One Day We’ll Look Back and Wish We Could Relive Today, Problems and All

When I was a kid I was a major pouter. There’s an iconic photo of a family dinner where my brother sits next to me with the smile of the Cheshire Cat, and I don a puppy dog frown and an air of childlike sorrow.

Coincidence? Probably not.

My older brother and I would fight and I’d sulk for hours to bring everyone down with me like an iceberg sinking the Titanic — nobody’s having any fun!

I’ve grown up. I strive to be a joyful, grateful, fun-loving human being. But I still have my off days.

My body hurts. I’m tired and don’t want to face whatever it is; my emotions have me in their grip.

Sometimes even when I know that everything’s okay — more than okay — I still feel down. Negative thoughts weigh on me like sodden clothing when I’m tired or overwhelmed.

I hate getting into that place because I know it’s not fun to be around. But still, I stay there. Why? Because it’s easier to feel bad for yourself than to make the conscious decision to change.

And it is a conscious decision.

Negative thoughts can be powerful; it takes vigilance to overcome them — it takes time.

At this point these low moods seldom last longer than a day. Rest always helps, so does a walk, a workout, the sun, journaling and reading, anything to get out of my own head.

Things are always brighter in the morning. Yet it takes a deliberate effort while in the trenches to get there unscathed and intact.

As I get older, I grasp to appreciate the fleetingness of every moment.

It scares me that time is moving so fast. Sometimes, I just want to be a kid again.

Perhaps I can — not a kid who mopes and seeks pity — that’s no longer who I am.

A kid who smiles as big as the universe, who loves with an open heart, who plays and runs and falls — who lives without regret.

Time is precious, especially time with family. It’s rare to have a family you enjoy spending time with. As we get older, it’s even more rare to get that chance.

I won’t look back and say, what was I doing?

Why wasn’t I happy, even when I had so much love surrounding me?

It’s not up to the world to make us happy. It’s a decision that we make, regardless of what’s happening around us.

Perhaps it’s not as simple as saying I’m happy when we truly don’t feel it. It’s not about faking anything.

Like going to the gym to train the body or reading to train the mind, I believe the road to happiness is built, stone by stone, with gratitude, perspective, and action.

My grandpa used to say that the things we worry about the most usually don’t happen. This has proven true time and time again.

If you’re like me and fall into low moods every so often, consider the situations you’ve overcome before that were worse than what you’re dealing with now.

Write about what you’re feeling without restraint. This helps put things into perspective. When we see our problems on the page, they’re no longer just erratic fantasies created by the mind.

They’re controlled, laid out, and surmountable.

Take a walk outside. Allow yourself to feel small, insignificant and weightless under the grandeur of the evening sky — an open landscape heals the mind.

We’re human beings. We’re not perfect, and that’s integral to the beauty of being alive.

Our problems may seem important now, but later down the road we’ll look back on days like today and wish we had another chance to live them, problems and all.

The chance is now. Cherish the beauty of the struggle, the depth of feeling, the gift that is where you are.

Be easy on yourself.

Never lose sight of how far you’ve come.

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