I hesitated posting this because I know of no one who hasn’t read this before. And yet it’s so perfectly accurate, that to ignore the message is to deny the peculiar juxtapositions in our lives today. It is no less astonishing when one pauses to consider that we have constructed this catch-22.
Perhaps we would be well-served to step away from our lives every once in a while and define our perception of success. Certainly for me, my kids have always been at the top of the list. There have also been times when my well-being was at the very bottom, while I rode the wave of wanting more – more money, more responsibility, more stuff, more of everything that would furnish my life with the accoutrements of success. I have never surfed in my life, but I was really quite good at riding that wave to the shore, and going out again. I’ll take it further – I almost drowned once (my uncle fished me out of the ocean) and quickly developed a healthy love of the ocean – from its shallows. Yet, any phobic reservations were ignored as I pursued the next big wave.
No one tells you that the ride is hardly exhilarating when you flop onto the sand, remembering little of the thrill, your board damaged from the multiple rides. No one suggests to you that you need far better balance to love the waves. No one reminds you that a happy life begins with your approach – not to things – but to everyone else (including your own sweet self). Take a few seconds and give it a thought or two. When was the last time you made eye contact with a stranger and said “Good morning”? Did you get outside on one of these magical, clear, gorgeous days and notice that the air is gently circling your skin with a really loving touch? Instead of a break from sitting in your desk chair, when was the last time you took a break just to get to know the person who sits in the office down the hall? The cashier at the supermarket? How often did you dance this week? And if you found the time (and we all have the time) to do any of these, did you integrate that moment into your daily post mortem?
See? Even the occasional monkey takes a minute to think about this sort of stuff.
I think there is a better way. And it’s not particularly difficult, just a little more embracing of that which is around us. Smile – fake it til you make it. Donate five minutes of your day to grace – the silent thank you, the conversation with a stranger who is really not a stranger, because you see him/her all the time. Laugh hard – make your tummy sore. Remember to say ‘I love you” – and look that person in the eye when you say it. Don’t wrap yourself so tight that you can’t move outside your head. There’s more out there than your thoughts, your list of have to’s, your aggravations. Find something you have never noticed before and marvel at how little we see when our eyes are wide open. Learn that this day is yours to turn into something for which you can feel awesome. And then do it. Happy Thursday everyone…
102 thoughts on “Make It Better”
Oh Mimi I love this, thank you! I am there with you and do not want to get so caught up in “stuff” that I miss the moment. Also that picture with the little monkey is amazing! You enjoy your Thursday also….
Thank you Tina – you said it so well, we tie ourselves up with invisible ropes of perceived importance, and then we look and wonder where our days went. Hope your travels are going as well as possible..thinking only good thoughts for you and your family.
Thank you Mimi for your kind words. Enjoy your Thursday, I will be heading out to Dulles soon to leave.
Travel safe..my thoughts go with you..
The quote, the picture of the monkey… and your thoughts on the subject… they all come together beautifully in this post. A pleasure to read, and the clear ring of truth… like a sweet bell in the morning air.
What a beautiful analogy – and one for which I’m happy and humble. Thank you so much Shimon. I too loved the picture of the monkey – the intensity of his stare suggested a level of thought that had me wondering..
Wishing you a wonderful day..
Mim – I love this! That image of that little monkey is like the good version of the ‘a monkey on my back’ – this one to remind us to stop, notice our neighbor and slow down, be kind, ‘see’ each other…All of it! I love the ‘recipe’ for a lovely day…all perfect ingredients and we should all have most of that in our ‘pantry’ already! xoxo…
No one sustains a metaphor as well as you – it’s so cool.. And yep, we have all the ingredients in our respective pantries – just a question of taking them out and using them. It’ll definitely change the flavor du jour..xoxo
Ah, someone understands my sideways thinking brain, for you took my metaphor and ran with it. That is what is cool. love it, love you and love this message! xoxo
I’m still laughing over your post!! Love you too!! xoxo
Well, now I am laughing at you laughing at me…this could get seriously funny. xoxo
We seem to do that very well!! 😉
Yes, and I adore that. And you. And that is NOT sleep deprivation speaking. 🙂
Thank goodness – because I’m at my most awake right now and I adore you…xox
I do declare, a mutual adoration society. Shall I draw up the documents? xoxo
If you so desire..but I don’t need a document to know that this society is in good standing..xo
No, your word is golden with me 🙂 xox
love this post mims , you make me want to be a better person, i resolve to go out there and smile at everyone course i may scare some people but i shall do it anyway 🙂 the scare will do them apparently a little scare is good for the heart or something i read somewhere but have no idea where or when 🙂 thank you for writing such a beautiful post mims this ones a keeper loves you xx
I think you’re a pretty amazing person without these posts my friend. And my hunch is that one smile from you is like a high wattage bulb just lighting up everyone it graces. I don’t think you’d scare anyone (but perhaps there’s a scary story there – about an alternative universe where all the smiles hold secrets, everything has a secondary agenda, etc…-I’m just kidding honey – you’re the scary story expert!! xox
oh my gosh mims that just brilliant! i will have to write that story now! 🙂 loves xx
Laughing!! 🙂 xx
“Donate 5 minutes to….” Yes. Thank you.
