The sun is rising, casting a soft, rosy glow across the cool grey sky, gently warming all it surveys as it quietly welcomes us to yet another new day.
Sleepily, we climb out of our comfortable cocoons, yawning and stretching as we shuffle off to the kitchen for that hot cup of tea or that steaming mug of coffee, sliding ourselves into our lives for one more morning, not noticing the glorious New Day that lies before us, brimming over with possibilities and joy just waiting to be discovered.
Instead, thoughts and images of what needs to be done stumble through the fog of semi-consciousness as the day begins to unfold. The job awaits, the children need feeding and dressing. I hope their homework was really all done. The toilets need cleaning. There’s no food in the fridge. Your nails are a mess, and so is the house. There are 17 loads of laundry, or at least it feels that way. You need to arrange this appointment or that one. There are all those repairs that need doing. And on and on it goes…the endless list of Stuff To Do. Before we’re even functional or have had a bit of breakfast, we’re already weighted down by responsibility and have to, ought to, should and must.
And then there’s the added Really Difficult Stuff. The relationship that needs life support and is in the intensive care unit. The blazing row you had last night, and didn’t resolve. The teenager who’s rebelling. Or the one who has been missing for months. The job you lost. And your house might be next. The potentially terrifying test results you’re anticipating at the doctor’s office. The best friend who is in crisis. The funeral you have to attend on Thursday. The chemotherapy you’re facing. Your widowed parent who is fragile and ailing. And on and on it goes…
So just how can days like that be filled with possibilities and joy just waiting to be discovered? How on earth are you supposed to notice that soft, rosy glow outside, that wonderful sense of newness and excitement that it holds as it spreads its smiling warmth across everything in its path?
You just do. It doesn’t discount any of the Stuff that demands your attention, and insists upon cramming itself down your throat. It doesn’t mean the painful parts of your life will vanish. It just means that you must not forget the blessings, because they’re as real a part of your life as the parts that hurt or are an enormous burden, and which will consume you, if you let them.
One of those blessings is the ability to choose what occupies your thoughts — at least some of your time. It is the ability to give yourself permission to have a little fun, to do something that makes you happy, that makes you feel good, or that lets you take some time to be creative and reconnect with yourself.
You can close your eyes for a few moments, at any time in the midst of the most miserable day, and think about someone or something wonderful. And if you stay focused on that image and those feelings, even for just a few moments, you’re bound to find a little respite from your worries.
Your weary spirit needs nourishment. It needs rejuvenation. That steaming, hot bubble bath. Turning off the phone for an hour. Reading a favourite novel – again. Dusting off the deck of cards for a game of rummy with your partner or your kids. Sitting in your “jams” on the bed with your children and letting them make up silly jokes or tell you stories. Soaking your feet while sipping on wine. Looking through old photographs. Working on a scrapbook. It doesn’t take much time in a day to give yourself a break from your stresses, even if it’s only as long as it takes to spend a few moments here and there, thinking about what’s important to you, about the people who matter to you.
Trust me. No matter how dull and laden with responsibility your life is, no matter how dark and miserable it might be, there are blessings, too, and opportunities to make it a better day. Just pause for a few moments and notice that rosy, glowing sunrise as it gently reminds you that there is another New Day, another chance for you to reconnect with yourself, your life, and with all the blessings the world has to offer. Allow its warmth to fill your soul, awakening beautiful old memories that will nourish you, urging
you to create equally beautiful new ones now. Today. And every day.