Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mind Over Matter

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

My birthday is coming up this week so I thought I would feature a special "birthday edition" post. There are many different perspectives on birthdays: a lot of people are scared to get older, many are excited, and others don't really even think about adding more candles to their cake...that's what makes birthdays so interesting.

Since I'm still pretty young, it doesn't really scare me to be turning another year older. I have a lot to look forward to and a lot to be excited about, so adding more candles onto my cake isn't such a bad thing. But it sure does make me think about all of the great things that have happened in my twenty-some years of life and where the next few days, months, years, and decades will take me. Even though I admit these unanswered questions are a bit unnerving, I think it's a good thing to be ready to move on and to look forward to what's next. 

I was looking for a good quote to feature for today's post, and while there are many out there about aging and birthdays, I found one that seemed to be just the thing I was looking for. 

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
- Mark Twain
A lot of things in life are mind over matter... (that's why we know it's so important to think positively, right?!) And I suppose that age falls into this category too. I know a lot of people who, in terms of years may be considered "old", but are ripe and young and still full of life because they don't mind their doesn't matter to them. What does matter, and what's most important, is that they still have love for their lives and for the people in their lives. 

So if you have an upcoming birthday like me, don't wish that it will never come just because you may have to buy an extra package of candles this year. Instead, welcome the day so you can look back at all of the great things that have happened in the past and look forward to what the future holds. Most importantly, remember that if you don't mind your age, your age won't matter! 

Keep Smiling,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Rita's Equation

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

Yesterday was the season opening of my local Rita's Italian Ice, and I was so excited to go - not only because they were offering 50% off everything, but also because it's just another wonderful sign of spring on its way!

What I like most about Rita's (besides their delicious treats, of course!) is that they promote and promise happiness. In fact, their tag line is: Ice, Custard, Happiness and they really value living up to that promise for their "guests". And, even better, they have their RITAS values: Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Service. Now that's pretty pun intended.

After eating my amazingly delicious ice yesterday, I began thinking more about the Rita's promise of happiness, and remembered a great quote I once read that really embodied the mission of the franchise:

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give. -Eleanor Roosevelt 
Even if you're not the lucky owner of a Rita's (I mean, how awesome would that be?!) I think you should still take these words to heart and try to carry them with you every day. We should be giving a lot of thought into the happiness that we are able to give to others, and in turn, to ourselves. I want as many people to smile when they see me as when they see a Rita's. I want to deliver happiness...and if I could, I'd love to throw in some ice and custard as well! 

So this week, think of yourself as a new Rita's franchise and remember the Rita's will you serve up some happiness?

Keep Smiling,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Loving Weekend

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

So the holiday of love is upon us once again, and there's no way anyone could forget about it because there are reminders everywhere. If it weren't for the slightly obnoxious jewelry commercials playing on almost every channel or the headlines for the "Best Gift for Your Valentine" flashing on every website, we might be able to use the excuse of, "I forgot"...but that's almost impossible!

But you know what? I think that's a good thing. Love is something we should never forget about. It's something we should never take for granted. maybe you're not "in love" with anyone this Valentine's Day (join the club!) but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate. That doesn't mean you can't have a loving weekend.

I looked back in my archives to last year's V-Day post and after reading through it again, I was reminded why it's one of my favorites. As I was searching for today's featured quote, I wanted to make sure that it was just as special as last years, and though I was tempted to use "Forget love - I'd rather fall in chocolate!" by Sandra J. Dykes (because I believe it to be true) I thought I would continue searching for one that would appeal to us all and really bring forth the essence of V-Day. Instead, I came up with this one that I hope you will enjoy:

A hundred hearts would be too few

To carry all my love for you.
~Author Unknown
So here's the deal: as you keep this in mind throughout the weekend, do remember that it is not only to be shared with your lover, but also with yourself.  It's so important for us to have love in our lives, but we need to know that we should have love not only for others, but most importantly, for ourselves as well. 

It's no big deal if you don't have a "Valentine" this year - you can be your own! Believe me, I'm almost a professional at being my own Valentine, and I'll tell ya that it's not as sad as you would think. Share your love with yourself, with your friends, with your family, and of course, with your love if you're so lucky as to have one by your side this year. No matter who you're celebrating it with, know that anyone can have a loving weekend. 

Now excuse me while I go prepare my Minnie Mouse valentines to give to all of my friends.  <3

Keep Smiling,

Monday, February 7, 2011

Having It All

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

It was a balmy 45 degrees yesterday and the sun was shining, so in my desperate attempt to welcome spring in as early as possible, I knew I had to spend some time in the sunshine. I decided to pull on my snow boots and go for a walk around the neighborhood - and because I was feeling so daring, I left my gloves at home! Though they were packed tightly in my pockets for the entirety of my walk, I was totally loving the brisk air and almost blinding sunshine.

I purposely left my iPod behind to make sure that nothing could distract me from enjoying the moment. Apparently a lot of other people had the same idea, as there was an unusually large amount of people walking their dogs, jogging, and pushing strollers around the mounds of snow on the sidewalks. I got a good 45 minutes in before the cold started to seep through my layers, so I decided I better call it quits while I was still enjoying myself. As I headed back to my apartment, I noticed that this was the first time in a long time that the weather brought a smile to my face. And it felt real good.

Later on in the day, I StumbledUpon this quote that I thought was really great and I knew I had to share it with you today.
When you come right down to it, the key to having it all is loving it all. -Joyce Brothers
I think that really is the key, isn't it? "Having it all" doesn't really mean we need to have it all, we just need to be able to love it all. When we can learn to appreciate all of the things we have in life, then that's all we'll need.

We should all definitely keep this in mind throughout each day. Before we know it, we'll be the luckiest people in the world because we'll have everything we need in life. And we'll be loving it.

Keep Smiling,

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Speak It, Live It

Image: Google

Hello Optimists,

Sunday night I flipped on the TV to watch the SAG awards and after about an hour or so, I got a little bored. After mentally scrolling through the TV guide in my memory, I conveniently remembered that there was supposed to be a special show on TLC about the Kennedy of course, I had to watch it. Two hours of home movies were shown along with some commentary about the upbringing of the family dynasty and the tragedies they faced along the way.

I don't know why, but I've always been fascinated with the Kennedy family stories so I am so glad I had the chance to learn some more about them while watching the show.

When thinking of good people to quote, there is no doubt that JFK will always pull through with some words of wisdom. I got to catch a bit of his great speeches during the clips shown on TV, but I wanted to look up some of his other great quotes as a source of inspiration. I surely wasn't disappointed, and found one in particular that I wanted to share with you today...

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. -John F. Kennedy
 Ah, so true. Words of appreciation can certainly do a lot and are so vital to sharing and showing our gratitude, but we also must learn to really embody those words. It's great to say thank you, but it's even greater to show how thankful we are. If we can learn to live and act with gratitude for all of the great things in life, our appreciation for those things will really blossom.

I'm going to start working on that, and I hope you will too. Be sure to not only say thank you (and mean it!) but to also live your life by those words.

Keep Smiling,