CELEBRATE!

Hi <>, and the warmest of welcomes to "Happy Life The JJ Way".

Phew! What a month!

July is a big month for celebration in our family, as both of my sisters and myself are all birthday girls.

Because we all live in different states (Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales) we usually make do with a phone call on each other's special day. This year, however, my biggest sister was celebrating a landmark so, not being one to miss out on anything, I packed my kids and myself up (toothbrushes, jarmies and jocks) and headed off to Sydney to surprise my sister on her big day! We had a great time (see the evidence here) and met some lovely people. I renewed acquaintances while Emily and Thomas met for the first time my sisters other "family". After the party and a couple of hours sleep, it was back home to Melbourne, and before I knew it, I was the birthday girl!

I had a wonderful day being spoiled rotten, then a little a gathering a couple of nights later inspired me to write the following article.

CELEBRATION OF A MESS

I'm standing in my kitchen, drenched in glorious morning sunlight.

God (the Universe, Whoever) has once again seen fit to share It's magnificence with me, It's beautiful light surging into my humble home.

I survey the damage from the night before.

It's minimal.

Some kind person has thoughtfully gathered all the glasses into one spot.

The floor copped the worst of it. Chip crumbs, drink spills. Yesterday just a floor, today a canvas we, the artists, have brushed with the paint of our friendship.

Echoes of the music and voices fill my head as my eyes drift to the table.

Another mess.

A pink, floral jumble of gift wrap, ribbons and bags once containing pink, shiny, heart-shaped gifts, selected with love and now displayed amongst the jumble.

I'm beaming now as I take my time meandering through the jumble, inspecting each offering.

I marvel at the appropriateness of every gift. Each one seems to have my name stamped upon it.

Gratitude engulfs me as I acknowledge the time spent by each individual in the selection and presentation of their gift.

The thought, time and effort are gifts in themselves, the end result of which I can now touch, see, smell, eat.

Between the kettle and myself stands a wall of cards. Each one a silent sentinel to the undercurrent of love in my life.

I need only to select one to enjoy the good wishes contained therein. But who could stop at one?

Soldier by soldier is plucked, discharged of ammunition, inspected for the tiniest detail - an underlining here, a paw-print there - and then replaced to rearm for the next sortie.

I'm still beaming.

As I eventually reach for the kettle, I muse to myself how much I have to celebrate on this birthday. Not just the fact that I was born at this time a few(!) years ago, but my life itself, the people in my life.

People who took the time to select gifts, and cards, and take time out of their busy lives to celebrate my life with me.

I am humbled and grateful.

Mess?

What mess?

Someone else may see a mess.

I see evidence of a life shared and celebrated.

A beautiful work of art gifted to me.

I am humbled and grateful.



FIND YOUR GRATITUDE

Bearing the preceding paragraphs in mind, how do you think the rest of my day progressed after confronting the 'morning after' mess?

Would I have placed myself under stress to clean up the mess at the expense of everything else, grumbling as I cleaned, allowing myself to be beaten by the $6.00 gateman (his shift starts post-siren!) at my son's footy match?

Or do you think I let the work of art and the accompanying gratitude linger, allowing my day to unfold in its peaceful, unhurried way?

You're right! Hell, high water or morning-after-mess would not entice me to let the $6.00 man win! So in my peaceful, unhurried, grateful way, I cleaned up only that which I didn't want to face again, leaving the beautiful reminders intact.

Then, overcome with an urgency only my weekly competition with the $6-man can inspire, I zoomed off to the footy to have him wave me through with two minutes to spare! Victory!!!

That victory was made all the sweeter when, screeching in behind me, came one of my fellow "artists" from the previous evening! We fell about laughing as we left our cars. What a team! What a day! The gifts I had already received followed by not one, but TWO victories over the $6-man! What a life!

If your life is not so happy, it may be that you're just not grateful enough! If this is the case - practise, practise, practise!

Celebration Of A Mess was intentionally set out that way. Each line is separate, because there is something to be grateful for in every line. If you have time now, and you need the practise, re-read it, finding the gift in every line. You can use it to practise looking for things for which to be grateful. When gratitude becomes a habit in your life - voila!- happiness is yours!

While your birthday IS all about you, when your next big day rolls around, take a moment to be grateful not only for the gift you are to the world, but also for gifts which can mean the world to you. Celebrate the mundane!


Funny Pictures


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Until next month, I wish you a Happy Life,

Jackie xxx