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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“I’d like to think the best of me is still hiding up my sleeve.”

–John Mayer

The best is yet to come because the past is just for learning from.


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“If you lose today, win tomorrow. In this never-ending spirit of challenge is the heart of a victor.”

-Daisaku Ikeda



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“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”

Jerry Rice

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Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

Albert Einstein

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“… tomorrow will be more hopeful than this awful piece of time we call today.”

Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games

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“Finish each day and be done…”

“Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could.  Some blunders and absurdities have crept in, forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” -r. w. emerson

Some days are just one of those days.  You know what I mean:

those days where you finish a paper but forget to save it, and the power blinks.

those days when you studied all the wrong ways for an exam, and you have another exam tomorrow (and another one the next day).

those days when you end up printing documents for your boss for 14 straight hours, because your boss screwed up.

those days when  you set your alarm for pm instead of am and you catch every red light on the way to work.

 those days when you wake up to a parking ticket and the line at Starbucks is around the corner, so you’re stuck with bad drip coffee at work.

You know, one of those days.

In the 1800’s, Emerson could finish his day and relax.  He could pour himself a glass of aged scotch, puff on his fine cigars, and scribe a new page of brilliance into his journal (probably by candle light and in a funny Boston accent).  The pace of life was slower in his time, and I imagine if he were around now, his philosophy would be more like that of Rhianna: “Cheers to the freakin’ weekend.”

I think Emerson is a little too optimistic when he asks us to put these days behind us, to start each new day with “too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”  From day to day, that might be too much to ask.  In fact, I think that kind of nonsense accumulates throughout the week, especially for young adults who work and study late into the night, and eventually it becomes one those weeks  Still, take some combination of advice from Emerson and Rhianna.  Make time for yourself to enjoy the sunshine this weekend. Rejuvenate your spirit so that  by Monday you can start the new week with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.  It’s the freakin’ weekend baby.


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