And just think – if you were smiling when you wrote this, you were sending a smile my way, and you hadn’t wasted any time in the process!! Damn, you’re good..;-)
Yes. I certainly did that. 🙂
I have read this before but it is a still a wise and telling passage that needs to be drummed into us again and again. If monkeys can think about these things, as you point out, so should we!
You’re right Ken – there’s nothing like a really smart little monkey to humble us enough to think about some of the important stuff too! 😉
This is a perfect way to start the day. Now, I need to print it out and drop thousands of copies from an airplane, as a reminder to everyone who has forgotten what it’s all about.
I’ll make the copies if you get the plane!! 😉
I had not read “The Paradox of Our Age” and it is amazing – thank you so much for finding and sharing it – and for your own beautiful words as well. Thanks for making me think and concentrate on starting this Thursday on the right foot.
🙂 I hope it continues all day!!
Happy Thursday Mimi. Well done as always and thank you for the reminder.
Thank you Maureen..I hope you have a lovely Thursday and a sun-filled day..
“Have a lovely day” – I am saying this with a smile on my face while trying to be charming–by the way you look wonderful —
Wow – you just three in one shot – that’s great! 😉
four if you count the compliment-
Definitely on a roll!!
Mimi, that was beautiful. Reducing the time we spent pursuing stuff gives us time to crate and build relationships and experiences. And the memories they create are much better company than a room full of baubles and gadgets.
Just like I’ve never seen a headstone with the words “I wish I had spent more time in the office”, I’ve also never seen one that said “She had the most stuff, ergo was the happiest”…:-)
I love this and it always bears repeating that when you wake up in the morning you make a choice to embrace the day or not. Not the stuff that happens to you but the stuff you make happen.
Exactly Jill! And the choice of what really matters and define who we are. Seductive choices when in big law, no doubt..
Well said Mimi !
Thank you! See you Saturday!
Sage advice my wise friend. Your writings continue to make me want to be the best “me” I can. So thank you for today’s reflections. I am smiling as I type and I am about to go outside and embrace the day all the while counting my blessings – at the top of my list right after husband and daughter is you – as always. Have a beautiful Thursday my friend.
Thank you Jo..I hope today is all you want it to be..love to Ben and Jenna and biggest love to you..
Mimi, we probably have all read it, but I know I always need reminders to slow down. It sounds like a Paul Simon song because I do find I move too fast some days. Thank you for the gentle reminder.
Good morning Ivon..thank you so much for the re-blog..and for the Simon & Garfunkel reference which is so apropos..
Reblogged this on Teacher as Transformer and commented:
Yesterday, was a busy, hectic, yet productive day. I checked Mimi’s post and found this; a gentle reminder “to slow down, [I] move too fast” to paraphrase Paul Simon. Take care and have a wonderful day. Feel groovy.
Life’s lessons are often brilliantly simple. Take a breathe, be thankful for what you have, notably your friends, your family and if your fortunate, your health.
Thanks Mimi for refocusing all of us on people and things we shouldn’t take for granted or ignore.
…He writes as he has to run out the door..:-) I’m teasing you honey..
Andy, please add …be thankful for your hair. Just sayin’ Don’t take it for granted and don’t ignore it. (And your wife is a blessing and a gift)
Mimi hush…this is a private message to Andy from me…shhhhh
Um Rhoni, honey?? He doesn’t come back to the blog to see any comments, so I’m not sure he will see this..But IF he did he would thank you and once again tell me that he thinks you’re wonderful…(as do I)..xox
LOL…jeez, tell him to start his own blog then..so I can ogle his mane! Andy…The Mane Man. There, go forth and make it happen!
Ain’t gonna happen…he will LOVE the new name, but he is never going to write a blog..lol..
LOL…too bad. I’d be his first Follower. Life can be so cruel sometimes. I even though of taking liberties with one of your photos! NO, NOT that. I was gonna print it and take it to my hairdresser and say “see? THIS is the color I meant!”
You are crackin’ me up today!!
Be ye a light unto yourself!
Dear, dear Mimi, you have *such* a way. The words you write, the images you select, the behavior you espouse, all of it. Reading your posts makes me *want* to go out and do something good, *be* something better, and appreciate so sincerely all the many gifts I have been given, your friendship large among them.
