This I Believe

Sabrina - Boise, Idaho
Entered on May 2, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: carpe diem
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I recently attended a memorial service that reminded me to believe in today.

After years of fighting, a friend’s mother finally lost her battle with cancer. On the back of the memorial service program, her grown children put together a collage of pictures of their mother.

Some of the pictures were fairly recent, but many of the pictures were from her youth. One picture shows her standing on a beach, hand clutching the hem of a short flowered dress and gentle braids falling across her shoulders. She is smiling slightly with a deep dimple showing. Another picture shows her getting ready for a school dance as a teenager. She is wearing a 60’s style flared skirt and it reaching down to adjust her heeled shoe. Her hair is pulled back into a pony tail and her bangs, cut short across her forehead, frame her face with innocence.

When we look at pictures of our parents, especially pictures of the past, they stir emotions and thoughts. Pictures from the past give us an idea of a specific time in someone’s life. We imagine “the good old days.” A single snapshot of a smile can convince us of happiness. We imagine that life must have been simple back then. It is easy to romanticize the past. We put on our rose colored glasses and gaze at the lives of our parents as trouble-free and blissful.

Were times back then really better? Was life truly uncomplicted? Were those really the “good old days?”

The lives of our parents were different than ours, there is no question. Even so, I believe that today we are just as content. I believe that these are our glory days. We need to look at ourselves and our own lives through those same rose colored glasses and see our own youthfulness, our own vibrancy, and our own contentment.

When you are feeling stressed or wondering if your life is everything it should be, perhaps you need to take a moment to pause and appreciate the good people and good times in your life. The next time you pose for a picture, imagine how your children will look at this picture in the years to come. Just for a moment, as the camera is snapping a memory of your face, feel the simplicity of the moment. Show the happiness that comes from everyday things. Stop and remember to appreciate each day, no matter what you are doing with it. Whether you are adjusting your shoe, or putting your arm around a friend, each moment is important. Happiness is right here. Remember that life is only as complicated as you make it. Believe in today!