Tag Archive | contentment

A Day Alone

Yesterday I spent the late morning and early afternoon alone. Ken when to his “Harmony Club,”which is a a a supervised gathering of elderly and handicapped people. The participants exercise, play games, make crafts, and eat lunch together. They have a chance to form friendships, and they end each session by playing Bingo and winning prizes. Ken loves going because he can talk to somebody other than me, plus he enjoys being with older people. Seeing I’m ten years older than he is explains our happy marriage. 🙂

The four or five hours we have apart gives me a chance to have a little fun with my friends. Usually I meet somebody for lunch and then tie up the day with a trip to some shop to nose around for a little while. I love going downtown because there are a lot of restaurants to chose from and plenty of specialty shops where hidden treasure waits for someone to discover it.

But yesterday I chose to just be alone. I hunted new winter tops at the thrift store. (Since I discovered the place, I haven’t darkened the door of any retail shop.) Then I went home, finished my blog posting for the day, and ate lunch with Ernie sitting on my lap. (He watched my food as I enjoyed my soap opera without somebody teasing me for watching such drivel.) I didn’t talk for four hours! Believe me, that’s a record!

When I picked up Ken at 3:30 p.m., we  both looked forward to being together again. With stuffed peppers and acorn squash waiting in the oven, we had a pleasant dinner followed by a night of television. In the past, days like this would have bored me to death, but now the mundane times are cherished. Call it old age, but normalcy in our world is just fine. Achieving contentment in one’s life takes some time, and I’m glad I arrived at that place when a day spent alone becomes time well spent.

A happy life is one of balance and contentment, no matter how old or young, rich or poor a person is. I’ll warn you though. Achieving such a life is hard work. Just try it. I dare you.

A Peaceful Smile

Peace begins with a smile. – Mother Theresa

            I don’t know if any of you have heard this quote before, but it’s one of my favorites, and if you know me, I am all for the smile. Few people see me with any other expression because I’ve learned smiling makes me feel good.nov 2012 008

For one thing, did you know it actually takes less energy and muscle control to smile than it does to make any other expression with your face?  At this point in my life, I conserve all the energy I can, and if having a smile on my face most of the time will do that, I’m all for it.

Think about it. If people would just smile at each other, we could do so much good. A genuine smile projects trustworthiness. I’m not talking about a smile that only employs the mouth; I’m talking about a smile that lights up the eyes, too. When you smile, it signals to the receiver you’re not faking it. Usually, a genuine smile will receive one in return.

 Have you ever been in a tense situation and just smiled at the fear? Almost magically, the situation simmers down. A smile doesn’t mean you’re giving into or compromising your opinion, it just means you’re willing to listen. 

If you’re a person who wants longevity, learn to smile. A study of baseball players in 1952 proved those who smiled outlived their sour-puss counterparts by seven years. 

Have you noticed how smiling many times leads to laughing? For me, laughing is life’s blood. If I can laugh everyday at myself or something else, it’s a good day.  Medical studies have proven several minutes of laughter is physically good for you. I contend laughing is good for your soul, too, but so far, scientists haven’t figured out how to measure that. Most of them are not even sure we have a soul. Poor guys.

For me, laughing actually relieves pain and anxiety. When I broke my leg in a tobogganing accident when I was 14 years old, I kept the doctor laughing with a very successful one-woman stand-up routine. (Really, I was laying on an examining table, but I think you knew that.)  He commented he never had set a tibia before for a patient with such a great sense of humor. All I know is, laughing about what happened was a lot easier than crying. I had plenty of time to feel sorry for myself in the weeks that followed because I lost the lead of the annual school musical, and I was marooned at home for four months because the break was so serious. 

Nowadays, Ken and I find things to laugh about all day. His MS has presented so many difficult situations, but if we can make a joke out of what happens, we both feel better about the changes that take place. Most nights I even fall asleep smiling as I say thankful prayers that I got through another day in one piece.

So the next time the world has kicked you in the face, smile back. The pain won’t be so excruciating and maybe you’ll even find something to laugh about. At the very least, you’ll find peace. Saints don’t lie.