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Old 08-05-2007, 01:29 PM   #21
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Best for me is being around warm easygoing people. Lights me up.

Ha
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:11 PM   #22
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I too come from a family that has a complaint about everything and everyone.

I find myself constantly trying to rewire the connections - especially when there are a host of those daily annoyances going wrong (like today - bank canceled debit card for some reason, sewer pump needs to be replaced ASAP!). Just this morning, I was reiterating the mantra: "positive thoughts only!"

As for what makes me happy: a good workout always leaves a lingering good feeling, but otherwise: a walk in the woods, curled up with a good book and a cup of tea if the weather is bad/cold, laughing with my family, walking the dog and watching her run with glee at simply being able to run, and other similar simple pleasures. Also, having new experiences, working in the garden, getting my projects done.

Me too, ditto to all that. I like to take a hike every morning with my dog, gaze at the beautiful morning sky, the mountains. It makes me feel like this day will be the best one I ever had!

I credit studying Buddhist philosophy to a serious change from a negative to a positive state of mind. Although, have to say I 'm still working on it.
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Old 08-05-2007, 10:15 PM   #23
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Happy moments:

Listening to jazz or Brazilian guitar/string music puts me at ease.

When I'm swimming at the gym, I tune out random thoughts and just focus on counting numbers/laps. It's a mental relief--I like numbers.

Singing a great classical piece in a choir--I'm always amazed by the harmonies I can't even dream of.

Meditation.

Drinking coffee on the deck in the morning with spouse, esp. if not rushing to w*rk.
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Old 08-05-2007, 10:26 PM   #24
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Best for me is being around warm easygoing people. Lights me up.
Better still, light up around warm easygoing people...
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:00 AM   #25
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Playing classical guitar for hours.

Riding my bicycle on the Big Island of Hawaii in the sun. (thinking about doing it again when I am not there)

A martini so cold it has a layer of ice on the top of it !

The incredible feeling after a long run.

Listening to my grown children and the amazing things they are doing.

Life's not so bad...
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:27 AM   #26
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Amazing how many people acknowledge the endorphin rush after exercise, but so few people in the general population actually take advantage of these free and legal drugs.
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:47 AM   #27
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i was raised by the most authentically enthusiastic woman on the planet and for the first 14 years by a depressed dad and after that by my stepfather who truly appreciated, admired and adopted mom's outlook in life.

mom never liked to cook so we ate out a lot. but every meal was the best meal she ever had. every swim was the best swim she'd ever known. every day was the best day of her life. none of my friends or family could count how many times she said "isn't this great!" or "this is fantastic!" her smile lit up the room; her laughter filled the room & infected everyone.

she had a tough life. her mom was a manic depressive who didn't always function well and would eventually commit suicide so mom was in charge of raising her mother's family from when she was just a little kid. she used to hold dinner parties for family and give her mother credit for doing the work. she used to take her younger brother into the bathroom to clean him up when he had an accident. she matured quickly but never let go of the child inside.

mom also battled her own manic depression but she was determined to live a happy life. she embraced norman vincent peale's "power of positive thinking" (after which one of their boats was named--call sign pappa pappa tango). she tried meditation and worked on herself throughout her life with psychologists and psychiatrists to assure she kept on track. so successful was she in structuring her own attitude in life that she was able to ride through the majority of even the deteriorating effects of alzheimer's later in life with such dignity and grace and yes, still that smile and humor.

possibly in rebellion to the generation preceding me, i never bought into all that positive stuff. i consider myself more of a realist. as much as i loved my mother's attitude, i also recognize that i've had a few crummy meals. but i'm ok with that. it's just a meal and it doesn't ruin my day. i've mentioned before and it remains true that a colleague of mine once described me as living with my "head in a rainbow colored cloud." i like to think of myself as an optimist in the long run. but i tend to be pretty critical between here and there.

one of the greatest lessons mom taught me in watching how she lived her life is that regardless of what hardships we experience, our experiences don't have to affect who we are. we are less what we experience and more how we experience.

with that i have been able to endure so much loss knowing that i had so much to lose and how great is that. to have known so many amazing people. so even the pain of losing them reminds me to be happy and appreciative in life. isn't this fantastic!
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:15 AM   #28
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Coming home from work, sitting down for a minute, and having my two cats jump in my lap.

Also, the new guy I am dating is making me pretty happy...
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:05 PM   #29
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i
with that i have been able to endure so much loss knowing that i had so much to lose and how great is that. to have known so many amazing people. so even the pain of losing them reminds me to be happy and appreciative in life. isn't this fantastic!
Lazy, your mother sounds absolutely fantastic. You ought to write a memoir about her. Graditude is turning out to be, for me, one of the key attitudes to keeping a positive mindset and not falling into depression about the bad stuff.
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Old 08-06-2007, 06:29 PM   #30
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My daughter and I recently celebrated our 3-year anniversary together as a family. Her early life was spent begging for food and money, witnessing her father try to kill her mother, and then later surviving in an orphanage in Ukraine. What makes me happy is seen how incredibly happy she is now. It puts everything in perspective. I've not experienced anything close to what she has lived through in her young life (she turns 10 in a few weeks). Yet she's the happiest person I know. What is there to complain about, really?

Thanks for starting this post.
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