This Moment is My Life

Today I’m in my new home, two days before my move-in day, waiting for various installers and service people to show up. In the quiet times between appointments, I sit in a lawn chair in my empty kitchen, working my way through a seemingly endless list of phone calls on my to-do list. I pause occasionally to pick up my binoculars or camera to watch the flurry of activity at the half dozen bird feeders the previous owners graciously left behind for me. The light snowfall overnight has brought the birds in droves to this easily-accessible energy source.

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My lawn chair and a few of my treasures. I can’t wait to get some color on those walls!

As I walk around the empty rooms of the house with my footsteps echoing around me, my thoughts and emotions fluctuate from excitement and anticipation back to fretting about how much work and money it will take to maintain a home by myself. I think I’ve made great progress in the past year in learning how to control my fears, and I know that no matter what happens, I can figure out how to deal with it. I am braver than I ever imagined. I am resourceful and creative, and I’m willing to ask for help when I need it.

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Empty sunroom, awaiting the two cats who will LOVE it!

A few minutes ago I was standing at my kitchen window looking at the birds, and I realized that I was trying to decide what I was feeling at that moment. It was the oddest feeling, making a conscious decision about how to feel. But that’s another thing I’ve learned recently—our thoughts determine our feelings, not the other way around. If you feel scared it might be because you’re paying attention to the random fearful thoughts that pop up in your head. If you actively force yourself to think of happier things, or even just make yourself smile, your emotions will follow.  You’ll feel lighter, happier, more joyful.

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Garden art left behind by previous owners — I don’t know if I would have bought this for myself, but it makes me happy

Seriously. Try it right now. Put a big smile on your face and notice how it makes you feel. I’m not talking about a grin here. Make it a full show-your-teeth smile. How do you feel? When I do that, I instantly feel more optimistic and happier. It may seem strange, but who cares? Do it when nobody’s looking, or go in the bathroom for a quick smile break. Knowing that it’s often that easy to lift your own spirits, we’d all be crazy not to take advantage of this little secret, right?

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My funky retro bathroom that REALLY makes me smile! Yes, the oddly-shaped sink is pink. It’s SO not something I would have done on my own, but I adore it.

So as I stood at the window this afternoon, I decided to allow myself to feel the joy that was just under the surface. I had a fullness of heart, as if my heart was literally expanding from an excess of gratitude. When you decide to allow YOURSELF to be happy (because I know you will), make sure to ignore that mean little voice that sometimes tries to whisper, “Be careful of being too happy…it won’t last…you know bad things are coming.” That voice is not your friend. Or course it’s true that bad things will happen to all of us. That’s life. But if we deny ourselves the experience of joy just because of sad things that might happen in the future, we’re robbing ourselves of our lives, moment by moment.

And I don’t know about you, but I’m running out of moments to waste.  This moment is my life.

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12 Responses to This Moment is My Life

  1. KimR says:

    I’ve been following your blog for quite a while now and you’ve given me a lot to think about over that time. You’ve inspired me to make changes in how I deal with life’s twists and turns and I wanted to say thank you for that. I’m going to start taking smile breaks at work beginning today. 🙂
    It’s so wonderful you are in your new home and I hope you have years of happiness and joy there. It’s beautiful!

    • Kim Smith says:

      Kim, thank you for following my blog and for that wonderful comment. One reason I continue to write here is that I hope other people are helped in some way by reading about my struggles and (hopefully) successes.

      I hope those smile breaks work for you!

  2. David says:

    Kim, the measure of any successful life comes not from the destination but the journey. It’s not just the experience that’s gained, but the wisdom from it that offers a new meaning to life. It looks like you’ve found that wisdom and in 2017 I hope it brings you all the rewards you truly deserve.

  3. Littlesundog says:

    I learned that bit on smiling many years ago working in the banking industry. I really did not like my job, and as an introvert, I dreaded dealing with the public every single day. In one of my training classes, an instructor who was great on helping us “create the customer service person within” told us the biggest part of customer service was the smile. “Fake it if you are not in the mood, and you’ll find the smile takes you to better places and a better frame of mind. It is how I have done this job for more than 30 years”. It worked. I do not think I can say I loved that job, but because of the smile technique, I managed a lifetime of work in customer service and managed to have a lot of fun. I believe it made me more approachable. It has made life in general so much more pleasant. The ego or id can be a real negative talker… and you are right, it is NOT your friend!! Great post, Kim. I’m thrilled for you to be in your new home!! 🙂

    • Kim Smith says:

      Oops, I got a bit behind on replying to comments during my move, haha. But just wanted to say that I’m sure your beautiful smile went a long way toward making your customer service interactions more positive. 🙂

  4. Gail Berner says:

    The new house looks great. It’s got character too. I love the pink and brown bathroom and all the windows too. What thoughtful people to have left the bird feeders and seed for you. May you have many happy years there.

    • Kim Smith says:

      Thank you, Gail! Yes, I’m so grateful that the previous owners were so kind to me. They inspired me to be extra helpful to the person buying my house too. #PayingItForward

  5. Cindy Opitz says:

    Excellent attitude, Kim! Excellent post! Thanks!

  6. Patricia Clair says:

    Like the pictures! Said you were watching birds eat so I am guessing you already bought seeds? Like your good thoughts on this blog! Happy when you are happy. And I like the different look of the bathroom.! Have a good move and do not overdo! Moving is tough for anyone! XO

    • Kim Smith says:

      They left seeds for me, and some of the feeders are still full. I’m very appreciative of how the former owners made everything so easy for me. Moving is stressful enough without worrying about hungry birds, LOL.

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