Do I feel any smarter than a week ago? Probably. I had along side me, my boyfriend of now almost five years. When we moved in together to share an apartment after three years of dating, I thought that life didn’t get better than that. I had the love of my life, a bright future ahead of me, and my own space. But now that graduation is over, I’ve written a book, and I’m weeks away from moving into a bigger loft apartment with my love, I know that life just keeps getting better if you let it.

Boxes upon boxes lay sprawled out in my small downtown apartment, blocks away from the University. It’s the night before life goes on. Remember how I said life continues and how life has ups and downs? Well, tomorrow my boyfriend and I go back to our hometown and start work. We both must wait two weeks before our new apartment is ready for us. This is the point in time where I’m down near the bottom of that roller coaster, waiting and waiting to see the top. I want to be at the top and see that sweet summer horizon.

Until then, for two weeks, I stay with my Dad. Ironically, my second book is all about the summer my main character, Emma, spends with her Dad. Coincidence? Maybe. Life is full of surprises. And..there’s so much to be grateful for. The night before life goes on, I ponder on this poem I wrote years ago and found just today while rummaging through my old boxes…ironically it’s titled “Life.”

Someday. This day. Our day.

Life

Someday my heart won’t be beating anymore.

Someday I won’t have the courage to scream.

Someday I will grow old, as all of these people do.

Someday my life will be gone.

Someday we can all look on.

It is some day that makes us grateful for this day.

This day we shall never look back and regret.

This day we should carry on.

This day we should follow our hearts.

This day we should follow and lead and grow.

This day is our day.

Our day is our life.

Here, I stand. I’ve reached the break in the woods and see the other forests, the other challenges I can journey to and try. Life is continuous. Life must be carried on. What I’ve learned thus far is that life is the following, leading, and the growth in all of us. Whether we are following our loved ones, or just following our hearts. We all have a steady beating we call life. It’s the beating in our hearts. The night before life goes on, I remember this. I remember those four years of college, and all the wonderful memories. I carry on, following, leading, and most importantly, growing, because life is continuous. Life is a roller coaster, and I’m enjoying the ride.