{bluebird and the way to normal | part one: now.}

There's no time like now” says the teal sticky in my notebook. It beams right back at me as a constant reminder that if I don’t want to live a life full of regrets, I have to live in the now, keep later in mind, and not beat myself up about before. Instead of seizing the day in a reckless manner, I hope to incorporate an imaginative and almost playfully curious approach towards exploring new interests – with my cautionary inner mother signaling the red flag whenever something smells fishy (and no one wants to “sleep with the fishes,” right?). In the spirit of carpe diem, Lenka’s song “Live Like You're Dying” resonates well with the concept of doing things that will enhance my life to a vibrant and memorable non-tangible entity. Barney Stinson would probably advise me to make life “legendary.” Arnold would most likely say, “Do eet now!”

The recent development of a certain something that will follow me like a shadow through the rest of my days has brought forth a new perspective on how to live a better and fuller life. For starters, I want/need to work on being happier with what I have and focus on the good that I am fortunate enough to be surrounded with instead of focusing on the lack of coveted things. Also, I have to get it into my head that although “wants” and “needs” can cross paths with one another, they are two different concepts that can conflict with one another as well. Emotions are often seen as truth-telling, but experience and the literature I was given to combat anxiety say that emotions are not necessarily (reliable) sources of truth

healthy emotional salad for thought

For instance, say I was having a terrible day because a client of the neighboring corporation that my company is sharing the office space with is lost, frustrated, and threatens to bomb the building. The personalizing and self-defeating automatic negative thoughts I could have are that I’m stupid and naïve, and it doesn’t pay to be nice to help out a person who looks lost inside the building. Now it’s not necessarily true that I’m stupid, and you know what, sometimes it does pay to be nice and cordial to strangers – but it just happens that this one time, the man I was talking to probably has major problems. It could happen to anyone – mean or nice, smart or stupid. Also, the way I handled the situation isn’t naïve because I followed protocol and reported it to the building manager who then called the shots to contact the police.

ain't that the truth

As my life will have it, even with protocol and the basic precautions taken to avoid disaster, the not-so-great unexpected would happen. That’s my catalyst towards remembering what does make me laugh and smile. Yellow daffodils, puppies, my little nephews laughing at the sound of farts and burps, hamburgers to satisfy my ridiculous hunger, a cup of hot chai tea latte, and good company. Sometimes when I force myself to smile, I feel a little lighter and a little happier – like I can move forward again.

Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky,
you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through
for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
 Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile what’s the use of crying
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you’ll just

--with much love and the best of intentions--

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