One of the things I love most about Kentucky is the weather. I LOVE that we have four distinct seasons and that each season has its own idea of what feels good.
Today was a really pleasant surprise. It’s the middle of summer but Mother Nature obviously has autumn on her mind. That’s fine with me, I’m pretty much obsessed with autumn, so I’ll just play along. It’s actually so nice today that I’m having trouble staying inside. I’m actually writing these words out in a notebook while sitting in the front yard amongst the birds, squirrels and rabbits. I came out to feed all of my feathered and furry friends after feeding my cats, of course. It’s best for all concerned if they stay full!
I’ve been sitting in this big comfy lounge chair enjoying the sights and sounds so long I have no idea what time it is, nor do I care. I go in every now and again to refill my coffee cup, but I haven’t glanced at the clock once. On days like this, time is of little consequence.
Does anything sound as beautiful as a choir of birds singing?
Birds are one of those things we take for granted. You should re-awaken your own appreciation for birds, if you’ve lost it somewhere along the way. Sit outside and give them your complete attention. Listen to the variances in the vocals of different birds. Watch the way they glide through the air and hop around the yard from one point of interest to the next. They’re really remarkable, delicate little guys!
When it comes to feeling thankful, I’ve had more than just feathers on my mind. Last night, my husband, our youngest daughter, and her boyfriend went to a tractor pull at the local county fair. As I watched, smelled, and listened to a lot of young people who NO ONE would want to “take home to mother” (unless mother was in the state pen), I was overcome with gratitude for the young people in my life. I’m thankful for the young ladies that each of my daughters are and I’m thankful for the young man in each one’s life. Day by day I know, more than anyone, how special all 6 of my kids are. You see, when you’re close to one of my girls, you’re automatically one of my own. (In fact, I even try to keep tabs on their ex-boyfriends – hoping that they’re happy and well. One that I was especially close to joined the Army and two are joining the Navy. ) This is a sentiment that my husband seems to share as well. When we were going into the fair, my husband spoke to the man handing out tickets and referred to our daughter’s boyfriend as “my boy.”
And like the rest of our kids, I’m very thankful for our “boy.”
While you’re taking a closer, appreciative look at birds – do the same with the people in your life. Don’t zero in on the things you wish were different – concentrate on the things that you wouldn’t change for the world. Think about how they make you laugh, how the room seems to light up when they come into it. Think about their individuality and how they have the courage to be who they are – not who anyone else thinks they should be.
They may not dress how you think they should, you may wonder what’s up with their hair, you may hate their music so much you want to weep – but the people in your life need your unconditional love, your unconditional support, and your unconditional pride.
If you look closely enough, you can find many things about them that you love – things that you are very grateful for. It’s these things you should focus on and praise them for. If they do something wrong or stand on the cusp of a horrendous decisions, you should absolutely say something (good grief, yell it from the rooftop if need be!) – but if all they hear is “Negative, negative, negative…” how long will it be before they tune you completely out? But if they hear “Positive, positive, positive…” with a negative ONLY when it’s absolutely necessary – they’ll catch it, because they’re leaning in listening!
It’s the approach I’ve taken with my daughters and, while even they wouldn’t claim to be perfect (okay, the youngest one might), they are amazing girls and my relationship with each one is the stuff dreams are made of. I think I see movement in my kitchen window which means that one of the people who mean the world to me has lunch on their mind.
The birds, squirrels, and rabbits will have to do without me for a little while.
Positive Thought and Heart-Felt Gratitude can make your world a more beautiful place in which to life. They’ll act upon your psyche like a cup of coffee acts upon your morning.