I sat straight up in bed this morning, determined to have a good day. I sat up too fast and hurt my back, which made me angry. Two steps back.
Then I recited three things for which I am grateful, including my health. I looked out back and saw birds at my feeder, and my husband filling it up with food. Two steps forward.
I started to brush my teeth and turned on the brush before it reached my face and got toothpaste in my eye and all over the mirror I had cleaned the day before. Two steps back.
Then I remembered laughing with my kids, in person and on the phone, and how much I enjoyed them as adults. Two steps forward.
I turned on the television as I ate my breakfast, and saw updates on the war in the Ukraine. And I saw destruction and mothers trying to take care of children on the streets. Three steps back.
Then I saw a group of older people in Poland meeting in the square and singing together, just because they could. They sang with joy, looking at each other as if this were the most perfect day in the entire world despite the fighting and fear around them. Five steps forward.
We are given one moment at a time, and we can either crawl back under the covers or we can sing at the top of our voices so others can hear. Somehow, I think the singing, no matter how tone-deaf you might be, is a greater gift than staying under the covers.
Lamenting and worrying and wringing our hands never lifted another soul. Instead, it draws others to try and life US up. But when you sing, when you smile, when you stand tall with hope, it strengthens every soul around you.
We are given one moment at a time. We don’t have to create world peace or make sure everyone is loving or force happiness on strangers. We can, instead, be the peace in the moment we are given, be the love that the world needs as we walk to the mailbox and smile at a neighbor, be the happiness that can ignite the same in others.
Yes, there are problems out there that seem overwhelming. Yes, I have a red eye and sore back. Yes, I have neighbors who are easier to smile at than others. Yes, there are times the negative news becomes an albatross the size of Godzilla around my neck. Then I realize that I don’t have to carry everything. For I have one moment at a time. I am one kindness at a time. I can help one animal at a time. This does not count the moth I tried to free this morning but smashed into the wall instead. My intention was good.
Be the love. Be the kindness. Be the happiness. Stand in the middle of your home and sing, even if you are all alone. For your song will change the very air around you, and that breeze will carry itself to someone’s soul and remind them that, even in the midst of all we’re dealing with, there are still songs to be sung.