Category Archives: Live in Today

A Simple Happy Day: Making Memories


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“Today is life – the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today.”

~ Dale Carnegie 


Yesterday was a memorable day for my family. My older daughter is a hair stylist so she almost always works on the weekend and is typically not available to do things with the family on Saturdays or Sundays. She happened to have yesterday off, and we planned a special day of making memories.

I am very fond of butterflies, and there was a butterfly exhibit at Roper Mountain Science Center here in Greenville, SC. It was an opportunity for us to walk among several species of butterflies in an enclosed area. The staff of the science center provided us with sticks dipped in Gatorade, telling us that the sugar would attract the butterflies.

It did. My younger daughter and my grandson were able to experience having a butterfly land on the end of the stick they were holding.

Moments to remember such as these are priceless.

Other Simply Happy Activities

We also enjoyed other indoor exhibits at the science center yesterday, including turtles, a few snakes and a touch tank. The grandkids were able to make paper butterflies at a craft area. My younger daughter and all but one of the grandchildren that were present joined Roper Mountain’s “Eat a bug” club. They rose to the challenge of eating a cricket! That wasn’t something I wanted to experience personally, but it helped make it a day to remember.

We were told that the science center also had an area with farm animals, but we opted not to go there because of the heat and humidity. It was probably 93 degrees or so, which meant we thought we’d be more comfortable if we sought out air conditioning.

Later that afternoon, we all went to see “Finding Dory”, the sequel to “Finding Nemo.” It was a fun, heartwarming movie which we thoroughly enjoyed.

What we enjoyed the most was the opportunity to spend time together.

How Life Evolves and Changes

In my family, we are on the brink of major change. My younger daughter is heading away to college in the fall and will be hundreds of miles away. My oldest granddaughter will be starting middle school.

Did you ever watch a flower grow on time lapse photography?  Everything around us is actually evolving and changing imperceptibly right before our eyes. We just can’t see the tiny signs of change. Images caught on time lapse photography give us a glimpse of how things are changing even though we can’t see all that’s going on right under our noses. Check out the work of Louie Schwartzberg if you have never seen it.

The simple, happy moments of family togetherness are the stuff memories are made of. These are experiences that will never come again. If we get to visit the butterfly exhibit again sometime in the future, we will all be a bit older and we will be changed. We all will have had our own different experiences between now and then that give us different perspectives. We will each have our own reactions to the experience.

In a lot of ways, we won’t even be the same people two, three or five years from now that we are today.

Every single day gives us a chance to have brand new experiences. Some are more memorable than others.

To me what is the most cherished of all is the opportunity to spend time and make new memories with the people who are most important to me.

A simple, happy day is one of life’s greatest blessings.

Cherish the Present Moment

Family Trip

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look to another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”

~ Henry David Thoreau


It’s easy to forget what a blessing this one day, this one moment is. But everything you are experiencing today is never going to come about again. If you have children, they are growing and changing right before your eyes. Music and fashion are changing and evolving.

And you are changing too.

It’s so tempting to look to the future and imagine that it will be better than today. In some distant land, some distant future, we think we will have enough – enough money, enough love, enough leisure. Maybe even enough happiness.

But what if that day never comes? What if this is as good as it gets?

What if all the blessings you are ever going to get are already in your possession?

An even more sobering thought is this:

What if everything you have today were all about to be taken from you as soon as tomorrow – your health, your security, your loved ones? What you would yearn for then would be to have exactly what you have today.

You are surrounded by little blessings you take for granted, and every one of them will be yours only for a short time. It’s such a human tendency to not realize how good you have it until the blessings you have are lost.

It doesn’t have to be that way. It’s time to embrace and truly appreciate the magic and beauty and uniqueness of this one moment in time.

Keeping Things in Perspective

A friend of mine at one time was a branch manager at a bank when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Once a person hears the word “cancer” everything changes. Everything you once thought mattered suddenly isn’t all that important. My friend told me that one day two of her staff members were arguing about whether the shades on the window should be up or down. Since she was the manager, they wanted her to make the decision. She looked at them blankly and said, “It really doesn’t matter to me. I have bigger things to worry about, like whether I’m going to live or not.”

