Archives for posts with tag: perspective

A few days ago I got a message from fellow blogger Vaibhav Gupta saying a mutual friend had passed on my name and he was wondering if I’d be interested in being interviewed for his blog  TalkBack Tuesday.   (Stay tuned… for news when it will be available)

I was in complete shock, but after reviewing what was required I jumped at the opportunity. A little outside my comfort zone, how perfect is that?

But seriously, how could I not.

Talkback Tuesday is a feature for and about everyday people. It is always inspirational to look into the life of another person, and realize it is just as complex and large and confusing as your own.

Everyday people…. life as complex… large… confusing…  Ok, that’s sounding about right.

So early in the morning I was at my key board on FB messenger answering unprepared, refreshing and thought provoking questions. It was  really a unique and enlightening experience I will treasure for a long time to come. Afterwards, I messaged my friend Soumya who had recommend me and I said, “Thank you so much for giving Vaibhav my name.” She responded with a brief but breathtaking message,

Your are one of the most amazing people I know.

I got teary, because I’ll be honest, I seldom, feel like I’m an amazing person. As another friend of mine would say, “I’m just me, just a guy.” Well in my case, “just a girl”. And that really is how I see myself.  Just me, full of flaws and idiosyncrasies.  Lots and lots of cracks – that let the light in, maybe get filled with gold now and then. Truly a work in progress, hopefully a masterpiece at the same time? Pretty much like I see everyone else to be honest. I mean, I have some really lousy days and on those days I don’t always do amazing things. I started to think about all the everyday people I know who really are amazing, at least to me. Like people I know recovering from brain surgery, quickly growing families, couples picking up shards of marriages or just trying to make relationships better, parents with a hole in their hearts that can’t be filled, people letting go of their past, embracing their futures, tenants uncertain about security and shelter, people just trying to honestly figure out life, I mean REALLY figure it out.. AMAZING people.

Then it hit me.

Amazing, everyday people struggle too

I realized that struggling, and bad days, even feeling overwhelmed doesn’t ever stop us from being amazing; just maybe from recognizing it ourselves.

We struggle. We struggle to find our smile, to find our confidence, to find time, to be real, to get it right, and to just be ourselves. We struggle, to find words, to connect the dots, to achieve what we think we want. We can make it easier or harder on ourselves or we can cross our fingers and hope for the best. But through all of that, we can be and are amazing, in so many incredibly magical jaw dropping ways.

So we struggle. There is purpose.

And we succeed. 

So go out there and be AMAZING; just be YOU!

Soumya, just so you know, you are with out a doubt one of the most amazing people I know. Thank you for being you.

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Dedicated to all the amazing people I know and there are so very many of you. Thank you

©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

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It’s Sunday!!  We have made it through another week and another one is beckoning us. Take a moment for a deep breath and a personal high five!

For some of us it was an amazingly fantastic week. For some of us it was hell on wheels. Some were able to Rise Like Air and others teetered on the precipice edge.

There were tears of joy, success and happiness. Tears of frustration, pain and fear.

That’s what life is. Amazing ups and downs and lessons and perspective. It’s about choices and learning and trying.  It encompasses falling down, crawling and getting back up. But today I think it’s most about simply living and loving and liberating.

Today I’m making one choice. To smile. Maybe it will make a little difference. Maybe a big difference. Maybe someone else will notice, maybe they won’t. But I will notice.

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Have a fantastic Sunday. Make it yours. Do it your way.  No regrets, no apologies. No shame, no blame, no guilt. Just love, light and living.  And of course….

Rise

Like 

Air…

See 

Beautiful…

It’s

All 

Good…

 

©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

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“Remember there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” Scott Adams

When Orly Wahba was four years old she told her parents she dreamed of changing the world with kindness. Years later as a middle school teacher, after receiving devastating news about the death of a student, she became motivated to make that dream a reality. Inspired by the life vest inside sign she saw while waiting on the plane for take off, the plan that  would see her four year old self’s dream materialize began to take shape.  Orly’s amazing vision would  eventually lead to the making of The Kindness Boomerang video, forming the non profit Life Vest Inside, including the Dance For Kindness movement and now, most recently, the release, January 3rd 2017 of Orly Wahba’s book, The Kindness Boomerang – How To Save The World (and Yourself) Through 365 Daily Acts.

