Smile Because It Happened

Annah Elizabeth Happiness, Happy Happens ™, Patches the Pooch, Relationships 2 Comments

Happy Sunday, Journeyer!

As I scroll through this past week’s events, I can’t help but notice the stark contrast between happiness and strife…

This week brought with it two more deaths of people who left this earth way too early, and both of these men took their own lives… This is the fourth death of someone we know and the third such death by someone we are associated with since December 26. Though we weren’t close to the three men who died by their own hand, their deaths nonetheless had a ripple effect…

Having suffered from a longstanding depression and having experienced a darkness so severe that I thought the only way out was death, I can understand a level of overwhelming pain.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please, please, please reach out. Contact me or your best friend or your mom or the stranger manning the suicide hotline. A stranger, after all, is a friend you haven’t yet met.

You can recover from whatever is causing you pain. I promise. We just have to keep choosing it. Choose it, Journeyer. I know that when I was going through my darkest days, it wasn’t that I wanted to die but that I wanted the pain to stop.

There is a huge difference. Suicide doesn’t end the pain, it actually increases it because it magnifies sorrow and stress on all those you leave behind, even those whose lives you touched in ways you will never know.

Healing is real. Healing is attainable. Healing happens when you reach for the hands of your neighbors in grief and allies in healing.

I promise you. Light is always on either side of the darkness.

Reach, Friend. Keep reaching and stretching until you find what  you need…

So, now that I’ve gotten that heavy stuff off my chest, how does one stay positive and experience joy during such difficult days?

This is one of The Five Facets of Healing mottos: “Just like the proverbial shit happens, happy happens.”

It’s one of my power mantras. This practice is the sole reason that I write in this column every single week. Every. Week. Even when I’m not able to write anything else, I write here. It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than four years since I had that epiphany and created this column.

Why? Because it’s important. That’s why. It’s important that, in a world filled with negative ads and slander-hate-crime-negative filled news posts across all media forms, we do something to feed positivity, hope, and optimism.

I need it. You need it. Your next-door neighbors need it. Your global neighbors need it.

Sometimes, when I’ve gone long stretches without writing essays or stories that have teeth to them, posts that are focused on healing or something relevant, I break out that big hammer and start beating myself up. I tell myself that my readers will begin to view me as narcissistic or self-indulgent.

But part of choosing healing is choosing happiness, Journeyer. And that means paying tribute to all those fleeting events that bring a smile to our face or warm our heart. And it’s one of the easiest things we can do!

Sharing grief and healing stories is exhausting because it requires me to enter that place of academic, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual vulnerability… Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE doing that and have made it my life mission, but sometimes I find it difficult to take the lot of time I need to go there…

I dream of the day when I no longer have to dedicate thirty hours a week to a job that has nothing to do with The Five Facets.

And yet, in the meantime, I am grateful for the medical insurance that job provides my family.

And so I do what I can do and try to keep my eye on as much positive and good as I can.

Here are a few of the highlights that kept my spirits buoyed in the face of this week’s adversities:

Our pooch Patches continues to liven up our life!

Whether she’s smiling because we took her for a car ride…

Patches Smiling on a Car Ride

Entertaining herself (and us) each night by turning our home into her own personal racetrack,

or putting up with a little dress up play…

Patches Sporting Reading Glasses

 

I had the pleasure and fun of meeting five-year-old Christian at a McDonald’s this past week. A passionate young lad who told me all about how he loves school buses and police officers and fireman. He asked me about my work with children and told me all about his school.

His enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge just made me feel all young and happy inside. I didn’t think it was appropriate to ask for his photo for this blog, so I took a photo of the Happy Meal toy he  raved about.

Happy Meal Toy

Warren and I spent a few hours each night watching one of the taped Christmas movies I didn’t get to watch because I was away for three weeks before the holiday.

And while the feel good, mindless sort of movie played in the background, we worked on all of the year-end paperwork and preparations for our tax appointment.

Our counselor’s office put up a plaque in memory of their associate who died two weeks ago. I never knew this quote was attributed to Dr. Seuss.

“Don’t cry because it’s over… Smile because it happened.”

Don’t you just love that quote?

I started making more of an effort to connect on social media and I took the time to write a second post this week! I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post on the Jaden Smith gender identity hoopla that went down last week.

Another blogger made me realize I hadn’t been to the hairdresser in months, so I made an appointment and ended up with a fresh and fun new style.

Warren is traveling again this weekend, which means I’m on my own. There are two things I enjoy about the empty nest and Hubby being away: I manage to accomplish a great deal of Five Facets’ stuff AND I get to load my meals with all sorts of green and gourmet.

This artisan artichoke and spinach pizza is soooo delicious. It just makes my taste buds do a happy dance.

Tonight I’m adding mushrooms to my meal. Yum…yum…

What about you, Journeyer? What moment(s) brought a smile to your heart, made you feel like a kid again, or warmed your heart last week? Share something in a comment below and spread a little happiness!

Until we meet again, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,

Annah Elizabeth Signature

 

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