Liz Flaherty photo

Making up your mind

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

Photograph by Liz Flaherty

I need some happy things. The harder they are to find, the more I need them, which explains this picture. See it? It’s sunrise one day early in the week as viewed through my office door. Well, actually I opened the door to take the picture. I shared it everywhere I could because I’m pretty well-known for how bad of a photographer I am. However, when you have an iPhone and Mother Nature both on your side, nice things can happen. It has made me happy every day.

I made chili one day this week—which is really good—and teased my grandson, the chili aficionado, because we’re all on isolation and all he can do is think about it. He was pretty insistent I send him some, just pour it into a Priority Mail envelope and ship it out. He turned 16 this week, and it would have been a nice gift. We could have driven it down there and set it on their sidewalk, then driven back home, but I guess it wasn’t really essential. I had to concentrate on the teasing and not on the fact that he’s 16 and last week he was a whole year younger. (This is a grandparent thing. We all do it because kids grow up too fast. It will happen to you one day, too, do don’t smirk.)

The sun shone. It may have been accidental that it hit Miami County, but it was there! People weeded, mowed, wandered their yards and admired spring at its best. Hope pushed its head up between the weeds and happiness was all around.

With traffic being almost a non-issue, I walked on the road a few days this week, waving at neighbors I didn’t see as I walked past. Enjoying the sounds of the kids down the road playing outside and feeling that as long as there is that kind of joy, things will be okay.

Do you remember The Egg and I? Betty MacDonald wrote it, along with several other books. One of them, Onions in the Stew, was 99 cents from Amazon this week, so I bought it. It’s dated―there are references that were in terrible taste then and are much more so now—and it’s also hilarious. I have laughed out loud and remembered reading her books the first time, straight out of my aunt’s bookcase. In another book, The Plague and I, she spent time in a tuberculosis asylum and made it funny—what more do I need to say? The point is that while I’m reading this dated and not very polite memoir, I’m happy. Here’s the link if you’re interested in the book.

Find things to laugh at. My husband doesn’t think it’s fair that he’s so often what I find to laugh at, but he does return the favor, so all’s fair… Yesterday, I was watching this cute little brown bunny bopping around at the far edge of the side yard. I wondered what he was looking for, if he’d lost his mom, or if he was just playing. He was so cute, I thought about videoing him with my trusty iPhone, but remember what I said in the first paragraph about being a bad photographer? Yeah, that. So, anyway, I’m watching this bunny and chuckling and trying to figure out how to use him in a story. And then the bunny—also known as a leaf from a cottonwood tree—blew away.

Yeah, laughing at yourself is good, too.

Remember that some of the feel-good inducing things are still there. Music, although not live when you’re sitting at a table with friends, is fun to watch on-screen and fun to hear anywhere and anytime. Movies are great entertainment. My friend Nan is knitting up a storm. Many of us are sewing masks for healthcare and other essential workers. Spring cleaning has come back into style. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard…

Sarah Luginbill posted a wonderful painting on Facebook on Friday, a reminder to stay positive. It is such an important thing, one that is annoying to everyone who prefers to be, in their terms, realistic...or, in my terms, negative. You have to make up your mind to work on positivity every single day, one at a time, but it’s always worth the effort. Even if it doesn’t make you happy, it might help someone else.

Painting by Sarah L. Luginbill

I hope you’ll talk to us this week. Let us all know how you’re staying positive, what you’re finding to make you happy. Let us know if there are websites that are helpful, activities that lend themselves to good times, or stories that need to be told.

On the other side of the coin, let us know if you need help. It’s kind of a long row we’re hoeing right now, but we’re all in it together.

Have a good week. Stay safe. Be nice to somebody.


Liz maintains a blog that you can visit by clicking this link:

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