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Orly has always believed, without a doubt, that small acts of kindness perpetrated by everyday people change the world. She often quotes Margaret Mead,

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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Orly Wahba, Author and founder of LVI

Six years ago when she started Life Vest Inside I was fortunate enough to come across the video The Kindness Boomerang. That eventually lead me to getting to know Orly and volunteering at Life Vest Inside. I was also fortunate enough to enjoy being part of the experience seeing this book become a reality. I recently picked up a couple of copies and on January 19th I opened the book. I couldn’t help but smile at the entry, my favourite topic,

PERSPECTIVE!

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After giving one of my former students an Act of Kindness card that read, “hold the door open for someone,” I received phone call the very next day with loads and loads of excitement coming through the other end. “You won’t believe what happened after you gave me the cards yesterday!… Everywhere I turned there was a door that someone needed to be opened! It was crazy!” I smiled, chuckled, and said, “Those doors were there yesterday and the day before – but it’s only now that your awareness is heightened that you’re really seeing them!” You’d be surprise by the endless kindness possibilities out there. It’s all about increased awareness. Let’s start seeing the world through the lens of kindness. – Orly Wahba – The Kindness Boomerang

And that, my friends, is the crazy thing about perspective! Once you shift it even slightly and you relax with it all of a sudden you see the world completely differently!

I hear it all the time.  I see it for myself. The world changes, sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically but it almost always always always changes.

As Orly’s surprised student discovered, what we see was always there, just waiting. Waiting oh so patiently for us to see it, to become aware. To bring it beyond reality, but instead to embrace it as our own very personal reality. Our own world.  And then, oh my, our lives change. And the lives around us change. And the world changes. And life is very very good.

Here’s the thing. One of my biggest frustrations in life right now is realizing how many people just do not get this concept. My second biggest frustration is trying to help others recognize it.

Like most things, I’ve come to understand all I can do is plant the seed and patiently water, nurture and yes, wait. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing someone else’s eyes get wide and watching them connect the dots that bring them from coincidence to how many doors needed opening to “Those doors were there yesterday and the day before – but it’s only now that your awareness is heightened that you’re really seeing them!”

I get the biggest emotional high when I’m fortunate enough to witness those magical, dare I say almost spiritual moments. They do more than touch the mind, they touch the heart and most importantly, they reach deep and touch the soul.

Here’s the thing.  The Kindness Boomerang holds 365 opportunities to make that connection, to touch minds, hearts, souls and lives. And when you finish the first 365 days, you can start all over again.

So are you ready?  Are you ready to throw the boomerang and have it come back to you? Heads up, because I guarantee you it will. You just never know when it will happen – so be ready.

Interested in being part of the movement to change the world simply by living the Kindness Lifestyle? Then consider picking up a copy The Kindness Boomerang today. It makes the perfect gift for anyone and the best place to start sharing a little kindness is with yourself.

Consider becoming a Life Vest Inside Kindness Ambassador and meeting, inspiring and being inspired by like minded people from around the world.

If you’re interested in watching the short film that started it all please enjoy “The Kindness Boomerang”

 

Orly and Life Vest Inside sharing the Kindness Boomerang in NYC

 

©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

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I woke up feeling surprisingly refreshed considering I’d only had about 5 hours sleep at best. Awake, but at the same time not really ready to face the day. Although I looked forward to some time to myself to get things done and be with my own thoughts.

A friend messaged me, “I hope you have a great day.”   I responded with, “That would be nice for a change. I see the ‘good’ in my life but I’m just not quite ‘there’ yet either.” Don’t get me wrong, I really do see the good in my life. My life is definitely good, especially if I compare it to many others less fortunate in so many possible ways. And I am grateful for it, very grateful. However, I’m just not quite ‘there’ yet.”

I’m not done yet.  I still have growing and giving and living to do to name just a few. And, I sincerely hope you do too.

Now there was nothing really unusual about the exchange I had with my friend. I tend to hang with a group of people that regularly wish each other well and make candid comments along the way. But this time there was a shift, a click between my head and heart, whatever you want to call it.