“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” –John Milton
Wishing everyone a day filled with epiphanies…. xoxox
I know how redundant I become when I tell you that you are goodness itself and reflect that in everything you do. But I’ll keep repeating myself because it happens to be spot on..I love the Milton quote, the idea of encountering everyday epiphanies that alter our view of the world. Thank you for providing one to me with your friendship..xox
The bounty is reciprocal, honey… Xox
Thanks for this post and the reminder to live each day in this better way.
Juxtaposition? Now that is another technical word to add to my ‘look up meaning of words bloggers use that I am not 100% familiar with’
It is an education in more ways than one, this blogging community.
Have a great day.
I’m laughing…your vocabulary is impressive on its own!! yet you’re also right, this community provides an education unto itself! Enjoy your Thursday and thanks for stopping by..:-)
Your blog is my daily dose of the very best dark chocolate. 🙂 And grace is my favorite word. Thanks for helping slow me down when I really need it.
My pleasure!! And how luscious to be compared to really good dark chocolate…now I want some!! 🙂
Sorry about that! 😉
Don’t be!! It’s the best kind of chocolate to want – the kind I am not automatically applying to my hips…;-)
That’s why I labeled you that way – you are good for me AND delicious!! 😉
Thank you for posting this and for always speaking from your heart. You are so very good at this Mimi, your words are not words on a page..they are the soft whispers we hear in our dreams…the one’s that remind us to be the best we can be by giving the most we can give, freely and without reservation. The joys of everyday life, the little things, the simple things…the smile that can turn someone’s day around, the casual conversation with a stranger that results in finding out you are not strangers after all…I love the simple, pure, warm way you remind us, everyday, to include love and light in our lives. You, are a blessing. You, are a gift. You…are Mimi at her best. xoxo
Aren’t we blessing to each other honey? Isn’t that what it’s all about? These are rhetorical by the way..:-) I’m a new traveler on this path too – and am just trying to figure out the best way to walk this road along with everybody else..love you Rhoni..xox
Ditto Mim. and just so you know, we can’t all walk side by side…someone has to lead. you may not like it, but you are a leader on this path, new or not, it’s one you are meant to be on. and before you say it…yes, me too. all of us. this path to greater understanding, greater peace, greater tolerance, greater love and understanding. this has become one of my favorite side roads…and I’m sticking with it.
Me too..which doesn’t mean that I don’t get lost on a regular basis..I’m not good geographically, so there better be someone with a better sense of direction walking with me…
No problem…I have a new compass. we’ll manage!
Thank goodness one of us is prepared..;-)
Always! Weren’t you a girl scout? Please…
Nope – I got kicked out of Brownies for stealing the merit badges out of Mrs. Slaughter’s desk in the second grade. From that point forward I wasn’t considered Girl Scout material. I really liked all the badges, I just didn’t want to do all of that stuff.
ROFL…now THAT surprises me! How the hell did you get CAUGHT? she was right…a good girl scout, or brownie, would NEVER have been caught! (secret…I got kicked out too, as a cadet…sneaking away from camp and hitchhiking into town to buy cigarettes. OMG)
Yup, a juvenile delinquent in the second grade..scarred for life. Certainly hitching into town sounds way more fun..
It was, and so worth the expulsion. But seriously, shame on us both for getting (caught) kicked out!
Okaaaaay…I was wrong for taking the badges. But – I don’t think I would have been Girl Scout material anyway, and I look really awful in green..
Awww well, if we are talking fashion, then I cannot argue. Most ppl look horrible in green!
YOU rock! these are the moments… walk in beauty dearheart!
Thanks for stopping by Dr. Sherry – it’s good to ‘see’ you..I’m just following you my dear..
thank you dearheart, blessings to you and yours!
Reblogged this on Momentum of Joy and commented:
Another lovely post from lovely Mimi. :). Enjoy! Joanna (not Kristi). 😉
Laughing..thank you Joanna..:-)
You always have such great reminders about how to be better, feel better, and live better – another great post. It is the people, the animals, the connections not the things, the data, the wants that make life.
It’s so true..and these are lifelong lessons – I’m still working on learning them too..
Wow – this is awesome and I love this — “Don’t wrap yourself so tight that you can’t move outside your head. There’s more out there than your thoughts, your list of have to’s, your aggravations. Find something you have never noticed before and marvel at how little we see when our eyes are wide open.”
Fabulous! Thank you.
Can I say ‘wow’ too? I’m touched that you would quote my words from this post!! Thank you so much!
So well said – this was great to read, thank you 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by! Enjoy your day..:-)
What a great post little monkeys often look cute in photos but are not so cute in person…………
That’s absolutely true – and this little guy is no exception (pensive though he may be)..
Ahhh, love this post Mimi! Even the monkey takes time…hahhaaaa..you’ve got such a great humor! 😀 Timeless message!
Hey Twinkie. I told you …’you are inspirational’. Beautiful post. 🙂 Renee
Thank you very very much Twink!
Indeed true. Great post.