Choose the bright side


The gnarly old willow tree in the front field is starting to show its leaves

The most important act of the day is the choice you make to look on the dark side or the bright side. That’s the life-changing thought that occurred to me this morning as I wrote down the usual way-too-long “to do” list.

You would think that should have been pretty obvious by now, after more years and more mistakes than I care to mention. Suffice it to say, I could write a book. But why dwell on it? The point is to get past all that. There’s no more time to waste. The time to start making the best of each moment is way overdue.

It’s here now.

So especially if you’re young – and lots of you are out there in the blogosphere, young and talented and full of promise – this is my advice to you: Be of good cheer. Take some time for a few quiet moments of reflection, and when you look out your real or virtual, personal window see cause to celebrate, not to be discouraged. For some reason, I’ve always tended not to follow that advice myself; and that has invariably led to more grievous consequences to get discouraged about.

Hear me my children, it is a monumental waste of time, energy, and most of all, one’s life.

Yes, you have to be realistic. There’s nothing good to be said about living a life based on looking at the world through rose-coloured glasses, or to put it another way, a life based on illusions. Sooner or later, all those bubbles burst.

But, trust me, there are more than enough things to celebrate in the real world, and about the person you really are, for that matter. No matter what has happened to you, in your childhood when you had little control over events and treatment that affected you for good or ill, or as an adult, when you did have more control, you are still a gem; You are still a child at heart, born to be joyful. Nothing can take that away from you.

So, start there: greet each day with the inner child you are. Seize the moments to be delighted, that invite you to play and be happy with them.

That’s not to say you have to put aside the intelligence, the wisdom you’ve gained from whatever has happened to you in life. That’s part of you too now. But try to think of it as something that adds to your appreciation of that moment in light of what has come before. Yes, you can say to yourself, wonder of wonders, I am still alive and anything is still possible. I’m okay.

Meanwhile, whatever else the day offers in terms of challenges – and they will continue – will be dealt with better than if you had started your day by continuing to dig your discouraged hole.

I got up this morning troubled as usual by the weight of many things. But I saw the sun was shining, the leaves are coming out on the trees; slowly, but surely, warmer weather is moving up from the south. And I thought of how good it made me feel to load up the rototiller on the wagon, hook up the tractor, and go down the road a ways to help neighbour who’s not feeling well work up his garden. It made him happy, gave him cause to look forward to a few hours of planting and, therefore, for him, a joyful day.

In a little while my youngest daughter, Lila Marie, and my delightful, two-year-old granddaughter, Mirabella, will be up with big smiles for their “Dad” and “Grandpa” respectively.


Mirabella in Grandpa’s garden

And I have my daughter Kathy, son-in-law Scott, granddaughters Asia, Allie  and grandson Jake to look forward to arriving this coming holiday weekend. And maybe more family.

What a joy to be loved, and to love in return.

Yet more cause to feel good about the morning and the day, as I go out for a few hours of planting seeds of hope.

So, I made that choice, to celebrate the “bright side.”

And sure enough life is good.

4 thoughts on “Choose the bright side

  1. Excellent post. I agree with everything you said. Time is precious. Spend it with ones who lift you up and make you happy. Being positive is a choice. Sometimes we get bogged down in too long to do lists. Life gets cluttered. An old Zig Zilar saying is No Stinking Thinking. I like the way you think and I look forward to reading more of your blog.


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