Thursday, February 04, 2010

Free to Smile

I'm late in posting my thoughts about Lori Koop's Upword for last week "Free" but a post by Stacey Curnow today on "100 Things That Delight" inspired me to finally sit down and do it.

In her Upword post on the Word "Free", Lori asked us to write down the thoughts we were celebrating this week. "Write it down. Small or large, it doesn’t matter, " she said.

When I started musing on the word free - I thought about how great it is that in this country we are free .... free to practice whatever religion we want, free to dress how we like, free to speak out against things in public, free to go follow our dreams. The only thing that holds us back from being completely free is ourselves, our own thoughts, our egos trying to keep us on some path to perfect or follow society "norms" that causes us to be cautious, stay safe, not get out of that comfort zone of the familiar or what is "expected."

One of the things I'm learning going through Christine Kane's Uplevel Your Life program is that we are free to think positive thoughts. Our brain may try to focus us on what can go wrong and create negative thinking patterns but we are free to change this - to turn this around, think about whatever it is in a new way, create a positive vision of what it could be like and let the universe deliver.

My aha moment of the week happened today. It is that I've been doing this on some level all my life. Stacey's post on the "100 Things that Delight" reminded me of something I wrote years ago that I called "1000 Things for Troidles to Smile About."

Similar to Stacey, I wrote my piece when things weren't going so well for our family back in 2000-2001. My mom was struggling with the final stages of Chronic Lymphocitic Leukemia and my sister Cindy was suffering from long term side effects of the treatments she had to cure her Hodgkins Disease. No one in my family was smiling much about anything. I felt it my duty to bring some positive thinking into the game and distract everyone from the not so good things with some of the great things, funny things, blessings that have been bestowed on us that might lighten the mood.

I remember starting this on a tablet of lined paper - writing down a firehose of things that came out of my head and passing it around to my sisters for them to add their own when we were all in a car going to visit my mom one day. We laughed, we cried, we reminisced and we shared it with my mom. At some point I typed it into the computer and there is has sat until today.

Many of the things on my list are personal to us and won't mean much to many of you but I am hoping that Stacey's and my lists will encourage you to write down your own list. Be sure to save it in a safe place in a file or a notebook or on the computer so at some time in the future when you need it most you can pull it out and share it with your loved ones.

So my musing on the Upword of last week - FREE - reminds me that we are free to smile even when things look bleak by reflecting on the many many blessings we are given.

