Tag Archive | happiness

Grinning from Ear to Ear

Floey is always happy to see me - or anyone else.

Floey is always happy to see me – or anyone else.

Floey greeted me as I walked in the door.

Marian Smiling BW adj

That’s me – grinning from ear to ear.

“Hey, Mom, welcome home. But why do you have such a big smile on your face? I thought you were at a funeral.”

“You’re right, Floey. I was at a funeral. It was the fifteenth funeral I’ve played the organ for so far this year. It was a very nice funeral for a beautiful, kind, loving, 103-year-old woman. There was a lot of love expressed and felt throughout the whole church.”

“That’s nice, Mom, but you’re grinning from ear to ear. Did the funeral really put that big smile on your face?”

“Well, not really, Floey. It was almost noon when I left the church and I was really hungry, so I stopped at the McDonald’s in Cottage Grove on my way home.”

“What in the world did you eat at McDonald’s that made you that happy?”

“Well, I was hungry for their filet-of-fish sandwich, and of course I got the ‘meal deal’ to get fries and a soda with it. The food was good, but that’s not what made me smile. When I pulled into the BP station that the McDonald’s is attached to, I saw that there was only one parking place left. I took it, but groaned when I saw three big construction workers get out of the van next to me and walk toward the McDonald’s entrance. I followed them into McDonald’s, and groaned again. The small restaurant area was packed with over a dozen people in line. I almost turned around and walked out. I probably could drive home and make a sandwich about as quickly as I would get my food here. But by that time, I was really craving a filet-of-fish sandwich, so I decided to wait a couple minutes to see how fast the line moved. I was amazed. In almost no time, I was ordering my meal. The clerk offered to give me my cup while I waited for my meal, so I could get my soda right away. I got my drink, waited just a couple minutes, and then sat down to eat in a clean booth.”

McDonalds Filet-of-Fish Meal

Not the healthiest, but just what I was hungry for.

“You were lucky, Mom. Sometimes you really have to wait a long time to get your food at that time of day, and then when you do, there’s no place to sit – or at least no clean place.”

high five“Yeah, I know. I really was lucky. As I ate my meal, the crowd cleared out. When I was ready to leave, there was no one in line, and the clerk who had waited on me was standing alone at the counter, waiting for whoever might come in the door next. She smiled at me as I got up to leave, and she wished me a good rest of the day. I dropped my empty containers in the trash can and walked up to the counter. I told her, ‘I’m impressed! You are efficient! I can’t believe how quickly and pleasantly you served everyone. When I came in here a little while ago and saw the crowd, I almost turned around and walked out. I’m glad I didn’t. You’re really efficient!’ She flashed me a big smile, put up her hand for a high-five, and called back to her co-workers, ‘Hey, a compliment! A compliment!’ A customer standing nearby smiled, the clerk smiled, and I smiled.”

“Wow, Mom. I bet from the way she reacted, she doesn’t get many compliments.”

“I think you’re right, Floey. And you know what, by taking the time to give a well-deserved compliment, I put smiles on the faces of three people – the clerk, the other customer standing nearby, and me. I bet there were smiles on the faces of the other workers in the kitchen that the clerk had called back to, as well. It was so easy to give a moment of happiness to so many people, including myself.”

Kitty and Floey

Kitty and Floey

“I know all about that, Mom. You know how I always run to the door to greet whoever is coming. I do that to let them know they are welcome in our home. I want them to know that I am grateful that they came to see us. That greeting usually makes them happy, and that makes me even happier.”

“I should have known, Floey, that you would have all this figured out already. You know just how to give anyone a moment of happiness.”

“Thanks, Mom. I really try. I think that’s my mission in life.”

“Floey, do you remember my special word for 2015?”

Floey looked thoughtful for a moment. “I think it’s GRATITUDE.”

“Yeah. That’s it. GRATITUDE. I haven’t written much about my special word lately, but this incident reminds me to be grateful for all the good little things that happen every day. By being grateful for the surprisingly good and quick service I got at McDonald’s, I was prompted to give a compliment, which prompted the clerk to share the compliment, which gave a whole bunch of us a reason to smile and be happy.”

“So that’s it, Mom. GRATITUDE for the good little things in life has you grinning from ear to ear.”

“Yeah. Now you know my secret, Floey – and I know yours,” and I gave her a big hug.

Floey-Marian 01-06-15

True Happiness – According to Abbey

A happy Abbey sharing her wisdom

Last Thursday my dog Abbey received a gift certificate. That prompted quite a conversation between Abbey and me about happiness and purpose in our lives. I recorded the conversation below. It all started with with me saying, “My, you’re looking happy today, Abbey. The happiest you have looked in weeks.”

Abbey responded with, “I am happy. Did you hear who came to see me yesterday? Katie. You know, one of Emma’s friends. She brought me a gift certificate to Nutzy Mutz & Crazy Catz, the best pet store in Madison! She wanted to thank me for being Emma’s best friend over the past few years.”

“How nice for you, Abbey. I bet you can hardly wait to go shopping.”

“That’s right. I hope to go next week. Isn’t that great! I get rewarded for doing something I love to do. Emma really became my best friend.”

Then she gave me a wink and said, “Now don’t get jealous – I love you, too.”

“Oh, I know you do, Abbey. You have enough love in you to share with loads of people.”

A wink from Abbey

“Yup, I do. Remember how much I loved ‘Dorothy.’ She was not a morning person. She hated to get up, so every morning I made it easier for her – I jumped into her bed and licked her face until she started giggling. That was so much fun!”

“Abbey, you really become close friends with almost everyone who lives here. I guess that’s your gift.”

“I know it is. I am so lucky! With my genes, I have two natural gifts – being a best friend (from my golden retriever mom) and having a terrific nose (from my beagle dad). I could have become a high profile canine drug enforcement officer sniffing out drugs, or a loving companion. I chose the latter. What a life! I bet I’m the richest dog alive, if you measure riches by how many people love you. And now I have a gift certificate, too!”

Abbey waking up "Dorothy" with kisses

“Well, I think you deserve it. I could tell your heart was broken when Emma left us to go to heaven.”

“Oh, I really was sad. I still miss her, and I always will. She was a wonderful lady. She would pet me for hours, her gentle hand on my back, the most beautiful smile on her lips, and her sparkling eyes looking down at me. Just remembering her gives me a warm feeling.

“I think I have the best life in the world – being a friendly companion to whoever needs one. I am so happy.”

“You’re right, Abbey. Many people never figure out their life calling like you did.”

“I know that’s true, but I really don’t understand why some people don’t ever figure out what their natural gifts are, and use them. To me, it seems so obvious.”

“I guess our human society has tried to become too practical. We focus on what we can do to earn a living rather than focusing on developing our natural gifts. Sometimes we even completely forget what our natural God-given gifts even are. We’re driven to make money, but we forget to connect that with developing the natural gifts we are born with.”

“I’ll never forget what my God-given gifts are. I know I was born to be a loving companion. And, I love my life! That’s true happiness.”

Edith and Abbey - friends forever.