The good news is that, as of yesterday, she is now back in the skilled nursing center undergoing rehab while she gets her strength back and will be back with Dad in independant living in a week or so. It was only 5 days after she was discharged from the skilled nursing center (remember Thanksgiving) that she fractured her back and pain forced her back into the hospital. We are looking forward to a pain-free, energetic family Christmas, a joyous ending to a very full year.
I subscribe to a wonderful daily newsletter, 365 Days of Coaching. Last Sunday, the message was to list our 100 best moments of the year. "Taking time to acknowledge our accomplishments for the year is a great way to appreciate all the hard work we have put into making the year what it was. We just don't take enough time to recognize our accomplishments and give ourselves credit for what we do. By acknowledging what we have accomplished, we give ourselves the time to be grateful for our successes. An attitude of gratitude is a wonderful way to end the year and begin the new." I can easily rattle off 20 or 30 right now. But the big lessons and discoveries begin when you reach down deep for #45, then 76 and finally, 100. It's the perfect summary for the year and just the right entry for my juicy new journal. What about a best moments journal for 2008, an on-going record? I bet I could top 100 easily if I keep track of them as they happen.
It is easy to dwell on the difficult times, to share in another's sorrow or misfortune. We are caring and compassionate beings. It is all too easy to disregard, dismiss or trivialize moments of happiness. Many of us tend to think of happiness as something big, like winning the lottery, the birth of a child, getting an A on a test, a promotion, or acceptance into a juried show. That's more a feeling of exhilaration. As I have aged, (and fortunately, with that comes wisdom), I have discovered that happiness is (or can be) a daily state of living. Happiness comes from making the best of each day, each situation. It's an attitude, an approach to life. It's the greatest gift my father ever gave me - to look for the positive in every situation, to be grateful for the good that still exists in the midst of trouble or turmoil.
Remember Pollyanna? I saw that movie at a very impressionable age. But what a good and lasting impression it was. My life is the Glad Game. I've noticed it's my first reaction to all sorts of bad news or setbacks. The Glad Game, an attitude of gratitude. Call it what you want, but remaining positive and optimistic steers you through any situation, no matter how dark the night, how rough and choppy the waters get.
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. ~ Denis Waitley
This is my true religion: arbitrary moments of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead. ~ Elizabeth Berg