Just keep smiling…

Nelson MandelaSometimes I look in the mirror and ask myself where my inspiration is coming from…what gets me out of bed in the morning.  Sometimes I need to look at the weather or the people in my life…my friends, coworkers or family for inspiration.  Sometimes I call a friend to catch up or read a book to see that the world doesn’t end at my front door.  Sometimes, I read the newspaper to see what’s really happening in the world…how bad it can really be!  Usually one of those things works, but what happens when it doesn’t?  What happens when all of that is not enough?  Can I count on being inspired forever by the things going on around me?  Or is it something that I need to remember so that during my dark moments, I can easily remember those quotes by Nelson Mandela or Albert Einstein or the Dalai Lama?  Maybe I should write them all down!  Or maybe one day I’ll be able to come up with my own statements of inspiration to spur on my colleagues and family and friends and maybe that will be enough.  But what’s inspiring enough to keep going…to keep smiling?  To continue my path, always with a smile on my face.  A medal around my neck showing the world that as bad as it can be, I’ll always smile and look at the positive side to every situation.  Because life without a smile is not worth living.  And when you fall down, while it may be hard to do, you have to remember how to get back on that horse or else life will pass you by.  For every bad day, there are three good ones and so when met with an obstacle or a let down or a disappointment…we have to remember that in order for a new opportunity to present itself, something else has to end first.

I remember when I was a little girl, my mother showed me her favorite poem, “Voyage to Ithaca.”  I don’t know that I understood it at the time, and if you don’t know the poem, please look it up! (http://www.cavafy.com/poems/content.asp?cat=1&id=74) It basically talks about how you shouldn’t wish your life away…how throughout your life you will meet obstacles and buy great things and meet amazing people and visit incredible places…but if you wish life away and you end up in Ithaca, then everything is over…because Ithaka is meant to represent the goals we set for ourselves in life…like graduating from college or getting married or having a baby.  Things that people tend to wish for themselves to happen faster…without enjoying the voyage they travel in order to get there.  At this point in my life, I understand what that poem means and I think I even now understand that it meant to my mother when she clipped it out of the NY Times to save in her night stand so she could read it during her dark moments.  (I have it framed on my desk at home.)

So when you look in the mirror and you see that you are another year older…don’t have any regrets!  Appreciate the things you’ve experienced during that year…both good and bad.  And if you feel as though it wasn’t enough…as though you aren’t satisfied by what you did then only you can change that.  Strive to do more!  Travel!  Read!  Study!  Appreciate the people and things in your life because you never know when they’ll disappear and remember that everything happens for a reason and there’s a reason why you meet the people you meet…friend or foe.  So when someone or something disappoints you in life, don’t fight it…just take it in, learn from it and promise yourself that you’ll never become that…and just keep smiling.


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