“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” ~ Buddha
“I’ll be happy and joyful and at peace as soon as……the government raises the debt ceiling, or the price of gas comes down, or I graduate, or I get married, or I get divorced, or I lose 20 pounds, or……”
It seems to me that so often we postpone our experience of happiness and celebration in anticipation of some future event. But what are we thinking about and feeling in the meantime? Basing our peace on something outside ourselves means we are always out of balance, always in anticipation.
Our experience of life is constantly growing and changing. The stock market may go up today, but it may go down tomorrow. If we base our happiness on that, we will stay on the roller coaster ride, rather than being at peace.
Instead, we can choose to stay in gratitude, for those experiences that we label as huge wins, as well as the moment by moment grace. I remember the advertisements from Baskin-Robbins (31 Flavors) that ran several years ago. A woman looks outside and says, “it looks like it’s going to get dark tonight. How ’bout a bowl of Baskin-Robbins?” A little boy comes to his mother and says, “my goldfish bit me. How ’bout a bowl of Baskin- Robbins?” The point is that there is always an excuse for something special.
Loretta LaRoche reminds us that “life is short–wear your party pants!” (from the book by the same name.) I’ll be using this book on Sundays for the next few weeks to remind us of ‘ten simple truths that lead to an amazing life.’
So what does that celebration look like? It doesn’t have to be a bowl of ice cream, or dinner at Mister A’s. It could be just spending a few minutes in gratitude for the reminder that we are always safe and sound, whether or not we are consciously aware. Or cranberry juice in a fluted glass. Or dropping a note to a dear one we haven’t spoke to in a while. It’s much more about the feeling than the action.
But I challenge us to put on our party pants (so to speak) and spend some time in celebration, whatever that looks like. The rest of it is just background noise that will resolve itself.