Spring into Easter with Joy

flower wagonBombarded with bad news, it is hard to keep spirits high, so turn off the TV, Twitter feed, and iPhone and tune into the little reminders of blessings unfolding around us. Easter is the perfect time of year to think positively about rebirth and new beginnings. So throw open those shutters and take a peek.

Okay, so it is raining again in Switzerland, the clouds hang so heavy ne’er a mountain in sight. But outside my window the daffodils waltz in the wind, buds pop open on the beech tree and the grass grows greener with each raindrop. The forsythia bush in the backyard burst into a golden flame overnight while I wasn’t looking.

Right now anyone who knew the details would say my life sucks. I am stuck in another treatment plan without answers from a disease that keeps adding symptoms. My husband is locked into a dead end job. My Big Kids are living 4000 miles away. Ze Frenchman and I are riding solo for the Easter holiday. But no pity party for me!

“The secret to happiness is being joyful for good things happening in other people’s life.”

My mom taught me that. She has an innate ability, a gift from her Norwegian mother, to find delight in life’s simple pleasures.

Mom set such a good example of purposeful living that it is hard not to follow suit. She invested wholeheartedly in raising four kids, and when the last one entered kindergarten, she filled her own book bag and went back to school to teach.kids in giant egg

When she retired from teaching, she rolled down the halls in a shopping cart and banged on all the lockers with a wooden spoon.

She embraced retirement with equal aplomb filling her days with good deeds, volunteering at the food pantry and church circle. When she wasn’t busy gadding about to her clubs, she was sewing up a storm of finery to commemorate every rite of passage for her grandchildren and her friends’ grandkids.

Jealousy does not bode well in kind hearts. Take a tip from Mom. Step outside yourself.

When you’re feeling down in the dumps about your lot in life, focus on what is going right in someone else’s. Then lead the parade.

Dance when your nephew is accepted in his first choice college.

Laugh aloud when you hear your son enjoys coaching so much that as soon as one season ended he started another as an AAU coach.

Cry a few tears when a former student makes a surprise visit back to high school to bring you a purple jacket – your favorite color – from his British university.

I only need to look beyond my own window to see that plenty of goodness is going round.

When a college roommate’s daughter gets married, raise a glass in cheer instead of feeling sad that you live too far away to attend the wedding.

When a best friend from high school has her long awaited first grandbaby, send a special gift and enjoy the FB photos.

When a buddy lands a book deal, applaud her success as a victory for all writers.

finding eggs on the balcony

finding eggs on the balcony

If you can’t be with loved ones for the holiday, flip through those old-fashioned photo albums and savor the memories of past celebrations.

Attitude is about gratitude.

One never has to look far to feel grateful.

Happy Holiday!

Posted in family, inspiration, relationships, social view.

22 Comments

  1. This is the second year your parents have stopped to visit us here in New Mexico on their way back home from Tucson. They seem to enjoy Tucson in the winter and we hope they continue their annual trek to warmer country. Jim and I love seeing them. We miss those days when we would see them at Nathalis’s basketball games is Stevens Point. The above tribute to your mother is certainly a true representation of her spirit. Both of your parents are so kind and caring and we hope they are safely back in Illinois.
    From: Mary and Jim Schnitzler (Amy’s parents)

    • Yes, Jim and Lenore are home safely and had a wonderful visit with you. We also miss seeing those games and being part of the wonderful Stevens Point basketball family. Our ties to the north remain ever strong, all the Mck-Lechault clan was wearing red and white yesterday and cheering big time for the badgers. On Wisconsin! Sure wish we could see the game over here. Tell Jim good luck on his next marathon…that is truly amazing.