I embraced that wish, that hope. I allowed myself to simply be grateful for it, the wish, the hope my friend had for me. In truth I hadn’t really been looking forward to my day, it didn’t really involve any of my “favourite things”. In fact, from my perspective, it looked like a bit of a downer, except for the company I’d be keeping.

But off I went and little tiny bright spots started showing up. And just as importantly (because really I believe bright spots are always there) I was open to recognizing them.

As I was getting ready to head to the city, I realized that I was going to mark another item off my ever growing bucket list! Play D&D, something I’ve wanted to do for over 30 years!  Traffic moved steadily for a change, the light turned green when I got there. I had to wait at a red light, but just as an important call came in that I could take. I took a family member for lab work and we parked right in front of the door and were literally in and out within 5 minutes.

I had started my day with a blank countenance. After receiving “the” message the corners of my mouth begged to twitch upwards just a bit. The bucket list realization kept it twitching. After the lab I had a recognizable smile on my face. And this was all before 9:30.

Off to deliver our farm fresh eggs. Yippee Parking spot right in front. Except…. I was going to have to parallel park. Growing up I was told girls didn’t really need to be good at parking because well, I guess exercise was good for us and we could park and walk. Anyway, it’s bothered me for my entire driving life and I’ve decided to overcome it. So today, I parked (ok, the spot was amply big, but I backed in first try. YES!) I’m pretty sure I was walking a little taller with a bit of a swagger in my step.

Then I had to get fuel, I went in to get a few things and pay. On my way out a young man filling up a car turned and smiled saying, “Have a great day!” Getting back into my car, my smile was replace by a full grin.

Next stop, grocery shopping, a test of any sane person in my opinion, let alone me. As we entered the store, the young man who had just brought in all the carts offered us each one and gave us the warmest smile. Found what I was looking for, prices didn’t hurt and as I got in line I realized my companion for the day just happened to be right in front of me getting ready to pay. Ok, so now I had to chuckle. The clerk was the kindest soul, loading the heavy bag into my passenger’s cart and she generously shared her brilliant, shiny smile with both of us.

Upon reaching the car, I discovered the shopping bags I always keep there had been removed by someone else and not returned. Normally this would have caused me a little consternation I will admit. While I did note the fact, it just didn’t matter. The groceries fit. I had a cooler so that was what really mattered. No problem, grin intact. Groceries packed snuggly into the car, we were headed home.

I enjoyed a lovely homemade meal with my parents and before I left saw a post from a friend about Remembrance Day that just touched me to the core and I knew I wanted to honour it. I didn’t wait, took the initiative and contacted them right away. I have been given permission regarding my request, catch the foreshadowing there? My cheeks were starting to get a bit sore from smiling so much, muscles haven’t been getting enough exercise maybe.

Then it was home, unload groceries, hand off the car for the next set of errands… and get another surprise. There is my son working on his university physics assignment. I actually was able to help on a problem he was working through. Now anyone who really knows me at all is rereading that sentence in utter disbelief. Ok, I didn’t do the actual math, but still. I was enough!

And then it hit me. My friend’s hope, their wish for me was coming true. I was having a great day. There were no “big memorable” things. It was just a whole lot of little everyday things. Things that happen every single day.

Today, I made the connection and I recognized those little everyday things.

To be honest, not everything went swimmingly well. I feel like I might be catching the cold I’ve been avoiding. I had to divert in traffic twice, but I still got to where I was going on time. I had to follow a wide load that I couldn’t get around, but again, in the end it had no negative impact and I guess I was friendlier to the environment by driving a little slower. I had to wait again for large farm machinery on the grid road, but the appreciate smile and wave of the operator made my 90 second delay more than worth it. There were probably others less than perfect moments, but I don’t remember them!

What I realize is that as I connected more and more with the good around me and was grateful, I really did begin to experience more things to be grateful for, more. Or at the very least, I was able to recognize the opportunity to experience more and smart enough to accept the gift.  I didn’t notice the frustrations and annoyances as much or to the painful depth I know I am capable of. My cup is now full again. I am grateful.

