Thursday, July 10, 2014

I DID Learn a Lot in Kindergarten!

“Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.”
― Robert Fulghum
I begin my days early.  There is always something wonderful and magic about the pre-dawn hours.  I often stroll the streets of my neighborhood with my earbuds in and my Pandora station tuned to something I can sing along to while I walk.  In those hours just before dawn I am new.  I haven't screwed anything up yet and life is always full of possibilities.

It's always then (well, NOW) when ideas strike.  

This morning I didn't take a stroll.  I somehow injured myself on Saturday night when the boys and I went bowling with my Significant Other and his daughter.  Who knew you should stretch before bowling?  HE claims I wrenched my knee during my goofy (public) victory dance after nabbing that spare.  I think that bowling may just be more strenuous than we imagine. But I digress.

This morning, I sat down at my computer to do some work.  And then found myself searching for Robert Fulghum quotes.  

In the moment with Things 1 and 2
For those of you who don't know Robert Fulghum, he was the author of the 1989 besteller, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."  It was probably the first "positive thinking/self-help/let's all feel good" book I ever read.  My copy is dog-earred and worn because I have a tendency to bring it out year after year.  I still cry for many reasons when I read it.  Mostly I cry because he puts into words the hope, the joy and the absolute certainty I have that the world is not made up of hate but of love.  If you haven't read it, you should.  Today.  Here's a link.  And here's a spoiler alert:  the Crayola bomb is my absolute favorite essay.

I stopped watching the news a long time ago.  Well, I catch snippets of The Today Show in the morning as I get ready for work. But mostly, I cruise along in blissful ignorance of the "news."  I choose to believe that the REAL news in our lives is more positive.  So, in celebration of the positive, I'm sharing the REAL NEWS this morning:
  1. You're alive.  You made it through the night.  You're still here so you have yet another chance to offer that apology or to find that new job or to clean your dirty kitchen floor.  Today starts NOW and you're still here to enjoy it.  Yes, I know that your boss is a jerk and your spouse is neglectful and your kids are out of control.  But, yet, here you are.  That's good news.
  2. Right now, someone is doing something good.  It could even be happening in your own house!  The truth is this:  at every second on this planet there are many, many wonderful things going on.  Someone is singing a song.  Someone is listening to an elderly parent tell a story (for the thousandth time). Someone is smiling.  Someone is holding a door for a stranger.  Everywhere.  All the time.  Good things are happening. 
  3. This, too, shall pass.  Every moment is fleeting.  Even if you're having the best worst day of your LIFE, it will be over tomorrow.  No matter how you're feeling in this moment, it will pass.  The joy will be gone (but it will come again!), the sorrow will be fleeting, the pain will disappear.  Trust me.  It will pass.  So, why not take this opportunity to be here?  Take a minute to fully appreciate where you are IN THIS MOMENT.  And then move along.  
  4. Life is happening.  I am channeling my inner Dr. Seuss here:  don't get stuck in the waiting place!  Take action, no matter how small.  Even if you're just getting up out of your chair to walk around the block or putting down your cell phone to notice that flowers are blooming or the rain is falling.  Life is happening all around you.  Be a part of it.
Over the past couple of years, I have found my own joy.  I work hard to be fully present in the moment and, by simply focusing on the four things above mixed in with a little prayer and an attitude of thankfulness for the grace in my life, I am more joyful and more mindful than ever before.  Circumstances change but my heart stays the same.

What's your news?

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