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Don’t Forget to be happy

Welcome to another day.

You probably didn’t give much thought to the fact that you’re here, that you woke up.

You likely haven’t stopped to breathe in deeply and slowly, to feel the air expand your chest and then let it fall slowly as the air departs on your instruction.

You probably haven’t taken a second to realize that you’re alive.

There’s a good chance your mind has already been overtaken by all the things you need to do, the tasks at hand, the appointments you have, everything filling up the small white block of your calendar assigned to today, all the worries that made sleep difficult last night, the noisy parade of bad news you’re already scrolling through.

You’re already running so fast, so quickly.

Because of all the urgent and terrible and necessary demands pulling at you from every direction, I bet you went from lying down into a full sprint in a matter of seconds…not giving your body and mind a chance to ease into it all, to be intentional about this moment, to decide not what you’ll do today—but how you’ll be today.

You’re likely going to be really busy, and since you are—I don’t want you to forget something important:

I don’t want you to forget to be happy…

I realize the conditions aren’t perfect today for any of this, but trust me—they will not be tomorrow, either…

All the more reason—on this imperfect day—you need to do something that declares you will not be so overwhelmed by all that is not right, that you refrain from living well.

Fill your time with the people and animals who make you feel loved, with moments spent in the places that refresh and inspire you; with creating and making and dreaming the glorious stuff that cannot wait because they can only be born by you today.

Please put that on your agenda.

Don’t make it wait.

Create space for it.

Work for justice and be outraged when it is denied.

Passionately oppose every bit of inhumanity that you can.

Never grow comfortable with cruelty or brutality.

But, amidst the countless appointment reminders, calendar notifications, and sticky note prompts that keep you focused on all that seemingly needs to be done—include one more critical reminder, even if you have to tattoo it on your heart:

Welcome to another day. Don’t forget to be happy.

From John Pavlovitz’s book, “Stuff That Needs to Be Said: Essential Words on Life, Death, Faith, Politics, Love and Giving a Damn.” Pages 253-256.

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