Make It A Happy One

What makes you happy? What makes you smile? Do that more often.

Have you ever heard a song or watched a TV show or perhaps a movie and you heard a line that just resonates with you. It speaks to you. That happened to me yesterday and believe it or not it was during the animated movie “Rock Dog”. I took a couple of my good friend’s daughters to the movie and the line that has been in my head since I heard it was so simple but true…”This is your life, make it a happy one.”

Let me say that again…

“This is your life make it a happy one.”

I ask you again, what makes you happy? We are surrounded by negativity, hate, separation, deception, sadness and more it seems every where we look. It’s easy to forget our happiness, it’s easy to be brought down.

I’ve been accused of being a little too optimistic at times, but that’s me. I see the good in people, I believe in the best and I trust things will turn out alright. That is just who I am, so I go looking for the good, because finding the good helps to make me happy. There are many things that help to make me happy and I intend to start doing them a little more, because it is my life and why shouldn’t it be happy.

Do you like to sing? Sing louder.

Do you like to read? Make time to read more.

Do you like to exercise? Then keep on doing it and make the time to make it happen, maybe switch up your routine and try something new!

Do you love your friends? Then show them, make time for them. 

Does your faith make you happy? Then share the word.

Do you love your family? Be with them more, tell them you love them.

Whatever good thing makes you happy, do more of it.

“This is your life, make it a happy one”, because why not? 

Do what makes you happy because it is your life, but don’t hate on others who are doing what makes them happy. We are all different, we all have different interests and we are each unique in our own way. Embrace that and enjoy what makes you happy, because you know what, we ALL deserve to be happy, yes including you. 

Here’s To New Adventures

I’ll never forget the day I graduated high school and reading the infamous Dr. Suess book “Oh The Places You Will Go”. It was a gift I had received back then and have often gone back to read during different times in my life when new adventures had presented themselves. Today I was reminded of the feelings that come with the start of a new adventure.

Imagine my surprise when I heard from one of my favorites at my favorite gym Anytime Fitness saying “We need to meet before Wednesday because I have news”. It just so happened I had just changed into my workout clothes right before she sent it so I said I was already on my way I’ll see you soon. Naturally, when you get a text like that all sort of things go through your mind. Keep in mind, however, for this particular situation, it could be a number of things for this person had become someone very special, like the little sister I never had and we shared a lot so it literally. could. be. anything. A sneaking suspicion though had me believe, she was off on a new adventure. Little did I know how right I was.

Let me take it even a step further to how I know little Miss Meghan of who I write about. She’s a spitfire of a woman who I met when she was a cheerleader for NDSU and was coached by another dear friend of mine. From the moment I met her I knew she had to be cool, I mean one, her name was Meghan and two, she had dark hair like me, so that had to be saying something, but it was her similar attitude and free spirit to mine that made our friendship instantaneous. From there I got to know her in other areas of our lives including with the latest when she came to work at Anytime Fitness and even more of a friendship blossomed.

Today Meghan let me know that she had a beyond exciting opportunity presented to her over the weekend and everything escalated quickly and she’s leaving THIS Wednesday already. Then I saw the emotions I remembered having the first time I ever left this area…excitement, nervousness and sadness all wrapped into one. It’s a GIANT step to move away from a place you know as home. It’s an even scarier step when it’s hundreds or even thousands of miles away from the ones you love dearly, your friends, your family, your everything.

But let me tell you this, the adventure you begin when you do step out on your own for the first time, is worth every obstacle that might come your way. Everything we do is for a reason, each path we take has it’s purpose. Had I not moved to Iowa at one point during my life, I wouldn’t be where I am right now, and frankly I love my life and where I am at right now, and I would not have made nearly half the friendships that I hold so dearly to this day, Meghan included.

Trust that the move you make is the right one for you even if it seems scary, because at the end of the day, you always have your loved ones when you need them and you can ALWAYS go back home. But go enjoy the adventure that awaits you while you can, because when  the best opportunity to move to Los Angeles, Hawaii, Reno, Nashville or wherever life may take you, presents itself, you take it without thinking twice and don’t look back, move forward.

This new adventure awaits you and may God bless you every step of the way. But know that “True friends are never apart. Maybe in distance but never in heart.”

Along the Way

T-minus 6 days until Eric Church plays his Holdin’ My Own Tour at the Ralph Englelstad Arena so I’ve labeled it “Eric Church Week” at work and the countdown is on. To say I’m excited might be an understatement for more than one reason but those are stories for another time. In true “Megan” concert prep form I’ve been listening to every Eric Church album to brush up on all of the songs again so I can sing along the best (and the loudest) I possibly can at the concert.

It’s always fun to go through all the ones we play on BOB 95 but it’s also fun to remind myself of the other great gems that were never released for air play. The one that has had me thinking all day long and has been played a couple extra times was “Those I’ve Loved”, off his 2009 Carolina album. If you haven’t heard it yet, I recommend listening to it at least once and I mean really take the moment to sit down and just listen. Don’t listen while being distracted, maybe even close your eyes and hear the words.

