Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Starting the Day off Right

My goal is to get up at 7:30 every morning, as long as BB hasn't woken me up earlier. My hope is that I will be able to grab a quick breakfast and shower before he wakes up. Great thought... putting that plan into action is not quite so easy. I have never been a morning person and never plan on being one. Each morning is a battle. I set my alarm for 7:34 AM and will myself to get up and get going. More often that not, I end up turning the alarm off, waiting for my natural alarm to go off-Baby Boy. One of the motivations for getting up earlier is that if I can get myself ready, and if Baby Boy wakes up in time, we can get out the door to daily Mass. This happens a lot less then it should, but every once in awhile it works out.

Today the stars aligned and we made it to church EARLY, truly an abnormality. I love going to daily Mass for so many reasons. One of the more prideful and completely unholy reasons is that I love seeing people who I know and I love how all of the older people enjoy seeing Baby Boy. He is quite a character at church. He loves it for the most part. He loves waving and smiling at anyone who will look at him. I also love going to Mass because it starts my day off right. Throughout today I felt like I was making the right choices. It reminded me of one of those commericals that advertise healthy food. Basically if you chose their product, the healthy product, you would continue to make healthy choices throughout the day. After going to church today (it ended up being a communion service because our priests are at a diocesean meeting-a little disappointing at first, but still good to receive the Body of Christ) I felt as though I was making more of the "right"choices throughout the day. I felt more energized this morning after I arrived home. I chose to listen to Relevant Radio rather than the pop music station. I gave some extra smiles to strangers I saw at the store. I was more peaceful and comfortable when meeting with a group of friends who I had not seen in awhile. I didn't make all the right choices today... I was still impatient, crabby and judgmental at times. But overall, I felt so much better! It's just like exercising, I know I always feel so much better after I've done it, but actually doing it is the problem.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Joy is Contagious

Watching my son bring smiles to even the grumpiest of strangers has been quite amusing over the last few months. Sometimes I think he is quite the distraction, especially at church, but most people seem to enjoy his smiles and waves. My husband and I enjoy taking Baby Boy for walks and will often go watch games at the soccer and baseball fields close to our house. The other day, I noticed a man watching the game who was completely absorbed in himself. He was listening to his Ipod and barely seemed to be paying attention to his daughter who came and sat by him during her break from the game. I couldn't help but think about how technology can make us so disconnected from those sitting right next to us... but that is for a different post. Anyway, BB was being his sweet, goofy self and was waving and smiling at some girls across the field. He also kept trying to wave at the man with the Ipod. Eventually, the man saw him. It made me a little uncomfortable because he did not look like a very welcoming person. Well, as soon as he saw BB, he broke into a huge grin and waved and smiled right back. The man couldn't help but smile! He had an adorable baby boy trying to spread joy to him and that he did! As the game went on, I noticed that the man's diposition had totally changed. He sat up straighter, smiled more and seemed so much more engaged in the game. It was quite a transformation to see-all from a simple smile from a joyful little boy.

Just today at Mass, I saw another example of joy being spread through pure innocence. At our parish, we have a woman with Downs Syndrome who is very involved in the parish. Today, she was taking up the collection. As she does it, she makes sure to thank every single person and say something kind or positive. It is a bit of an awkward situation-she can be heard quite loudly as she goes up and down the aisle, right during the middle of Mass. But it is so much more than an awkward situation, it is an experience of joy being passed on. I couldn't help but turn up my lips as she exclaimed, "Good Morning!" or "Beautiful weather today!" I looked over and saw each person she walked by with smiles from ear to ear.

A smile is something so simple. A mere turning up of the lips. Yet, it's benefits can reach beyond it's giver a hundred times over. Joy is contagious, spread it without reservation!