Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How to Make the Best of Every Day

'Folks are blessed who make the best of every day.'
- Give Me the Simple Life by Steve Tyrell

Have you ever gone on a trip/vacation and had a bad experience during your trip? Maybe you got a flat tire, maybe you missed your flight, maybe you got food poisoning at a restaurant, etc. When you look back on your trip, filled with fun memories spent with family and friends, does your one bad experience cloud your otherwise great vacation? I hope not.

Above is a simple hypothetical situation that I am sure many have experienced. I share this to illustrate that not all of life goes perfectly (duh!). Throughout your days, weeks, and years you are bound to be faced with tough moments. Deaths, difficulties at school, pressure at work, relationship hurdles, friendship shifts, financial struggles, etc. Life is hard and I am not oblivious to that. But what I can tell you, is that when I look back on my life thus far, I don't look back at all of the 'bad' that has happened and let that shape my present or my future.  I focus on the good and I hope you are able to do the same!

My personality and the way I try to live my life, in general, is to be nothing but happy. I try to share a healthy dose of happiness and lightness here on Summer Wind every day, too!

Through the Summer Wind survey, many of you were so sweet to mention how you always look to Summer Wind to brighten your day and that means so much to me! I am often asked by readers about how I stay so positive and happy even when things aren't necessarily going well (a lot of you asked about this in the survey, too!). And you know what? It's not always easy, but I work for it.

When something is going wrong in my life, whether it be something small and insignificant or something absolutely crushing, I handle it all in the same way. I find/choose happiness. It sounds kind of silly, and almost too simple, doesn't it? But it works. At least for me, it does. The quote above is from Harry Potter, it is one of my absolute favorites and one I live by. I think it really illustrates my outlook.

I also feel like I need to include this disclaimer: I know my outlook isn't for everyone-- I also realize that there are other issues, such as depression, that many are dealing with and I don't mean to make light of any of that by writing this post. This post is meant to be light and share more of what works for me and my life... and maybe can work for you, too! 

Here are two very personal examples at different spectrums of 'bad things'. When I was a freshman in college, I started off as a business major. I was taking accounting, macro/micro econ, etc.. I cannot begin to tell you how much I absolutely hated those classes (and I almost never use the word hate). I was so uninterested, I couldn't get into the subject, and I felt like everyone else knew exactly what they were doing (which made me feel even worse)!

I still studied and tried to get into the subjects, but I couldn't. Long story short, I didn't do well in my business classes my freshman year. I have always been an A student... partially because school came naturally to me and also because I worked hard, always did my homework, studied, always did the extra credit, always participated, always went to class, etc. 

This was really hard for me to accept and in turn, made me feel bad about myself as a student. It made me feel dumb, left out, and confused. However, I didn't let that bring me down. I first highlighted all of the reasons I loved college and enjoyed my classes. Luckily, my professors were so incredibly nice and helpful as well as understanding (that's JMU for you!). I also had great friends who were able to help me study and work with me to get through the homework and exams.

My classes outside of the intro business classes were amazing and I was doing so well in them. So for the rest of the semester, I focused on those good things! I then made a plan. Because if you are unhappy, you can sometimes create a plan to get out of what is making you unhappy. So I made my plan. This plan started by switching my major to public relations-- this is also when Summer Wind was born-- a place where I could write (one of my passions) as well as connect with others who had similar interests (fashion). In hindsight, I am actually laughing as I type this. Business was so wrong for me. I love writing, I'm more of a creative type, and I couldn't quite see everything that was happening then was me figuring things out and carving my own path to my passions and happiness!

The second example much sadder and affected my life in an entirely different way than having a few bad classes. My grandfather passed away 6 years ago (cannot believe it's been that long now). I wrote a post about it 6 years ago which is the most personal thing I've ever written on Summer Wind. I won't go into detail on this post because you can go back to the old post, but on dealing with the death of my grandfather, it was very hard. But instead of letting sadness take over my life, I remembered to find the happiness. Even with extremely tough situations, there is always happiness to be found. The happiness is in this situation is that I am so lucky to have known my grandfather and been able to spend 20 years with him. I am so happy he lived such a full and wonderful life and the world was so lucky to have had him in it. I miss him always, but I fondly and lovingly remember him and always will.

These are just two examples, one small and one larger on how tough times happen, but there's always happiness in every situation, you just have to find it and choose it. How do you cope with tough times?

Also, a big thank you to all who wrote in to my survey (back in January!)--there was an overwhelming amount of support and it means so much to me! I've written in the past about how nowadays, the way the blogging industry has evolved, it's often very hard for me to post personal things. You are all so respectful of my privacy and I appreciate it SO much. Through all of your support, it really helped me to open up and write about something a little more personal today!


Sharon R. said...

Loved your post. One of the big reasons that I subscribe to your blog is your attitude. I remember one of the first posts that I ever read of yours was about why you love the movie It's a Wonderful Life. When I read it, I knew you were an old soul.

On a similar note, your post reminded me of a quote from Michael J. Fox. He said that he tells his kids “When you go out the door in the morning, choose happiness.”

Farrah said...

I just love this post! Granted, I'm one of the annoyingly positive people to a fault. I hope you continue sharing your happy self and be authentic in who you are at all times.


miss andrea lee said...

Loved this post! I am all about finding happiness in the everyday too. It's just a choice you have to make. My dad passed away 5 years ago and that is the most devastating thing I've ever gone through but I've always known he would never want me to be sad. So I choose happy! Sometimes though you have to fake till you make it!

Beth B. said...

I absolutely love this! Everyone needs to have this attitude!

Love your blog!

Lauren Marie D. said...

What a great post Sydney! I am a firm believer in trying to live life with the same mindset. It makes me so happy to hear your thoughts, and hope it helps your readers gain some perspective. I graduate law school in May (a former classmate of yours, Meg Farley, is a good friend of mine - she's the one who told me about your blog). As you can imagine, it's a very uneasy time in my life right now - lots of changes. Yet, I always remain grateful and find the joy in each day.

Lauren xo || The Right To Remain Fabulous

Heather C. Watson said...

Lovely post, and so, so true! Here's to doing what makes you happy, and to your blog, which has always been a favorite of mine!

Dana said...

I also wrote a more personal post today - definitely needed to read this post. Life has been throwing some crazy things my way recently, but I realized staying positive and (like you said) choosing happiness always seems to be the easiest way to deal with tough times!

Pink Champagne Problems

Kathryn Byers said...

What a wonderful post! While some days are easier than others, living on the brighter side of life is always the way to go :).

xx Kathryn


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