I was distracted the first time it started to play so I started it from the beginning again, sat back and listened to every bit of it. It gave me goosebumps, especially the very first part when he sings of losing his grandpa. Everyone remembers where they were or when they got the phone call that they lost a loved one. Then it moves onto first loves and how you grew apart and went separate ways. But it was completely about those we “loved along the way”. The song will relate to many if not all.

But it’s not just about the ones we “loved along the way” it’s about how they have helped to mold us into who we are today and it’s so very true. Family, friends, long lost lovers…they all have touched our lives one way or another. Some are a part of our story for as long as they live, a few for only short periods of times and others for as long as we live. Regardless they are part of who we are. Whether you know it or not they have helped you to grow, they have taught you a lesson, they may have even taught you to love. The past is part of who you are. I’m not saying you should repeat your past but I am saying don’t forget what got you to where you are today.

On the road of life, I’ve lost family members, I’ve had to see friends be laid to rest, have had broken friendships and have had my heartbroken and I know I’ve broken a heart or two as well. But in the wonderful lyrics of Eric Church, “And I hope they all know I never would’ve made it this far on my own…if not for those I’ve loved along the way” and to each and everyone of them, good or bad, happy ending or not so happy ending…thank you for helping me to be me.

Now go ahead take a moment and give it a listen, you know you want to.

Lasting First Impressions

Today I read the cutest story about an 18-year-old young man named Grant Kessler from Ohio. His youngest sister posted a picture of him on Twitter where he is at the hospital about to meet their new niece and he’s dressed up in a suit and tie. But it was the reason he was wearing the suit that melted my heart and will yours too…he told his family the reason he showed up to meet his niece for the first in a suit and tie is “because you only get one chance to make a first impression.”

Did you just get chills? Did you just tear up? Did you get emotional? It’s adorable and admirable. Why aren’t we all like that more? He knows and we all know his new born niece is not going to remember that exact moment but everyone around him will and everyone who was touched by this story and I can almost guarantee is thinking I want to do that same thing!

It was a simple gesture but it spoke volumes. It makes me want to put forth that little extra effort no matter where I am. We make first impressions all the time in our lives but don’t even think twice about it because some of them are just in passing. But even if it’s just in passing don’t you want to leave a lasting impression? I sure do, which is why not only do I want to make sure that I look presentable I want to act it as well. How we act can leave just as much of an impressions as how we present our outward appearance, if not more actually.

His caring act wants me to dress up when I meet a friend or relatives new born. It makes me want to be the first to smile when a stranger on the street is walking my way. When I see a person heading into the same building I want to reach the door first just so I can hold open the door for them. If I see someone at the grocery store with fewer items than me I want to let them go ahead of me in line.

First impressions, we make them everyday and most times they are never really remembered. Wouldn’t it be nice to be remembered even if they don’t know your name as the person who did a simple but meaningful gesture and they leave sharing that story with all they know never knowing if you’ll cross paths again but I guarantee if by chance you do, they’ll remember you and it will be in the best way possible.

I’m a simple person, who believes in treating others the way I want to be treated and I feel if we all tried just a little harder with our first impressions as did Grant, then maybe we could leave this world just a little bit better and a little more kind and would that be such a bad thing? So the next time you’re leaving the house, heading to work, running errands or just going to be around people take into consideration making not just any first impression but a lasting first impression, I know I’m going to try.

*Find the full story on Grant Kessler here.

Life with 3 Brothers

I’m getting this in at the very last minute but today is National Sibling Day and I had to pay homage to my three incredible brothers. Growing up it was myself my two older brothers and a couple months after I turned four my youngest brother came along and I couldn’t have been more upset when that happened. Bear with me, I’ll tell you the story.

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When I was old enough to understand some what about brothers and sisters I remember always thinking how I wanted a little sister more than anything. Pretty sure I was fascinated at that time, like many other young girls, with little babies and if I had a little sister she could be my little doll to play dress up with. I’ll never forget on the day August 24, 1985, and going to the hospital to meet my new sibling. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when my parents wanted to introduce me to my new little brother. BROTHER? But I wanted a sister and I remember seeing them down in a different area, pink blankets and everything and I asked if we could trade him for one of them. Have since learned it didn’t quite work like that. It took me a little bit to look at my new little brother but when I did I fell in love. He was so tiny and perfect, how could I not love him? Even through the years when he would be a pain in my butt, I loved my brother. So if you are reading this my not so little brother anymore, even at times when it seems like I was a little hard on you, all of it was always out of love.

Next there is my older brother who is only two years older than me. Growing up he was my silent protector and I was the social butterfly dragging him anywhere and everywhere. I’ll never forget one of the first times I convinced you to take me to the party. It was after prom and I had decided you needed to not just come home and that I was going to be the one to get you to loosen up for one night. We went to the party and I didn’t have anything to drink but you partook in a few adult beverages and by the time I decided it was time to go home you were feeling pretty good. So good that when you were leaning on me to get into the vehicle I asked you not to fall on the ground because I wouldn’t get you back up. Never should have said anything because you thought you were the funniest thing in the world when you dropped on the ground and I had to find a couple of my guy friends to get you to the vehicle. Finally got you in the back seat and I started to drive you home. It was on the trip home that I think you were some of the most honest with me you had ever been. You talked about how great I was and that you were lucky to have a sister like me and that I was your favorite sister. I chuckled at that and informed you kindly that I was your only sister. Then you told me that I was also smart too and not just book smart, like you, but book and street smart, I had the full package. I knew then exactly how much you loved me and that I was pretty fortunate to have a big brother like you who always was watching my back.