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Never underestimate the power of a good morning text and a heart felt wish with a dash of hope either. Thank you from the bottom of my heart my friend. Today is a great day. I’m very glad you’re in it.

 

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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I’ve been doing extensive reading about how our beliefs affect our thoughts which affect our outlook on life which affect our perception of our experience. It’s not only interesting but has the potential to create the change in mental health treatment globally that is so desperately needed, but that’s another topic.

In “My Happiness Project” Gretchen Rubin says, “It takes at least five positive marital actions to offset one critical or destructive action, so one way to strengthen a marriage is to make sure the positive far outweighs the negative. When a couples interactions are usually loving and kind, it’s much easier to disregard the occasional unpleasant exchange.”

Wow, if that doesn’t say something about the power of actions and words and what we do with them.

In the TED talk, “Getting Stuck In The Negatives (And How To Get Unstuck) Alison Ledgerwood’s research found that negative information trumps positive information given to us regardless of which information is given first. Failures stick with us longer than our successes.  Positive versus negative framing matters. (10 minutes)

My good friend Debbie Hyde wisely reminds me regularly, “We all have a choice. We can let go of what we don’t need. Or we can hang on and be dragged.” She believes this so strongly that she wrote a fantastic book about it (yes, free plug, my blog, I can do that. Trust me, I personally think the book is really well worth reading.) You can check it out here.

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The last while letting go has been on my mind a lot. I’ve got too much clutter of all sorts in my life and at some point you have to do something about it or keep tripping over it.  As always, when you need something, I’m a firm believer it shows up. Although I’ll be the first to admit that I get anxious and doubt my own wisdom about that when I happen to be the one having to patiently wait. Human. Masterpiece and a work in progress. Yep, that’s me. What happened was a brief piece that came across one of my feeds. What caught my eye was the phrase let it go. As I scanned it  a technique to “let go” intrigued me.

  • Simply tear up pieces of paper.
  • On each piece write something you are willing to let go. For example: anger, hate, jealousy, judgement, labels, neediness, chasing people, self harm, my job. You get the picture.
  • Light a fire (nice, piece it emphasized safety first. The internet isn’t all bad)
  • Put a slip of paper into the fire one at a time as you say “I release -fill in the blank- because -reason why-.

I added the reason why part. It came to me as I was throwing my first piece. “I willingly and happily release anger because it hurts everyone.”

Heck it was garbage burning day anyway so why not. It seemed appropriate to throw what I wanted to let go of into a fire fuelled already by things that were being let go of. My son can thank me later for doing one of his chores. I’m a nice mom some of the time.

My envelope was filled with slips of paper. It took me a while in the peace of a beautiful morning to complete what I had set out to do, to let go. When the last piece had curled into white ash I said, “I let go of all that does not serve or is harmful to allow for the space to embrace all that does and is helpful.” I was actually very surprised at how light and peaceful I felt when I was done, even if I smelled more than a little smokey.

I’m glad I saw that little blurb the other day. My son should be too since it got him out of a chore. I think I’ll do it more often, maybe even make it a habit. Maybe it’s one of those things that’s supposed to fill up that space I just made.

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Do remember watching the performers who used to entertain us with spinning plates? I remember watching the Ed Sullivan show years (and years and years) ago, holding my breath and gasping if a plate fell, thinking that oh no! Catastrophe!

Somedays this is exactly how I feel. The potential for great disaster is there and sometimes disaster even strikes – the plates fall; but in the end…. somehow, it all comes together, even when the plates break and there are pieces to pick up.

This plate spinner makes it look fairly easy. My favourites always were those who dropped plates, who had to go back and almost start over, many times. They always came supplied with plenty of extras and with each challenge they faced, they smiled a little harder, concentrated a little deeper and sweated a little more but they always kept going (and smiling) until every plate was spinning…. even if it was only for a few seconds, but they saw success and that success, that fleeting moment, was enough to drive them ahead to more.

Just because the china breaks doesn’t mean a beautiful mosaic can’t be created. A work of art is just that, a work of art – even when it’s made up of broken pieces.

Don’t let your wounds, your scars, your past, your doubts, your present stop you from becoming all you are meant to be. No matter how long it takes, or how much effort it is.