Whether or not you are facing a health crisis or any other kind of crisis in your life at this time, keep things in perspective. Don’t let the little things become more important than appreciating this one moment and the things and people that fill your life, things and people you should be cherishing.

This moment in time is a very precious gift. Don’t waste it wishing for things you may never get, or yearning for things to happen that may never happen.

Remember the words of Walt Whitman, which are “Happiness, not in another place but this place….not for another hour, but this hour.”

Don’t wait to be happy. This minute and this hour are worth cherishing.

A New Year of Possibilities

Sunshine Lotus


“In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility.”

~ Victoria Moran


When a new year begins, it is a reminder that anything is possible. Whatever resolutions you have failed to keep in the past, whatever disappointments you have experienced, today is a reminder to pick yourself up and try again.

Anything is possible.

Just because you haven’t attained your heart’s desire up to now doesn’t mean you won’t.

Isn’t that exciting? The future lies ahead and can be so much better than anything that has happened up to now.

Mistakes don’t have to repeat themselves. Today offers the opportunity for a new beginning.

You are closer to success and happiness than you think you are.

This year, there will be enough time, enough money, enough possibilities. You are exactly where you are supposed to be, surrounded by the people you are meant to have in your life. The events of your life are unfolding exactly the way they are supposed to.

As Randy Pausch taught in his Last Lecture, the brick walls you have encountered are there for a reason. They are there to develop your persistence and perseverance. They are there to remind you to take a leap of faith.

You can do it.

Today is a blank page in an unwritten book. It’s up to you to fill the blank pages with good thoughts, positive attitudes and upbeat reactions.

Letting Go of the Past

Do you find yourself looking over your shoulder at mistakes you have made, goals you may have failed to attain or things you haven’t done quite right?

Let it go.

As Oprah Winfrey said, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

Your mistakes don’t have to define you. Just because you have failed in the past doesn’t mean you will always fail.

You are closer than you think to happiness, unlimited possibilities and becoming the best person that you can be.

Today is a new beginning, the start of a new year and a new chance to do the right thing. Starting now you can strive toward meeting your potential and know that the best days of your life are ahead of you.

Embrace the present and the chance to start over and try again. Believe in the possibilities that are all around you today.

This can be your best year ever. All you have to do is believe.


Enjoying Happiness in This One Moment

Joy (Explored)“Be happy for this one moment. This moment is your life.”
                       ~ Omar Khayyam


You can choose happiness just for this one moment. You don’t have to decide to be happy for the whole year or the whole week or even the whole day. Take a single moment out of today and choose to be happy.

Do you think this is difficult?

Life is full of bumps in the road and times that aren’t perfect. If you’re living a life that is full of sadness, loneliness or disappointment, bring your focus back to this one day and this one moment. Look for one thing or one person to appreciate right now.

If the sun is shining, enjoy the brilliance and the warmth.

If it’s cold or rainy, experience the refreshment of the universe all around. Be grateful for your home where you have a roof over your head and a place to call your own.

If it is quiet around you, lean into the peace and tranquility you are able to experience in this moment.

If you have family or friends, feel the love that they bring to your life. Realize that children are growing and changing right in front of your eyes. So are flowers. So are trees. Life is ever-evolving and each individual moment is an irreplaceable gift.

Blessings All Around

 If you have a computer or a smart phone that allows you to access uplifting quotes, realize what a blessing that is. These devices also allow you to access social media where you can connect with other people at any time day or night.


In this moment, notice that your ability to read is a wonderful gift that allows you to tap into the words of many people who have shared their wisdom and energy through poetry, prose or music.

This one moment in time won’t be repeated. The things you see, smell and hear today won’t pass this way again.

Savor this one moment and all the people and events that have led you here.

Embrace and enjoy the wonderful moments and experiences that make up your life.

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Hope for a Very Happy New Year

Happy New Year!
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
                        ~ Alfred Tennyson

All around the world, people gather to celebrate the arrival of a new year with fireworks, food, dancing and socializing. Some travel to exciting new locations just to experience seeing in the New Year in the company of others. Last night, celebrations were going on in Times Square, in London, in Dubai, in Australia. From small towns to big cities the world over, people gathered to watch the ball drop or to toast their glasses or to kiss at midnight.

