Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Welcome to the happy place

I can finally get my butt moving again today!  And I will do so as soon as I rest it on this couch just a little wee bit longer.  I am watching Biggest Loser though; does that count as a workout?

I'm a pretty happy-go-lucky kind of girl.  I'm a big fan of positivity, optimism, and looking on the bright side of things.  I have been accused of having too much "youthful optimism" and living in a fictional "Abby world".  I suppose some people find a fault in that.  I figure, why waste my time otherwise.  I'd rather spend it smiling.
 I try my hardest to be nice, smile, and try to see the good in others.  Even when times are tough or life isn't going my way, I know I have so very much to be thankful for and happy about. 

I have found my soulmate and best friend in my husband. 
 My family is the most fun, crazy, loving group of people I could ask for.
I have a wonderful home filled with all of life's needs and necessities, and most of my wants too.
I was accepted at my top choice grad school, and I have met a ton of incredible people on this venture.
I have traveled to more countries by 26 than many people have the chance to in their whole life.
I feel so very blessed.  But even more important than all of that, I know that whatever troubles, challenges, or difficulties come my way, things will always get better.  It can be hard to see that sometimes, maybe even impossible.  Sometimes it's just easier to be angry, or vengeful, or detached.  I see it in others, and it always breaks my heart.  I try so hard to keep myself out of that pitfall, and I think I do a pretty good job of it.  I wish I could somehow give that ability to everyone.

So you may be wondering all this is coming from?  It's just an accumulation of many trivial encounters that all sort of "came together" after yet another trivial encounter this past weekend.

I was leaving the mall at the tail end of a trail of about 8 cars, with no one behind me in sight.  A car waiting to make a left turn across my lane was stopped ahead.  Just as I approached, the male driver cut me off.  I had to slam on my brakes to avoid a collision, but didn't feel the need to honk.  The person was obviously aware of what they were doing, and I knew a honk would accomplish nothing.  Then the woman in the passenger seat looked back at me, with her tongue flapping and flipped me the bird.

In the moment, a foot taller and 100 pound heavier black belt carrying version of me wanted to make a right turn and follow the car, just to ask the woman what could possibly make her so absurdly angry that she felt it was appropriate to make an obscene gesture to a complete stranger that had done absolutely nothing to her.  Of course I didn't, and instead I kept driving on to my grandparents' house, all the while replaying the brief encounter and wondering curiously about people that react like that woman had.

The more I thought about it, the more sad I felt for her.  I can't imagine that you can find true happiness when you are holding onto so much anger.  You can't truly respect yourself when you show such a lack of it for others.  You can't make things better in your own life by trying to bring things down for others.  Any momentary satisfaction you get isn't going to hold up beyond that moment.

This one little episode is what got me thinking, but this post isn't just about that one encounter.  It's about the way we live our lives everyday and realizing how we have the power to control our own lives as well as how we affect the lives of others.  We choose how we behave and how we let the behaviors of others affect us.

So friends, go out there and smile, seek out the good, surround yourself with positive people that make you a better person, and most importantly, don't flip me off in the mall parking lot or I'll blog about you, and it won't be pretty.  And in extreme circumstances I may even be forced to make the angry face in your general direction!

People are like stained-glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.  
~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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