Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top of the List



As I think about the list...
You know the one....
My new year's resolutions....
I realize that I have reached
an age where it is no longer

Hit the gym 3+ times a week
Prepare from scratch dinners the majority of evenings
Walk Gracie at least once a day
Get.more.organized

No.

It is more like this:

Make every moment count.

Really SEE my children.  {Some days my
son jumps down the stairs in the morning
and I swear he has grown overnight.  
How did I not SEE that?} 

Remember to breathe.  Look
around.  Just BE from time to time.

Pray more

Laugh more!

Focus on gratitude



As I was reading all of your 
lovely reflections on
Open Happiness, I started 
to see many of your words as 
little resolutions, guiding me 
as I began to make my own.  


Here is just a glimpse.
They seemed like wonderful 
advice as we head into 2011.

wish our world had more hugs...as the new year approaches and I figure
 out new ways to improve my life and ways to touch others, 
hugs will be foremost on my list.
~ Sarah

The right word at the right time can be a priceless gift.
~ Claudia

Somehow I have this idea that as I go through the year 2011
speaking words of praise that I will 
at the same time be opening happiness. 
~ Dianna

No matter where we stand in life, 
we ALL have SO very much to be grateful for.
~ Lorraine

Being happy certainly is a choice, 
and one that I try to be conscious of every day.
~ Sally

A hug is something that is not only free, 
but stays with you throughout your day.
~ Deborah

Like you, I listen to that little voice that makes 
itself known on a napkin or wherever it happens to appear! 
 ~ Kat

I make it a habit to cherish all the little things each day 
that come my way, instead of waiting to only 
celebrate the big ones.  
~ Marie

It's all how we look at things, isn't it?  
~ Becky




My parents had the very good fortune to
travel to India last January.  While they
were overwhelmed by the amazing sites
and contrast between natural beauty and
dire poverty, that isn't what springs to
mind when they think of India.

It's her lovely people.




Something like 80% 
of those living in India
exist in worse conditions than 
the poorest of the poor living in 
America, earning two dollars
or less per day.

Yet they are happy.
They are content.
They are grateful.




Because many Indian religions
 teach that if they are good
people in this life, their 
lot in the next will improve,
these humble people are
accepting of their lives,
happy for what they have
and not focused on what
they do not have.




I want to remember this
truth about how they live
when a lilting Indian voice
answers the next call about 
my Macy's bill : )  Humble
people, working hard
and leading a humble life.

If I truly listen
I can learn a little bit more
about myself this year, too.



Each interaction with another person 
is an opportunity to see things a little differently....
to put myself in their shoes....to imagine a world 
that is outside my own and to refocus my lens 
on that which is true and good and meaningful.



What resolution is at the top
of your list this year, my friends?
Big or small,
important or incidental
I would love to hear
what is on your horizon
for 2011.



And here's a toast,
from me to you.....
Let's celebrate all that
is unique and wonderful
and worthwhile about
this journey that we 
are all on together.

Life.


Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame
 by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes 
the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.
~ Albert Schweitzer


Happy New Year!

xx
Suzanne


PS:  Between spotty
internet at my parent's and 
the flu, I haven't been able to
make many blog visits this
week.  I'm hoping to be
back in the saddle soon!




images:
Privet & Holly:  2, 6-7
Flickr:  1,3,8-9 {click for talent}
Google images:  4-5

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishes


Wishing You Always


walls from the wind


and a roof from the rain



and tea beside the fire


laughter to cheer you


and those you love near you


and all that your heart
might desire ~


~An Irish Blessing

Merry Christmas,
dear friends.

Each and every one
of you is a precious
gift to me....

xx
Suzanne


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Open Happiness


Via Haverford House

Every time that I
leave my parents,
I go through a little
grieving process
a little boo-hoo
a little pity party
yep
every
time.

We live 1500 miles
apart, so I only see
them three, maybe
four times a year.


I was very fortunate
to visit them this
fall.  As I was reading
a magazine on the
airplane flying home,
trying to distract myself
from my usual
"parting blues," the
flight attendant brought
me my diet Coke.


And the Coca-Cola
message on the little
napkin caught my eye.

It said OPEN HAPPINESS.

My breath caught in
my throat as I considered
this directive, which 
almost seemed aimed
right
at
me.

Open Happiness.

And I did.


I opened the joy of
not only having parents,
but parents who love
and encourage me ~
Who have always
always been there
for me, despite our
geographical distance.
Parents who, through
the grace of technology,
I can connect with any
time that I want to,
in a myriad of ways.

M&D Summer 2010
Imagine this distance
100 years ago!  There
was no telephone system
reaching the West Coast
until 1915.....We would
be exchanging letters and
maybe seeing each other
once a year, most
likely by train.


Open Happiness.

I still have that little
napkin, creased and
rumpled, pinned to
my bulletin board.
Each time it catches
my eye, it makes
me smile.  It makes
me feel happy
and grateful
and blessed.


As someone who
loves words
I do recognize
when they appear
in my life as signs.....
Small flags or
beacons reminding
me to pay attention
and love this life
I've been blessed
to receive.



At Christmastime 
these messages don't just
speak to me....

They roar.


I have included a link to
a short Youtube video
at the end of this post
that opens my happiness
every time I watch it.

From the video
Please view this.
 Please, please.
Be sure to turn your speakers on!

Today it is my gift
to you.  When you watch
it, not only will you be
opening happiness,
but I believe,
opening your heart.


Big Christmas hugs
as you make your way
through this wacky,
wonderful world, today!

xx
Suzanne

PS:
I would like to dedicate this post to the memory of
Steven Russell Berrell, who died 22 years ago, today,
over Lockerbie, Scotland on Pan AM Flight 103.  He
was 19 years old, a student at Syracuse University
and the brother of a dear friend of my family.  My
wish for his family is that when they think of Steven
this Christmas, they only open 
the happiest of memories.

Please click here to watch this 
brought to you by Youtube!  




images:
Flickr: 2-3, 6, 8-9 {click for talent}
Privet and Holly:  4-5, 7, 11
Youtube:  10