Living Happily Ever After


Instruction for Living a Life

“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” (Mary Oliver)

A few weeks ago I was asked to speak to a women’s group about gratitude—living a thankful life. It was a good experience, and another opportunity to reflect on my life, my experiences and to think about what I’ve learned from it all, and to try to share something from all of it that might help or encourage someone else.

I ended up titling my remarks “Six Steps to Surviving Anything And Living A Thankful Life.” And while I tailored my comments to that particular group, I thought I’d share a version of it over the next several days—one step a day.

My six step program.

To surviving anything.

And living a thankful life despite it all.

Here goes.

Step one: Count each day a success if you accomplish ONE thing. (And be liberal with yourself in what you consider an accomplishment!) Some days it may be only that you got out of bed OR took a shower. It doesn’t have to be both! Just one thing…and you’re a success. Because some days are just that hard.

I’ve had a few days like that.

A day or two when the fact that I got out of bed was my big accomplishment for the day. And that’s ok. I can’t remember a day when I succumbed to the awfulness of my life during a few of its most challenging moments by not getting out of bed to face another day.

So no matter what you’re facing, get out of bed that day and call yourself a success.

Although, “Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.” (Gilbert K. Chesterton)

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