  2. I love this outlook, Pat! Yes, happiness is a choice we can make every single day, and it’s not about anything external. Your mom is indeed a happy, contented person, with a sparkle in her eyes (both your parents used to come in to the dental office where I used to work), but I didn’t have the back-story that you just provided. Now I respect her even more! Thank you for not throwing a public pity party for yourself; we’ve seen that all too frequently. Having said that, I hope for a good and easy diagnosis, quick cure for whatever it is that’s been ailing you, and robust good health. Happy Easter to you and yours! Sending much love.
    ~ Nell E./Sterling, IL

    • Thanks, Nell. I am sure that my mom has influenced my life in more positive ways than I can ever acknowledge. It is always so nice to hear from folks back home, so thank you for taking the time to post a comment. Happy Easter to you, too. Sending sunshine and love back at ya from Switzerland.

  3. Pat, I am inspired by your attitude to life, especially given all the undeserved curve balls that have been thrown your way. Always the coach, off and on the court, we are encouraged, lifted up and compelled by you to go forward and enjoy life the way it was meant to be, regardless of the hurdles. You have been such a wonderful example to all – your students, friends and family. I’m grateful to have you in my life.

    • Thanks, Tinie, and you know I am equally inspired and grateful to have you and the rest of your brood as part of my life. Curve balls is right, but hey, it’s all about staying in the game, so I keep doing what it takes to keep on keeping on. It sure helps to be able to able to have friends that remain connected even when we are so far apart.

  4. I had a dear friend who once told her son that he had a single choice each day – to put on his happy pants or to put on his grumpy pants. The choice was going to effect his mood each day, and she strongly encouraged him to put on the happy pants and to ‘just get over it’ Best advice I’d heard in years.

    • Good advice. On those days where I am grumpy, I try to get moving. It is hard to stay down in the dumps for long if I get out and about.

  5. Pat, once again you have reminded us to appreciate all the blessings in our lives. And one of the greatest blessings is being part of a loving, supportive family. Yes, I am so glad that Mom taught us by her example to find the good in people and situations always. And you continue to inspire me with your grateful attitude in spite of the challenges you face. Happy Easter, my sweet sister. Love you.

    • You Susie Sugar inherited the biggest giving gene and we are all so much more loving and connected and serene because you bring out the best in each of us. Love you more.

    • Haralee, the winds are so strong here those daffodils are now whipping around doing the tango, but I am still enjoying the show. Happy Easter to you and yours.

  6. Wonderful words Pat. One of my favourite quotes that has kept me going across family tragedies and distances apart from loved ones is ‘even at the bottom of the well, if you look up, you can still see the sunlight’. It’s easy to feel yourself sinking to the bottom of that well but I witness it and hang onto the walls sometimes for a breather, then slowly climb back up 🙂 I also permit myself to be ‘cranky’ as they say here, just to feel what it’s like and get it out of my system! A good detox of emotions is good for us after all 😉 have a lovely Easter and enjoy your school hols. Eat, love and talk to those who matter, hugs, Rach xxx

    • Next time I fall into that big ol’ hole, I will remember your words. I also like the idea of having permission to be cranky and then detoxing of emotions. Yoga helps as does a good cry. Happy Easter to you and the girls in the Land Down Under.xxx

  7. Me, too, Pat. Domer has to work and can’t make it home for Easter. I hate that he’s having to celebrate this wonderful time of year by himself. I’d have gone to visit him, but I’m the only one my mom can count on to help her (she’s still recuperating from a bit of surgery a few months ago), and I can’t be in two places at once. Sigh. ‘Tis hard, my friend, but those are wise words — celebrate someone else’s success, and bide the time, knowing our turn will come one day. Happy Easter — enjoy those daffy-dils!!

    • Debbie, I know how difficult it is to want to be 2 places at the same time. I think as moms are hearts are always torn in many directions, but we keep it together. Hope your mom is on the mend. Enjoy your Easter holiday. Sending blessings from afar dear friend.

  8. I LOVE your beautiful, generous, compassionate mom!! I also got to see and hug your son last week when Sue brought him along to a birthday celebration for Joel Wyeth! He accepted the hug graciously despite the fact that he had no clue who I was! It was a JOY to see both him and my dear Sue! <3

    • Oh Sheila, you are too sweet. I am sure Nic just thought of you as one the crazy extended family, as you well know any friend of the Macs is a friend for life. We are lucky to have you as part of the clan.

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