It’s never over until you decide to quit.
AFFIRMATION FOR TODAY:
It is safe for me to believe in myself and my abilities. I have to courage to ask for help and support. There is no failure, only lessons and adventure.

Repeat and repeat and repeeeeeeaaaaaat.   And does it feel “crazy” to repeat positive instructions to yourself? Does it feel unrealistic, like you’re being fake, like lies? Well, here’s the thing though. Most people repeat negative instructions to themselves hour on end every single day, and think nothing of it. Why? Because they’ve been doing it so long it has become an ingrained habit.  They actually believe that everything they are telling themselves, or being told by others must  be true.  It’s become such a habit that they consider it to be realistic, true and just the way it is.

Next spoiler alert: How you see life? That’s what’s going to be your reality.  How you see life is ALWAYS A CHOICE.  Always.

 

 

 

Another look at perspective and how we allow ourselves to see the world through the eyes of Lily Allen and her song LDN

 

And lastly, how to look at life not matter what is thrown at you, here is an interview Anthony Robbins did with World War II survivor Alice Herz-Sommer.  One of my favourites of all time.  No matter what, there is always beauty to be found if you believe in it and choose to see it.  It is always your choice.

 

 

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Sometimes inconvenient interruptions are exactly what you need to make your day a little more perfect.

I live on a farm.  Every once in a while someone breaks down on the road by our place and they trundle in looking for help or a phone or directions.

The other day a woman ran out of gas and came a knocking (my door bell apparently is’t working).

I walked to the door trying to quiet my barking dog, wiping my hands and sighing because yet another interruption.  I’d had enough of those already to last an entire lifetime let alone a day.

I opened the door.  She had this big smile and a big hello.  She’d run out of gas and left her phone at home.  The smile, the situation, suddenly for some reason I just connected with her.  Maybe it’s because I could have seen the exact same thing happening to me.  And if it did, I’d want a safe, warm place to ask for help.  Maybe I just needed the smile and the hello.  I don’t know for sure, but whatever it was, I happily invited her in and offered her a coffee while she sorted things out. She introduced herself, April. I’ve always liked that name. Thoughts of spring flowers and gentle warm rain showers, rebirth and renewal.

It’s one of those things that I will forever be happy I did.  We spent over an hour together, getting to know each other, finding all sorts of things in common and laughing.  Oh how we laughed.  Almost like old friends.  Within an hour we even had inside jokes. I felt so relaxed, at ease. Finally her rescuer arrived with gas and her phone and off she went. We laughed some more as we said good-bye and I waved as they drove away.

I closed the door and realized I felt so relaxed and at ease. I felt completely in the zone. As I leaned against the door smiling I realized that it was a truly beautiful moment. And as with many beautiful moments, it contained a lesson.

When April ran out of gas and had no phone, she wasn’t thinking abundantly good thoughts.  When the knock came at my door, I was dreading yet another interruption.  But when I opened that door, I allowed a wonderful experience into my day. Our perceptions hadn’t been true and thankfully we were both willing to allow something better to unfold for us.  Running out of gas and having an interruption actually turned into something incredibly beautiful.  It created a situation for two souls to be touched, for two people to meet and for the day to be even more brilliantly bright than it already was.

Seeing beautiful and rising like air really is all about perspective and how you choose to look at things.  There’s that word again…. CHOOSE.  That’s really what life is all about, the choices we make. And it’s not about choices even being good or bad or right or wrong.  It’s about what you do with them.  And that my friends, is always up to you and you alone. It’s always your choice.

©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Last year David Durant from Under The Radar Live Sessions shared a song that quickly became a regular on my playlist.  It’s called New Year and is by the wonderfully talented UK artist Tiger Lilly  Her bio perfectly describes her as refreshing and bold. Her musical talents have created a piece that touches the heart and inspires the soul “cause this is gonna be a new year.”

Our wish for everyone is that you CHOOSE to make 2016 YOUR YEAR.

Your life is your own, live it.

Your story is your own, write it.

Your happiness is your own, create it.

Make the choice to step out of the shadows and into the light.

Make the choice to shine because you can.

