21 Days of Happy Habits ~ Day 1 – Appreciate Life

“To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with”. Mark Twain

It’s good to be alive.

I’ve written that a lot in recent years. Every single morning I wake up after a good night sleep I look in the mirror and realize how lucky I am to be here, still. I’ve grown into not just appreciating but loving life and those who have chosen to be with me. My people give me reason to want to live and appreciate life and those that are in it.

appreciation+more

appreciation+more (Photo credit: Ex-InTransit)

I like to think I can look through any facade and see the good in people. Good can come from evil and when it does, it’s a great accomplishment. Each day I try to make a positive impact on someone’s life, including my own.

The time I take to volunteer and help others is repaid with the knowledge it helps me appreciate life and what I do have.

I know what I have in my life… my large blended family, my small group of friends. I also remember what I never had in my life before last year. That doesn’t matter anymore. I don’t take anything or anyone for granted and make sure I am a part of the lives of those who are close and important to me.

I take my experiences, good and bad and use them to cultivate personal growth and a part of that is learning to appreciate life and all that comes with it. Learning to appreciate life has little to do with tangible items we all have and love and think we can’t live without. It’s just stuff and if you somehow lose that stuff, it’s makes it easier to remember what you do have… The intangible and appreciation of life.

Quote of the Day 20 March 2014 ~ Spring Fever

A portrait of the American writer Mark Twain t...

A portrait of the American writer Mark Twain taken by A. F. Bradley in New York, 1907. http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/publications/siycfall_05.pdf http://www.twainquotes.com/Bradley/bradley.html See also other photographs of Mark Twain by A. F. Bradley taken in March 1907 in New York on Mark Twain Project Online. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” — Mark Twain

Quote of the Day 28 November 2013 – Thanksgiving

Mark Twain

Cover of Mark Twain

“Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for — annually, not oftener — if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man’s side, consequently on the Lord’s side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments.”
Mark Twain

About Thanksgiving:

It became an official Federal holiday in 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26. [wikipedia]

Commentary:

So you must remember… in 1863 we stopped celebrating the extermination of native americans and started celebrating the way we killed each other… Something to be thankful for. Oh, yes… and with all the death and killing… we added more god relevance to it.

Opinion:

I’m not entirely sure what Thanksgiving used to mean to me, well, I am sure what it used to mean, but it doesn’t matter “today”… and I know, today, it becomes a new tradition for my family and I. I don’t care about the turkey, the food, the pie(s), the whatever. I just know I am thankful I now have a family to celebrate a new tradition with. My family. I’m thankful I am still alive and able to make a difference and cultivate meaning to my life.