Desert Dandelion by Dawn Endico
During the last several months I have been away from home dealing with a family emergency. In that time I have dealt with daily concerns, worries, mix-ups and misunderstandings. I have been worried, troubled, confused and lost. Away from my home and routine and in unfamiliar territory, difficulties proved harder to resolve.
In the midst of the mayhem, I took relief in whatever form I could find it. From something as simple as watching a squirrel play in the trees, seeing the brightly colored flowers bloom, or enjoying the flavor of a hot meal and the satisfaction of a full belly after a long day.
What kept me going during all the turmoil, were the small escapes, the simple joys that so many people overlook: walking the dogs in the bright sunshine of early morning, listening to the chirping birds welcoming a new day, and writing down my troubles and fears on paper to keep them out from circling endlessly in my head. In the chaos it was easy to appreciate the little things.
In the week I’ve been home, I’ve slowly begun to readjust to a “normal” life. A life not filled with a daily crisis, where dishes can wait for a few hours as I read a book or enjoy a nap. A place where I can choose to sleep in late or go to bed early. A chance to make time to watch a silly movie, play a video game or shop for an hour just for the fun of it.
What really moved me is this: it is vitally important to find those things in life you enjoy, and do them. Writing down a Joy List, or keeping a gratitude journal will help you discover what makes you smile and laugh. Having a list of places to visit, things to do, and people to see will help you reconnect more quickly after the unexpected hits.
During the grueling and overwhelming dilemmas that I encountered over the past several months, my years of visiting uplifting web sites, reading self-help books, keeping a gratitude journal and other positive thinking techniques left me with a ready-made resource of inspiration when I needed it most.
Even on my most tedious and frustrating day, I was able to remind myself not to watch the “bad news” on TV, to skip the newspaper headlines for the funnies, and to take a few extra minutes before leaving my room in the morning to simply enjoy the beginning of a new day. Habits I have gained over many years proved invaluable to keeping me sane during even the most distressful days.
I am so happy to be home again. I’m thrilled to have my high-speed Internet back, all my favorite upbeat blogs, and the chance to catch up on the good things I’ve missed, like reconnecting with family and friends. I sincerely doubt I’d be so ready and eager to do those things without the benefits of gratitude, joy and positive thinking. I’m still not entirely myself, but with a little more time I look forward to feeling better than ever, any maybe even passing on a few helpful lessons along the way.