Friday, April 1, 2011

A Short Guide to a Happy Life....

Hi Everyone, it's me again!

I'm filling in for my Mom again tonight and I wanted to share a little blurb from a book I read that I received when I graduated, it's called "A Short Guide to a Happy Life" by Anna Quindlen. She shares her thoughts and a few life experiences that changed the way she looks at life and overall some great advice which you can never have enough of in my opinion!

I wanted to share this tonight because it made me stop and really think about what I've done with my life and how I treat others and what I do with my time and what kind of attitude I have towards life when it comes to the little things. Is the glass half empty or half full? Anyway, I could go on and on but here's what she's shares...

"Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won't happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live. I learned to live many years ago. Something really bad happened to me, something that changed my life in ways that, if I had a choice, it would never have been changed at all. And what I learned from it is what, today, sometimes seems to be the hardest lesson of all. I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that this is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world and try to give some of it back, because I believed in it completely and utterly and I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned, even though so many people may have thought I sounded like a Pollyanna. By telling them this; consider the Lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in the backyard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness, because, if you do, you will live it with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived.

Anyone can learn all those things, out there in the world. You just need to get a life, a real life, a full life, a professional life, yes, but another life, too. School never ends. The classroom is everywhere. The exam comes at the very end. No man ever said on his death bed I wish I had spent more time at the office. I found one of my best teachers on the boardwalk at Coney Island many years ago. It was December, and I was doing a story about how the homeless suffer in the winter months. He and I sat on the edge of the wooden supports, dangling our feet over the side, and he told me about his schedule, pan-handling the boulevard when the summer crowds were gone, sleeping in a church when the temperature went below freezing, hiding from the police amid the Tilt-A-Whirl and the Cyclone and some of the other seasonal rides. But he told me that most of the time he stayed on the boardwalk, facing the water, just the way we were sitting now, even when it got cold and he had to wear his newspapers after he read them. And I asked him why. Why didn't he go to one of the shelters? Why didn't he check himself into the hospital for detox? And he stared out at the ocean and said, "Look at the view, young lady look at the view." And every day, in some little way, I try to do what he said. I try to look at the view. That's all. Words of wisdom from a man not with a dime in his pocket, no place to go, nowhere to be. Look at the view. When I do what he said, I am never disappointed."

After reading this short book that was jam-packed with lots of good "food for thought" I felt very grateful for the wonderful life I have. For all the little things that are the big things after all. For the many blessings I've been given and all the wonderful experiences I've had and for all the lessons I've learned as well. Lessons that have been tough at the time, but have shaped who I am and have made me a better person today. I hope that I can remember that man's advice as well to "Look at the view".

So thanks for reading my thoughts on life. I'm going to get to bed so I can hear more inspiring words tomorrow as I listen to General Conference with my family and look forward to being uplifted. As my Mom would say, "Good night dear friends!"

Amy (Woodard) Jaeger

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