Make It Better

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

  1. 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..

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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”…:-)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    Ivon

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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..:-)

  13. 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…

      • 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)

      • 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..

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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