Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.”

Chief Tecumseh



In the morning, light pours into my bedroom.  It’s kind of a pain to fall asleep with the blinds open and the curtains pulled back, but it’s worth it to be greeted by light.  Then, for me, it’s baked oatmeal and one shot of espresso.  I’m not a morning person, and I probably haven’t had a single thought about anything worth remembering until I’ve begun to absorb some caffeine.  A quick aside- I’ve never understood why people don’t drink more espresso, is it the whip cream thing?  And then, a clean shave.  I (almost) always use a sharp razor, not a Gillette, and have replaced that blue goop with fluffy and fragrant lavender shave soap applied by a badger hair shave brush.

I’m sharing my routine with you, because I’ve found that from the first ray of sunshine to the first bite of oatmeal, the last sip of espresso to the last bit of shave soap, I tend to concentrate on how lucky I am to enjoy these little luxuries.  They are simple joys.  When you appreciate your situation first thing in the morning, you start the day off right.  And when you start the day off right, the rest of the day tends to follow suit.

If you’re a snooze button 12 times, rush out of bed and into the car to sit in traffic on the way to the job you dread kind of person, consider what you give up each morning.  You’ve missed the chance to be gracious, to take a few minutes to yourself to think about your day, to think about what you can do for someone else today.  By the time you’re expressing you’re road rage, you’ve given up the chance to work out that day or your opportunity to reflect in your journal.  Approaching the beginning of your day differently might change your outlook on school or work, especially if you’ve taken a few minutes to give thanks that you have gainful employment and think about how you can make a difference at work that day.  An improved outlook is often the key to improved performance.

So much of this blog is about having a positive and gracious attitude.  The reason is simple- life is better that way.  The time to establish that attitude is first thing in the morning.

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Change your stars.

–A Knight’s Tale

You might be knocked off your horse or take a lance to the face.  Some days you might feel like a blind thatcher’s son, and some days you might think you’re living in the dark-ages.  Pick yourself up off the ground.  Let the lance roll off your armor.  Embrace your father, and be inspired by your contemporaries.


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“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

— John F. Kennedy

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–Rosa Parks

Rosa’s refusal might not have been quite this simple, but actions speak louder than words. Today’s reminder is that change takes a catalyst, and that catalyst might as well be you.  A second tip from Rosa is that sometimes inaction is as powerful as action.


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“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.”

— Laura Ingalls Wilder

A lot of posts recently have dealt with change. While some of us may be wrapped up in all that is different, quite a few things have remained the same:

  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • The little things are the big things, so make them GREAT.
  • Being grateful makes what we have enough.
  • When in doubt, be happy.
  • Life is good, regardless of circumstance.
  • And… Keep the faith. Be courageous. Be undeniably strong and unflinching in your efforts to keep an eye on the bright side.

After all, it really is a good day to have a good day.

Love and Light,



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Make a Difference

charlie brown

Here’s a quiz for you:

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.

6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners .

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3 Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

Charles Schultz provides us with a wonderful example of what really matters in life. It doesn’t matter what titles you earn, what medals, you have hanging around your neck, or what “average’ is. All of the pieces of paper saying you are the best will fade in time. What matters is that you make a difference in the life of another person. Answering that second set of questions is proof that you have made a difference and that others have made a difference in your life.

Take a hint from these people. Learn how to be a difference-maker, a game changer. Find a way to show someone else the way. Be the light they may so desperately need. Be memorable. Make a difference.


“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.”

— Edwin Way Teale

As we begin to enter another Autumn, we prepare for warm colors, cooler temperatures, and a general feeling of coziness. It is one of my favorite seasons.

As we move further into this cozy season, recognize that it is not simply cider and pumpkin patches that should fill our minds. Remember the lessons that nature can teach us. Remind yourself of all that we have in common.

This time of year prepares the trees for renewal. The leaves wear their brightest colors as they are sent from their safe haven among others into the wind, carried somewhere new. It’s all about change.

As we approach our own moments of renewal, we let go of a few things to prepare for a new season in our lives. Likewise, some things we cling to may be ready to be set free. I thought it would be nice to reflect on what you can let go of to prepare yourself for a new time of growth and beauty.

There is a time for everything. As each seasons ends and another begins, do not forget what it can teach you. As the season of true change begins, let yourself be free.  Allow yourself to let go and be part of your own renewal. Who knows what awaits you when you let go of so many little things and move forward.

Also, let your true colors show. Much like nature, you are much more radiant that way.

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“Fate is never fair. You are caught in a current much stronger than you are; struggle against it and you’ll drown not just yourself but those who try to save you. Swim with it. and you’ll survive”

— Cassandra Clare

Not to quote the Biebs, but I never say never. Circumstances can change, so can people. Change is the only constant.

I would like to note the truth presented by the remainder of the quote. Going with the flow can do so much more than reduce stress– it can save your life. Pick your battles. Realize that struggles associated with “the flow” or “fate” may be damn-near impossible to overcome.

And whenever possible, save your energy. Fighting against the current can be worthwhile when you’re good and ready.


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“The key to change… is to let go of fear.”

— Roseanne Cash

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“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

— Maya Angelou

Nothing wrong with a little experience. There is something wrong with letting it cut you down. Keep working. Keep growing. Be the bigger person. Life can feel like one hell of a bully sometimes. Don’t let it have the upperhand.

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