The reality was that the day would be as hard I made it. Or as pleasant.
There was nothing I could do about my circumstances but accept them. “It’s always my choice,” I reminded myself. Not necessarily to like whatever life throws at me, but to try to catch the ball.
After all, success in life is not how well we execute Plan A; it’s how smoothly we cope with Plan B. And for most of us, that’s 99 percent of the time.
Sarah Ban Breathnach
I didn’t sleep well last night. And as I was attempting to get in a last few zzz’s my beloved cat, Toby, became a royal pain in the patootie. First he woke me up in the wee hours by putting a claw inside my nostril. I’m sure he tried patting me on the face first but when I didn’t wake up he resorted to claws. I fussed at him and promptly rolled over and went back to sleep. Then he woke me again (I don’t know how long I was asleep – it felt like 1 second) by patting on my face with his claws extended. I pushed him off the bed. Like a boomerang he bounced right back up again. I finally got the message and petted him a few times, loved on him and went back to sleep. He left me alone for a while and then he started the game all over again. The result? A sleep-deprived and very grumpy human.
When I finally woke and started my day I was annoyed at the four-legged creatures that live with me. The first 15-20 minutes of everyday is devoted to them and for the most part I’m fine with it; but on mornings like this, well, it’s hard. When I was finally finished with their needs, I sat down and asked God why was I so miserable, why was I so grumpy to my love-babies and to help me see the answer.
Eventually I remembered that not every day can be a high; there have to be lows to balance everything out. But I had a choice with what to do with my day. I could either choose to go into it very grumpy and mean. Or I could choose to go into my day with grace and love. I prayed for grace and love. I don’t want to go Wa-Wa’s for coffee and be grumpy to the sales clerk; it’s not their fault I’m in a bad mood. I can’t afford to go to work and be grumpy – I could lose my job if I lost it with a customer.
Everyday is a choice. It is a choice to be grateful or to hate my life. It is a choice to allow God to flow through me or to refuse Him. It is a choice to be, simply put, loving or hateful.
I pray each day to make the right choice – the choice for love, grace and God.
Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.
Everyday I talk to people who only see the bad in life – they complain about how hot it is, or how cold it is, or it’s raining, or they’re late for work and it’s all someone else’s fault (sometimes it is, sometimes its’ not) or the cashier didn’t smile or the bills aren’t paid or, or, or, I could go on but I won’t. And, sometimes life does suck. But that doesn’t mean we are bound to a joyless life.
Regardless of the circumstances, whether I am filled with joy or not all depends on my attitude and how I look at my life. I am not equating joy with happiness. Happiness is fleeting, based on emotions and circumstances. I am very happy when its’ my birthday or I get to spend time with my family. I am very happy when I get paid and I have a little money left over to buy some books. I am really happy when I have a bowl of my favorite ice cream! But none of those things brings me joy.
Joy is internal; it is peace in the midst of a storm; it is a calm reassurance that no matter how bad the world looks right now, all will be well; it is gratitude; it is love; it is faith; and unlike fly-away happiness, it is constant. Joy is unwavering, we only need to tap into it and allow it to fill us up even when life sucks.