Monday, December 17, 2012

Appy Daze: Smile Through The Tears

In light of all of the horror that has affected our world within the last week, when it is easy to lose all faith in humanity and become terribly frustrated by the inertness of our political leaders (Seriously: why can’t we do something to answer the problem of mass shootings?!-- it’s been thirteen years since Columbine and we still haven’t found the answer?), it is more important than ever to find goodness and happiness in the world.  By far there is more love and goodness in the world then there is horror and hate; I am making a conscious decision to focus on the goodness and the love and I would encourage all of my readers and my loved ones to do the same.  
In the spirit of my Appy Daze feature, I am going to give some “travel sized” nuggets of happiness and love that have kept me going lately as a reminder (to myself, to others) that there is goodness all around us, we only need to make a concerted effort to look for it.

  • My Mom: Without a doubt, as I have said dozens of times before and will say dozen of times in the future, my mother is my best friend.  Like any mother and daughter, we have our differences from time to time; however, these differences are only stand as reminders of how alike we really are . . . we’re both so stubborn we both think we have the right answer.  Even in the most challenging of times we know that we have one another’s best interests in mind and are one another’s biggest cheerleaders.  When God was matching up parents and children, he certainly got his pairing right when he put my mother and I together-- and for that i am eternally grateful!

  • Duchess: I waited until I was 28 to get a dog of my own, so I had many expectations about what pet parenthood would be like.  When we rescued Duchess, those expectations were far, far exceeded.  She is the furry love of my life, and my second best friend.  Duchess is a spunky little pug girl with lots of love and enthusiasm for life.  My mom and I like to say that she rescued us, not the other way around; she has made my mother and myself’s relationship stronger and has given our life a greater optimism and, with the strength of her puggy love, has given us a resilience that we have never known.  I am so thankful to have her furry little self in my life; find my true pug love was worth the 28 year wait.

  • The White House’s “We the People” Petition Site: I am proud to live in a country where people have a direct way to let the President and Congress know what legislation is important to them and, through the collective power of the petition, show just how important that issue is.  If you browse through the site, you’ll notice that there are a lot of petitions that have been created and supported by cranks.  While such petitions can certainly be an occasion to roll your eyes, they also stand as a stark reminder that our democracy works-- even the cranky people who don’t have a legitimate point (and no, the succession of Tennessee from the Union in 2012 isn’t a legitimate point) still have a right and a means to make their point.  It’s easy to feel jaded about our nation’s political processes and stop-go way in which they seem to work, but, unlike many places in the world, our political institutions do work.  That, dear readers, is something to be thankful for.

  • The Holiday Season: All commercialism aside, I really do love this time of year.  Beyond the inhumanity of the malls and big box stores, this season does bring out the better qualities of community.  During the holidays, people are more willing to open their wallets and give to the needy or even to lend a helping hand to those that are in the a bad way.  While I wish that this generosity extended to the entire calendar year, it’s heartening to know that people can be counted as generous at least 17% of the year.

  • Holiday Books: I have enjoyed reading the holiday themed books of my childhood to my pug, recently.  Yes, I know most of you will think it’s silly to read a bedtime story to your dog, but she loves to have a little story before she goes to bed.  I had originally started reading her bedtime stories as a bonding exercise when we first adopted her, now it is a nightly tradition.  It’s really great getting to relive all of my happy childhood (literary) memories with Duchess this year!-- what a blessing!

While this is not an exhaustive list, these points really speak to what I am feeling most happy about today.  What brings you happiness, even in the saddest of times?  Let’s share the love!

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