This week is rounding out a few-week-long stretch of a “pain event” for me. I did get to the doctor a few days ago and they put me back on some muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories. The referral is in now—ortho and most likely a spinal surgeon. Fun times huh?
So why am I smiling?
For today, being in relatively little pain: I am ecstatic. Low pain days are a rarity lately—so I am thrilled!
Tonight, I am chilled out watching Survivor. I mean, what could be better? I freaking love reality tv shows, especially Survivor.
Tomorrow, I am going with my Mom for a day trip to the Carl Sandburg (poet) historical home. SWEET!
But I’ve been thinking (don’t run away just yet!)
—that these are things we can do in advance. Why can’t we be in a state of mindfulness about tomorrow? About next week?
I’m pretty sure this is a thing, right?
Consider some of the “keys to happiness” that Forbes magazine outlines in an August 2019 article entitled How To Be Happy: 20 Ways To Be Happier Today by Zack Friedman, bestselling Author of The Lemonade Life.
Here are a few of his suggestions to be happier today:
- Look for the good in things
- Believe that you have the power to change your life
- Practice happiness
- Have an open mind
—How to Be Happy, by Zach Friedman
If I could have a quick cup of coffee with Mr. Friedman, I’d first thank him for a wonderful article, but then I’d ask him if he thought these things can be done in advance.
Can we project -gratitude -looking for the positive -hope, -happiness and -open-mindedness about our life and our future–into the days ahead?
I think that we can.
I have recently begun working in the Monk Manual, which if you have not heard of it–I fully recommend it. (I’ll be writing about this manual soon because I just love it!) Each morning I get up I fill out the plans for the day and at the end of the day I review my day. One thing I am learning is how much I enjoy simplifying my hopes way down to a few things and then evaluating the impact those things have had on my day.
It is forcing me to look ahead with hope. Think about my main goals as I go through my day–and then to celebrate what I have done. I find my mind bending toward hope. I find myself looking forward to tomorrow with a more simple intention and a larger sense of gratitude. These were by-products of my time in the Monk Manual–4 days into use.
I think that we can be in a state of awareness, an attitude of presence in our lives, even in those moments that are still on the horizon.Christina
What if we spent our todays in an attitude of gratitude for our tomorrows? Let our gratitude extend out past where we are sitting—to greet our future—already happy?
Tonight, I am practicing mindful presence in these precious low-pain moments. I am thankful for the opportunity to go and spend some time tomorrow with my Mom. I am celebrating the silly—tv shows and songs and laughs and whatever small things that I enjoy.
And I am deciding that I will pick something about tomorrow to get excited about. Tomorrow, it’s easy for me: the trip with my Mom. But what about the next day? When nothing special is happening? I’ll pick something for that day as well.
How much more rich would our lives be if we could do this as a daily practice—pick something about tomorrow to get excited about?
What are you excited about in your life? If it’s something as simple as a nice cup of coffee in the morning or a new pair of socks—if it makes you happy, then it is certainly worth celebrating.