What makes seeing in the New Year such an exciting experience?

When the calendar changes on New Year’s Day, it brings with it a clear sense of hope.

It’s a brand new year.

Absolutely anything is possible.

The previous year is behind us. Our mistakes and disappointments have passed and we have a brand new chance to try again.

What will the coming year bring?

Today is like a blank page, completely unspoiled, not yet written on or painted on or torn or wrinkled. The direction you choose today and for the coming year is completely up to you.

Embrace the possibilities.

Breathe in the joy that is today, the start of a new year.

What can you do to make this year a better year than last year?

What can you do to make today a happy and joyful day? How can you make this a happier year than last year?

You can choose to have a better life this year. It’s a fresh start, a new beginning. Whatever your external circumstances, you can choose to be happy and content.

Let go of everything that hasn’t gone exactly as planned. Forgive yourself for the resolutions you didn’t keep last year, for the things you did or didn’t do as well as you would have like.

It’s ok. You did the best you could. And you get to try again.

What a joyful feeling of hope in all the possibilities that are ahead in the coming year.

The dreams you haven’t realized yet can still be met in the future. If doors have closed in your face, there are better possibilities ahead, possibilities and opportunities you may not even have imagined yet.

The future can be much better than the past.

It all starts in the hope and the joy that is today.

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On Childhood and Giggles

late 2013 052“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”             ~ Berke Breathed


Yesterday, I took the three grandchildren that live with me to the store in a downpour. I got them to hold hands in a big chain as we ran through the rain across the parking lot. All of a sudden I heard a splash and a chorus of giggles. All three had deliberately jumped in puddle just to hear it splash.

I couldn’t help but giggle with them.

At times if I dwell on the circumstances that led to the need for me to be so actively involved in raising my grandchildren, it makes me feel sad. I wish I had more control over my own life.

But that’s when I’m resisting what is.

The fact of the matter is they live with me. They need me.

And probably I need them too.

I need them to remind me to find something to be playful about every day. Whether it’s impulsively jumping in puddles or running in circles or jumping on a trampoline, the children remind me what it’s like to play and to have fun.

Because of them I can go places I probably wouldn’t go without them. I go to the pool much more often in the summer. We go to the park. Sometimes I get on a swing and for a moment can giggle like they do and abandon the stressors of my life.

We feed the geese. We watch Disney movies. We build puzzles and towers. We bake cookies.

And I realize that at times I am not teaching them about life as much as they are teaching me.

They are reminding me about the joy of each new day, where inevitably there is something new to discover and experience.

It’s kind of like experiencing childhood all over again.

It’s not too late.

Enjoy the Moments That Make Up Today

Winnie the Pooh and his minions“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.

~ A.A. Milne
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to start every day with the thought that it’s today – and that means it’s your favorite day?

No groaning when you get out of bed, dreading work or school. No sense of gloom and doom as you battle to get the kids off to school, or complain about the weather or deal with other life challenges.

Instead, a cheerful sense that it’s today, and today is wonderful…awesome…perfect.

Have you ever met a person who is always upbeat and optimistic? For this type of person, an appropriate response to the question “How are you?” is inevitably, “Couldn’t be better” or “fantastic” or “excellent.” Not a whiny answer like “I guess I’m ok” or “I’m so tired.”

What good does the whining do anyway?

It does nothing except use up your present moments, moments that you won’t ever get back.

It dampens your mood and the spirits of everyone around you.

Instead, look for reasons to appreciate today.

This day is completely unique, an individual gift. There will never be a day quite like today. You will never be the age you are again. You will never experience this particular set of circumstances again.

If you’re in the middle of difficult challenges, you may be thinking that you are very glad you will never experience these circumstances again – but wait…aren’t there things and people that bring goodness to your life?

Appreciate them.

Appreciate today.

Each day brings with it fresh challenges, as well as fresh reasons to be joyful.

Look around you at everything that is beautiful, everything that you have to be happy about, everything that you don’t want to lose.

And be glad that it’s today – the best day ever.