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Last but not least there is my oldest brother. Eight years older to be exact and the one I fought with the most growing up. Learned years later when I was old enough to understand, that I was the thorn in your side. I had sass and I wasn’t afraid to use it around you starting at even the age of one and half I was told. You had me figured out but I hadn’t got there yet. Who would have thought that years later and many screaming matches and tears later we would be as close as we are. You told me the moment you realized you respected me was the morning of grandpa’s surprise birthday party when I had to once more fight you to get up. It was a Saturday night, the night before church and a party for grandpa at church and I lived only a few blocks from grandma and grandpa’s so those of us siblings over 21 went to stay at my place and my two older brothers thought they should stay up late and drink with my roommates. So the next morning when I went to wake you both up, you weren’t going to go. You had just fallen asleep about an hour before that and you just simply weren’t going. My only thought was like hell you aren’t! Garret and I got out to the car and you still hadn’t arose and I stormed into my house yelled at you to get the hell out to the car right now and I thought you were ready to rip my head off. You settled for trying to rip just about every door off it’s hinges along the way, including the car door but you were going and I had my victory. What you probably didn’t see was I was in the back seat smiling knowing I’d sassed you but you’d be happy you had listened. It was later after you had cooled down that you thanked me for getting you up because it wasn’t but two short years later that grandpa passed and we always had that memory.

Respect, honesty, truthfulness but above all love. That’s what I have with my brothers and I for one couldn’t be more lucky. We maybe haven’t always got along but at the end of the day we have always been there for each other. That’s what family is, always being there for each other through the good and the bad…and we’ve all seen both of them. So on the day National Sibling Day I say thank you to my brothers. Thank you for all being you and for loving me, your only sister for being who I am. Thank you for teaching me many lessons along the way, for protecting me when I needed it and for letting me learn my own lessons along the way. Together we have helped mold each other and it’s a part of who we are so from the very bottom of my heart to my 3 brothers…I love you all.

A Letter to Best

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest

It pains me and breaks my heart when I see people I love and care for hurting. I’m definitely the person who wishes I could pick up the broken pieces for you and put them back together, but I also realize that’s not possible. We have to be the ones who put ourselves back together. However, I believe it’s through the help of God, family and friends that we are able to ultimately have the strength to do that.

Right now I have some one in my life who is hurting like this right now and even though I know I can’t take the pain away I need them to know I’m here so this is a letter to Best…they know who they are.

Dear Best,

Let me start this letter off by saying I love you. Right now you are going through a pain I know too well. Your heart has been broken by someone you loved. There is nothing I can do or say that will take that horrific pain away, I know from experience. Each day gets a little better it seems and then something happens to set you back. You wonder will this ever go away? Deep down you know it will but that doesn’t change right now. What you do need is to know that there are people in your life who are there and to know you are NOT alone.

I will not lie, there will be nights you feel as though you are alone but it’s not true. If you can’t get a hold of someone to fill that feeling of void, turn to God, he will always listen. He has a plan and you can’t question it. You only can wait patiently for it. Everything happens for a reason and one day it will all make sense. One day something will happen or you’ll meet someone and realize this is what you’ve been waiting for…that moment.

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest

No one knows exactly when it will happen they just know when it does. This is where I too must admit that I have had my doubts in that area and wonder when is it my time? But if the last few days indicate what I feel, then I’m a believer and I’m glad I never gave up the faith. It truly happens when you least expect it. 

Right now this time is about you, you healing and being the person you are. The person you always have been and should never change for anyone. It’s a time to be your Best.

Love,

Me

Let this be a message to anyone in a similar situation. Life does get better, the pain will pass and when you least expect it, life becomes more wondrous than you thought possible.

Time to Leave

“Sometimes love means leaving”. Ever been there? When you realize no matter how much you love a person it won’t ever be enough. It’s a humbling moment. A moment that feels like you had the wind knocked right out of you and for a second or two you feel you can’t even breathe. 

The moment passes, you catch your breath again and you realize you’ve made the hardest revelation of your life…it’s time to leave. Time to let the person you love unconditionally go on without you.

Sometimes the ones we love need to be set free because we aren’t in the same place. Even though they may love you back they are headed in a different direction than you. 

I’ve heard that sometimes you need to let a person go and one day they may return to you and be yours forever but realize they also may never return…that just means they were never yours to keep. 

You’ll find that one, they are out there and when you least expect it, they’ll show up just as God has planned.

My suggestion: Love and love deeply…don’t be afraid. Just know that “sometimes love means leaving”.