May: The birds are pissing me off and I don’t have a BB gun…

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This phenomenon caught me by surprise when it first began… I look forward to the green grass, flowers blooming, and leaves finally on the trees. May is the month of birds singing, trees bursting with flowers, Mother’s Day, school celebrations, BBQs, and fresh spring starts. Right?!?

Well, it is also the month of yard cleanup, too many school activities, summer plan panic (did I save enough money up for day camp?), grades panic at middle school, graduation for high school and elementary school (boo hoo!), more clothes and shoe expenses (do they really have to wear shoes this summer?!). And for some of us right now, major health issues, teenage trauma, stepped up work obligations, extra parental needs, moving to new homes, and other not so fun things. It can feel like too much, and I am not up to the task of letting go of worry, guilt, and fear enough to enjoy the season. Happiness and joy seems scarce to me, but the rest of the world is bursting with it!

The birds singing can be a little irritating, singing joyfully at 4:17 a.m. I want that much joy and I’m jealous and resentful (yes, I resent the birds singing, how sick is that?!)

So, I will write about it, because someone out there knows what I am talking about… I want to:

1. Stop brushing my hair, be ultra lazy, and not wear shoes anywhere
2. Quit doing laundry and just buy new clothes when I run out
3. Quit my job and join the unemployed sitting outside Starbucks in the sun all day
4. Go on a spending spree and buy all the toys and fun garden stuff we have ever wanted
5. Get a BB gun for the singing birds because I am not as happy as them

Happiness and joy are inside jobs. No one can make us happy or sad. So here is my formula to add the joy back:

1. Ask God to handle and worry about all of my problems today (he is anyway, who do I think I am!?). Just let myself “be”. I will do my best, and the only thing I will worry about is if I am drinking enough water.

2. Try something new- a new way to drive home, a new food at the grocery store, a new radio station, a new book, make a new friend, or a new approach with a colleague. Carl said a few weeks ago that “The only difference between a rut and a grave is its depth”. Sing a new song (start with Beach Boys Greatest Hits in the car).

3. Don’t skip on the daily gratitude list: 5 new things every day before I brush my teeth in the morning.

4. Ask God to help me keep bringing happiness and joy into my life (and believe I will keep getting it!)

5. Buy one treat for each of us at the grocery store (favorite candy, special shampoo, self-tanner, whatever works)

6. Stop a moment and notice that I am blooming too. All this work and study and prayer and asking for help is working! Let the trees and flowers remind me that I am growing and becoming a brand new me too.

7. Make plans with a friend for this weekend, not just my kids and family… Friends are much better mirrors of growth than family.

8. Be the love and abundance I want in my life. If I am looking for blessings, be a blessing. If I want appreciation, give appreciation. If I want a hug, offer one out. Give to others generously (this includes time, prayers, smiles, warmth, jokes, hugs, etc.). This helps me to live in faith that life is abundant and I am lacking for nothing. In other words, it helps me stop whining.

9. Compliment my kids on something new 5 days in a row. They say we should give kids 5 compliments for every 1 criticism. Compliments help us to see the positives in life too. “Good one, Pumba” when he burps/farts loudly is a great start.

10. Call someone I know who is hurting and listen to them, care about them, and bring them a pizza.

11. Memorize a Bible verse. “For I know the plans I have made for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

God is with us. He has great plans for all of us. For today even. No matter what our circumstances are, relaxing and believing God is handling the tough stuff allows the blessings and blossoming to show up… in the next hour even sometimes!

We just need to jump off the cliff of fear, guilt, and worry and believe God has it handled so that we can get on with the living and enjoying the birds and trees and flowers. WE are blooming and blossoming too!!

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