Make the choice to see beautiful because you can.  

Make the choice to rise like air because you can.

Make the choice to be a life vest for someone because you can.

Make

The

Choice…

 

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New Year – Tiger Lilly

Everybody’s out tonight

Waiting for the fireworks at midnight

But I won’t see the stars, I won’t see the light

Cause I’ve been hiding in the shadows

Now I’m going to leave this year behind

And  we’ll sing together Auld Lang Syne

Ooo, Dry your eyes wipe your tears

Cause this is gonna be a new year

Dry your eyes, wipe your tears

Cause this is gonna be a new year

You’re not the only one

Who’s ever been afraid of fighting alone

For what they believe, for what they can see

Cause they’re hiding in the shadows just like you are

Now I’m going to leave this year behind

And  we’ll sing together Auld Lang Syne

Ooo, Dry your eyes wipe your tears

Cause this is gonna be a new year

Dry your eyes, wipe your tears

Cause this is gonna be a new year

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Now I’m going to leave this year behind

And  we’ll sing together Auld Lang Syne

Hope will keep us braver than we’ve ever known

Hold our head up and be stronger… hope will save us

Now I’m going to leave this year behind

And  we’ll sing together Auld Lang Syne

Ooo, Dry your eyes wipe your tears

Cause this is gonna be a new year….

All lyrics and music ©Tiger Lilly

Enjoy the official video from Tiger Lilly below.

 

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©2016 JFries/Rise Like Air

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Words of wisdom for all of us from a friend and guest blogger Khurram Shahzad.

 

Hello Everyone!
First of all I’m not a first language English speaker so please forgive any grammatical or spelling mistake.
I would just like to take a minute and talk on the topic of “opportunities”.
Opportunities are our chances at life. In our life we set a goal and we pursue those goals and these opportunities are our chances to finally get our reward.
And believe me, as i speak from personal experience, opportunities are very rare so never ever let them slip by. Whenever they knock, get up and take them because you never know if you will get another. Life is full of twists and turns and you never know which breath might be your last. 

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So go out there, live your life like it was your last day. Make the most of it. Don’t ever turn away thinking that what will others think because believe me this is your life and you should only care what you think. 


Psychology says that the biggest regret of people on their death beds is not what they did, it’s what they didn’t do. 

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So my point being that please live life to the fullest. If you like someone, go tell them. If you have a dream job, go get it. Don’t EVER give up on your dream. When I was 9 i think I once interviewed a doctor for a project and she told me that perseverance commands success so I should never give up on what I believe in. 

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Thank you for taking the time to read this, i just felt like sharing this thought with someone. Have a blessed day!

 

©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

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A few weeks ago my family spent a lovely weekend at the lake. Summer weekends were soon coming to an end but this one was perfect. Sunny skies, gentle warm breezes, calm waters and a boat waiting to take us wherever we pleased. Our only decision was would we eat at home or take a picnic. Our daughter ended any debate with a vocal PICNIC!

The crew (aka my husband and two lovely children) readied the boat and I readied the picnic. It wasn’t anything fancy, just a plain old last minute throw together picnic lunch – which really are my favourite kind anyway.

We launched the boat and as we pulled away, there was our dog on the dock, tail a wagging. He didn’t seem interested in swimming to join us so of course, it meant docking the boat again. We enjoyed the beauty of the day with hardly another soul about. After a while we cruised up to our favourite spot – no one in sight, the ruins of an old stone barn just off shore, fine sand beaches beckoning us. As we prepared to put onto shore I turned and reached for the picnic basket.

It wasn’t there. As we all proceeded to blame each other I held up my hands. “Look on the bright side, we can go get the basket.”  Off we went back across the lake to the boat launch where we were parked. No picnic basket.  It was back at our place, where everyone had walked right past it!

Hop back on boat and push off.  But “WAIT!” I yell.  “We have the dog,” they say. “I know.’ I call, “But the keys, the keys for the house are in the truck!”  Well, the bright side, we’re getting really good at docking our boat at a rather tricky dock! Not sure my husband was as thrilled with this though.  My son graciously got out, again, and retrieved the keys.

