My day began with hitting the snooze button one too many times after a fitful night of sleep, which meant that I didn’t have time to exercise or read before having to get ready for work and wake my daughters up for school. Rain greeted me this morning, as I geared up for a long day at work, and I felt exhausted. The toilet was clogged again, the girls did not have leggings to wear with their uniforms, the car was low on gas, and my checking account also was running on empty. Not such a good day to do some good, right?
Wrong! The one thing I did for myself today is that I made today a very good day, despite all of the things that were not going so well. I find it rather easy to do the “right” thing or “good” things for myself and others when everything is going according to plan, and I find it even easier to let challenges derail even the best of my intentions. Not so today, and that leaves me feeling quite proud of myself, as it is a big shift for me actually.
I made the decision to focus on the positive and not dwell on the fact that my morning got off to a less than ideal start or that lack of sleep left me feeling less than energetic. I reassured myself that I could work out tomorrow and that I could get through my busy day and rest later, and I kept a running dialogue going through my head today about all that I had to be grateful for, such as my rewarding job, my two healthy and happy daughters, my warm and safe home, etc. I also convinced myself that I was not as tired as I felt and that I could accomplish all that I set out to do, and much to my surprise, it worked. I was in high spirits, finished more tasks than I set out to do, felt good about the work I did, and enjoyed the evening with my daughters. Instead of using excuses to justify wallowing in negativity and fatigue, I made a much better choice for myself, and it paid off in spades. It is amazing what happens when I actually put into practice all of the things that I know how to do and advise others to do, but stubbornly refuse to do for myself. Who knew?! Well, apparently, most of the free world knows this, and I am just now realizing and accepting that happiness is a choice, my choice.
The one thing that I did for someone else today was another very simple gesture, but it seemed to mean a lot to the person I helped. When I was out doing home visits with some of the men in one of our permanent supportive housing programs, it was raining steadily as I walked from my car to an apartment complex a couple of blocks away. Just as I got out of my car, a mom carrying a bag of groceries and struggling to push a baby stroller walked by on the sidewalk next to my car. I noticed that she did not have an umbrella, and she kept having to stop to reposition the bag of groceries and change her grip on the stroller handle to keep it moving in a straight line. I remember those days from when my girls were toddlers, so, I asked if I could carry her bag and if she would like to walk under the umbrella with me. At first, she hesitated, but then she looked relieved and agreed. As luck would have it, she was going to the same building I was, so, we made our way there together. I don’t know her name, but I do know that she thanked me profusely when we got inside of the lobby and left me with the words, “God bless you”. Something so small made a positive difference, and it left me looking forward to doing the next good deed. It really was a good day, and I am ready for a good night.
Just one thing each day . . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day