Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Filling Your Bucket

Every morning, I try to give myself a daily dose of positive affirmations. This new habit (still a work in progress) is one huge step forward for someone brought up believing that having a sense of self-worth was a negative thing.

These affirmations are rarely anything monumental or significant milestones in my life. Instead, they are simply gentle reminders that I have had a great life, have been blessed with a wonderful wife, children, and grandchildren. I have writing projects that excited me, daily blogs, usually five or more in the hopper at one time, that help me hone my writing skills. There are plays that need tweaking and tinkering and movie scripts that need refinement. Waleed, the Skinny Hippo, is still trying to draw folk’s attention. A comic strip also looking for a home. Song lyrics that keep popping up inside my head scream for capture on paper before they’re lost to passing thought streams. They’re all pressing concerns drawing my attention in a dozen different directions at one time... and I love it.

Aside from the daily crush of vernacular endeavors, there are the simpler pleasures so easily lost in the daily routine of life. Spectacular views of an early morning sunlight painting wonderful colors and hues across the surrounding mountains. The quiet serenity of early morning stillness blanketing a backyard just starting to awake. Simple pleasures our elders wouldn’t or couldn’t allow themselves to feel.

The fifties and sixties were turbulent times for many in that older generation. They had suffered through the Great Depression and endured World War Two. Now, they faced a younger generation who thought the old ways were the wrong way and wanted to pave their own pathway to adulthood. But to do that, they had to feel good about themselves which their elders saw as something akin to heresy.

These thoughts of positive affirmation were rekindled in my mind with one of my latest collections from Better World Books. The book is called: How Full is Your Bucket. I almost threw it away after the first couple of pages. I have nothing against positive feedback but usually its encased in a shell of semi-religious cliches, old school antidotes (Think the Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale) and other sometimes trite journals heralding back to the era of Horatio Alger.

Feel-good affirmations based on some religious affiliation, political position or generational, social, cultural, or monetary attitude are (in my mind) empty promises made to oneself and no one else. With that in mind, I was about to toss the book but curiosity propelled me forward.

For reasons bordering on nothing else to read at the moment, I continued on and finally found a pattern of ideas that actually made sense. The simple idea that positive feedback is better than negative feedback and it doesn’t hurt anyone to say something nice to or about others.

At my 81st birthday party, several folks came up with the obligatory question: “How does it feel to be eighty-one years old? My answer was very simple. “Age is a state of mind and I don’t mind my age” and “Health is Wealth.” I feel I’m on pretty good standing in both those categories.

So, as I enter my eighties, I would like to think that each morning is a gift and opening that gift with a feel-good thought or two is one heck of a great way to start the day.

Amen to that.

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