A short jaunt later and we docked at our own dock, son sprinted up the hill and yippee! The picnic basket was retrieved, dog was on board, keys were safely stowed. We enjoyed the second boat ride over to the other side just as much as the first. We had a lovely picnic lunch. We explored, we lost track of time.

Some days are just like that.

We could have seen the mishaps of the day as inconveniences, hiccups or problems, but that would have been a waste of time. We instead chose to enjoy the opportunity to view it as a good story, something to share a laugh about instead. I’m glad we were able to see that as a forethought instead of an after thought.

As with the waning of summer comes the return of academia.  Recently that meant an exciting field trip. The day started off well enough, other than it was very early! The kids had to be at school by 6:00 a.m. It went smoothly but I must admit I wasn’t quite awake yet while I waved merrily as they drove away. I was feeling pretty good though.  I had to be in the city and being up this early would make being on time a breeze!

As I was getting ready I heard the sound of a vehicle coming up the driveway. It hit me, I forgot to cancel the school bus! I wasn’t dressed yet so I threw on my coat and ran out to wave our driver on. Oh well, I’m sure she was after a scenic tour anyway.

Back to getting ready and then I hear a thud at our window and upon running out on the frosty grass I see a little junco. Very dazed, a little blood…. so as I always do, I brought the little bird in. Twenty minutes later he’s perking up so I get ready to take him out to release when…… I tilt the lid too far and it escapes – inside, not outside. Sigh…. did I mention I had to get to the city early?

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Ok…. first order of business, find the cats – cause there were 2 snoozing in here. Out with one and I think the other one is out too. Sooooo off to catch the little flyer. Almost, not quite – twice it was almost but not quite. And then I see cat number 2 just as it catapults itself into the air and grabs the bird, who just manages to flutter out of it’s clutches. How many lives do birds have anyway?!

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Out with cat number 2 (she’s miffed at me). I finally open the window and within a few tries out goes the bird… and it wasn’t even 8:30 a.m. yet.

Some days are just like that…

By now I was sweaty, but certainly wide awake. I left for the city, better late than never.  I was feeling a bit frustrated as I left until it struck me how funny it would have all looked to a spectator. I saved a bird, had a good laugh, certainly had quite a workout and in the end, while I wasn’t early, I wasn’t late either.

So I made it to the city. I realized I had forgotten about breakfast so decided to stop at McDonald’s for a breakfast sandwich. Because after all I’d been through I figured I deserved it, and heck, I was still running on time!

As a matter of fact I was feeling so good I decided to check an item off my bucket list – “Pay forward at a drive thru”.  I ordered and pulled forward, but there was no one behind me. And then I proceeded to wait, and wait, and wait. So much for staying on time.  So much for fast food.  Exasperated I looked in my rear view mirror.  There was a woman in a car behind me. For a split second I thought, “So what, this is just taking forever!” But in that same moment my exasperation started to turn to anticipation. The thought of being able to pay for the car behind me started to make me feel better. I wanted the line to move, but now it was motivated because I wanted to pay for the other car, not so much because I was bored or running late.

I started to wonder about the woman behind me.  Was she having a good day or a bad day? Was she early or running late? Was she happy or sad or mad? I wondered what she ordered and if anyone had ever paid for her meal like this. Then I wondered if she had paid for someone else’s and if today, she would keep the pay it forward chain going.

By the time I finally made it to the window I was smiling. I explained to the cashier what I wanted to do and she was dumbfounded. She said no one had ever done this at that restaurant before.  She called her boss over right away to tell him and find out exactly how to go about making it happen. I thanked her and she looked at me and said, “No, thank you! You just made my whole day. Thanks for putting a smile on my face.” As I picked up my order I asked the server to make sure she wished the car behind me a great day and I wished her the same. She was smiling too.  Best $5.64 I have ever spent.

I looked at my watch. I was late, but not late enough to cause any damage. As I navigated through traffic to my destination I reflected on the experience.

Some days are just like that, and that’s perfectly ok.

Everyday presents you with experiences and opportunities. How you choose to perceive them and what you choose to do with them is always up to you.

It’s all good so remember to see beautiful and you’ll rise like air.

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©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air

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