Wreck This Journal: Choice


One day I was walking through a book store when an old man flagged me down and asked, “Why are you so happy?”  This threw me for a couple of reasons: 1) This man was a total stranger 2) I didn’t think I was doing anything that made me look happy.  My confusion must have been obvious because he added, “Every time I see you, you are smiling.”

Interesting.  I wasn’t even aware that I was smiling.  All I could do was shrug and say, “I don’t know, I just am.  Life is too short to be otherwise.”  He laughed and shook his head as if I had just spoken gibberish.  I totally understand his reaction as most people find my almost constant perkiness a little overwhelming and annoying.

The old man’s question got me wondering why I bounce through life like I’m surrounded by sunshine and rainbows.   Now, I’ll be the first admit I’m not happy all the time, but for probably 95% of the time I’m wearing a dorky grin on my face without even realizing it.   Truthfully, I believe that smile is there because I make a conscious decision each morning to embrace joy whenever possible.  It’s a choice, plain and simple.

Naturally, this chain of events lead to a very Wreck This Journal moment where I used one of the blank pages to paste in a free write (please forgive the run-on sentences and grammar monstrosities!) and a visual representation of  why I believe so ardently in the power of choice.

The sun shines even when you can't see it.

The sun: When I wake up every day I have a choice on how to perceive my day – no matter what happens.  On days full of good things, its easy to be happy and see the sun.  But then there’s also the choice not to take it for granted and be grateful.  On a day marred by bad things, its a little harder to find the joy, but not impossible.  This is where the work of deciding really comes into play.  I could choose to be angry or sulk or paint myself a victim.  That would be easy, but it defeats the purpose of being alive. If I take a more difficult road I might see the good in the bad.  If I choose to count the moments in between the darkness, the light becomes much brighter and flushes out the dreariness . . .  and its because I am aware of my choice.

The rays: Let the day begin with the light of a hopeful smile. 

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c.b. 2011