Here are just a few of my 1000 things for Troidles to Smile About.
  1. Sisters
  2. Finding the only thing in the discount store worth buying
  3. Banning smoking on all flights
  4. Ice cubes
  5. Making popsicles from juice
  6. Finding a pumpkin with good hair
  7. Running into old friends in unexpected places
  8. Chinese checkers
  9. Having a cleaning lady
  10. Ivy
  11. Eidelweiss
  12. Staying overnight in a castle
  13. Playdates
  14. "Evely Fliday, I have a gud tyme!"
  15. Cutting one of GG's homemade afghans to make a doll blanket
  16. Mulch
  17. Squeegies
  18. Thomson's Water Seal
  19. The Home Show
  20. Mousse
  21. Primping and preening
  22. Curling irons
  23. Duct tape
  24. Rich aunts who live overseas
  25. Yoko Ono in the morning
  26. "Hafta"
  27. "'Pose ta"
  28. Knowing why Eskimos wash their clothes in Tide
  29. Inchworms
  30. Petunia
  31. Hannah, Hildegard and Gertrude
  32. "What's the matter, Hannah?" "I don't know."
  33. "Beats neither!"
  34. Making the school play
  35. The French Impressionists
  36. Driving kids to music and dance lessons
  37. Recitals
  38. Telling people that Debby likes to lift heavy things
  39. Family bonding sessions
  40. Debby jokes
  41. The big pine tree at 190 Walzford Road under which we held secret meetings
  42. You gotta wanna
  43. Telling people in other cars how they could drive better when you know they can't hear you
  44. Ye Olde Tavern
  45. Olivia
  46. Being able to pronounce Lake Chargoggagogmanchoggagogchabunagungamogg
  47. Paying off the balance on all your credit cards
  48. Cappy Turtle
  49. Deadbee Turtle
  50. Sunny Turtle
  51. Carrying a turtle
  52. Cooking without a clue sessions
  53. What a small world it is
  54. Coincidences that aren't really coincidences
  55. Deja vu
  56. A Ruby Turtle
  57. The Fonzies and the Potsies
  58. Mo-mos Surprise
  59. Belly flops
  60. Spelling bees
  61. "Chlamydia is not a flower"
  62. Erma Bombeck
  63. "Babies and other Hazards of Sex"
  64. Pygmie hammocks
  65. "Today I saw a bud"
  66. Park and ride
  67. Byes
  68. Homemade potholders
  69. Gummy worms
  70. Sleeping under the tree on a carrot bed
  71. Uncle Sam and Santa
  72. Snow people
  73. Painting Cindy's bald head for Easter
  74. Slumber parties
  75. Ralphie and Alfie
  76. Cricket infestations
  77. Spiral staircases
  78. Coming home to a clean house
  79. A clean car
  80. Ed the Bibdog Dobbster
  81. Beagley the Dalemeister Beagley
  82. Recycling
  83. Susan's haircuts
  84. Dad, the Nurturer
  85. Debby sleeping all night at the hospital
  86. Knowing how to flush out catheters
  87. In-laws
  88. Sending email over the information super highway
  89. Correspondence kits made by dad
  90. The Troidle family extended calendar
  91. Watching old movies on cable
  92. Mom's bird collection
  93. The Subaru
  94. Tom Bombadil and Wurzel
  95. Nimnum
  96. Car phones
  97. Meeting cousins you never knew you had
  98. Midnight mass
  99. Michael Burgo
  100. Being president of the Holy Cross General Alumni Association
  101. Depositions
  102. Mediation
  103. Being president of Ocean Beach Club I
  104. Presidential inauguration
  105. Desert fever
  106. Swollen legs for 8 weeks from an allergy to dust on Mt Saint Helen's
  107. New York bagels
  108. Debby moving to Chicago
  109. Kathy making Christmas dinner
  110. Chutney
  111. Mom's poached eggs
  112. Prozak
  113. Prednisone
  114. Betty and Barney Bunny with Buster and Babies
  115. "Ain't no bug, ain't no monkey, give me a hug, I'm a Funky!"
  116. Organizing photos into albums
  117. Angels
  118. Cards that make you cry
  119. Octagon decks
  120. Still getting stuffed animals from your mom when you're 32
  121. Roger
  122. Frequent flier miles
  123. Lillian Vernon goodies from Aunt Cindy
  124. Taking off the pool cover
  125. Donner and Desiree
  126. Nutcrackers
  127. Nuns
  128. Bishop Clark
  129. Jesuits
  130. Spider theatres
  131. Nerbus people
  132. "Good job catapillar!"
  133. "I am so proud of you!"
  134. "Fibonacci!"
  135. "But CeeCee, there are TWO boyfriends here, and your friends Debby and Kathy"
  136. "No wifes (in the PlayMobile castle)"
  137. Facial expressions that tell all
  138. Husbands/Boyfriends who get all this


Lori Koop said...

I AM inspired! I need to do this with the family. Thanks, Kathy.

How many gifts we overlook that add to the tremendous power of the day, each day, every day. Thanks for the gentle reminder.

Kathy said...

Thanks Lori - it was fun pulling this out. It's only 138 out of 1000+ we came up with. I am going to print it out and bring it with me to my sister's house this weekend so we can laugh, cry, share all over again.

Stacey said...

Oooh! I love this too, Kathy!

I'm SO *delighted* that you wrote this list! I laughed out loud when I read #63 (that SO needs to be a title for a book!) and I couldn't agree more with #107 - I wish H&H could be air shipped to my WNC hamlet everyday!

Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Kathy said...

Thanks Stacey!! I shared them with my sisters this weekend and we laughed and laughed all over again too.