Well, another week over and here we are looking at Autumn again. Part of me feels sad around this time every year. I'm a Summer baby, and even though Autumn is a beautiful season, with the leaves changing colours and with the chill of Winter not having arrived yet, it means that Summer is behind us again.
Now, being a Scot, our perception of Summer isn't quite the same as everyone else's because the sun isn't so frequent in her visits north of the border as she is to our fellow UK countrymen :) So any sunshine we see in Scotland is a great cause for celebration :) This year though has felt like an especially miserable Summer, with a few sunny days thrown in.
So, for this weeks Smiles On Friday I thought I'd share how I (try to) make every day as near perfect as I can...
Count Your BlessingsMany years ago my beloved Gramma told me that every morning, before I even got out of bed, I should take a minute and count my blessings. She said if I had a roof over my head, a safe place to sleep and food in the kitchen, then I already have more than some are lucky enough to have and that I should take a minute just to say thank you, because surely I had an angel and was being watched over.
She was a wonderful lady my Gramma, and one of my biggest blessings was having her be a part of my life. I start every morning with a smile because I'm aware of how blessed we are. We don't have money but I do have Hubby & our dear furbaby Jade, I have people who mean the world to me (you know who you are dear ones) and we have our wee home. My safe place, that's stuffed to the chimney with love & an awful lot of hugs :)
Practice GratitudeIsn't this the same as counting your blessings? Well, no, not really. What I mean is to not just appreciate what you have, but to also find the best in every situation you're faced with. For example, tonight I work a late shift and I do it again tomorrow, it's tiring and sometimes difficult but I choose to be grateful that I have my job. There are many who don't have one and it is the only time I spend outside our home each week. I'm grateful that I have friends who are co-workers and I look forward to seeing them. Each shift is chock full of smiles and all I have to do to make that happen is to smile first :) A tiny wee shift in attitude is all it takes, I honestly love my wee job.
Life is full of situations we're not in control of, we'll interact with people who upset us or try to drain the joy out of our day, or maybe we're battling health conditions that make life itself very difficult but it's up to us how we deal with these people or situations.
I suppose I'm saying that the old adage of "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" makes perfect sense. You are in control of how you feel, of your mood, why not make it a happy one?
Be Careful Of What You TolerateFor many years, more than 20 years honeys, all through school and long after it ended, I had two best friends. I loved both of them dearly but they behaved (with the benefit of hindsight) dreadfully. They used to call me names and then laugh and pretend I was being too sensitive, or couldn't take a joke. When I got ill they created a particularly spiteful and nasty nick name for me, because I had to take meds for my arthritis and for a long time anti-depressants too.
I found myself getting extremely anxious before seeing either of them, and would be upset for days after one of our get togethers. One of these friends used to take things from our home, silly things, things that I'd have happily given her if she'd told me she wanted them, she knew this but seemed to take pleasure from popping things into her pocket. I didn't confront her because, well if she wanted the things that much, well as I said if she'd asked I would have given them to her anyway.
The other friend, well, she would call and tell me (never ask) that we were going somewhere and whatever it was I'd always end up being the one who paid. I never minded this either. I really did love her like a sister and I just never raised it. My Gramma raised me to believe that selfishness was the worst possible character trait and I've tried to live my life in a way that would make her proud of me.
The financial side, even one friend stealing from me, wasn't what made these friendships unhealthy. Looking back with a little distance I can so clearly see that they had no respect for me. I was someone to be used and, with the constant name calling and criticism, abused too. The fault though was never theirs honeys. It was entirely mine.
They were toxic to my health, they were literally making me ill, I used to cry all the time, but I was responsible, because I was tolerating it. I passionately believe that if life gives us the opportunity to help someone else we should grab that chance always, but we can't ever tolerate abuse honeys. Even from people we love.
Put Your Best Foot ForwardI absolutely believe that whatever task is in front of us honeys, if we put the best of ourselves into it, with a smile on our face, it will be both more pleasant (might even be fun!) and we'll be more productive. No matter what you have to do, give it your very best effort.
I've learned that if you smile, even when it feels like the last thing you want to do, it does something crazy to your thinking :) By smiling more you can literally change the way your whole day feels. It's also very infectious :) You smile and someone sees it and smiles back, making you smile even more :)
We're in complete control of our mood honeys, in order for someone to hurt or upset us, we have to first allow them that right. Take control of your smile and be mindful of the behaviour you tolerate. I'm not saying to dump your best friend if she has a bad day, I'm saying that respect should be a two way street. If someone consistently disrespects you, bullies you or takes pleasure from upsetting you, you have to put some distance between yourself and this person. For the good of your health and well-being.
Start your day with a big smile honey, pull on your "hello world, what can we achieve today" attitude and every day will be a perfect day :) The occasional blip like missing a bus (might be someone interesting to chat to at the bus stop while you wait) shouldn't be allowed to spoil your day, so don't let it :)
Till next time dear ones, have a fabulous weekend, smile lots and hug even more, love and hugs always xx