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Don’t Forget to Be Happy

Welcome to another day.

You probably didn’t give much thought to the fact that you’re here, that you woke up.

You likely haven’t stopped to breathe in deeply and slowly, to feel the air expand your chest and to let it fall slowly as the air departs on your instruction.
You probably haven’t taken a second to realize that you’re alive.

There’s a good chance your mind has already been overtaken by all the things you need to do, the tasks at hand, the appointments you have, everything filling up the small white block of your calendar assigned to today, all the worries that made sleep difficult last night, the noisy parade of bad news you’re already scrolling through.

You’re already running so fast so quickly.

Because of all that urgent and terrible and necessary pulling at you from every direction, I bet you went from lying down into a full sprint in a matter of seconds; not giving your body and mind a chance to ease into it all, to be intentional about this moment, to decide not what you’ll do today—but how you’ll be today. 

You’re likely going to be really busy, and since you are I don’t want you to forget something important:

I don’t want you to forget to be happy.

I don’t want you to fritter away the next 86,400 seconds as they skyrocket by you from the present and into the past, never filling them with the things that give you joy or generate gratitude or register contentment.

Today it’s going to be difficult for you to remember that this is life: that you are not waiting on a day that is coming in which to do all that you dream of doing or to say everything you should say to people you love, or to create and build and write and make the beautiful things stored up inside you.

If not reminded, you likely won’t remember that this is not a day to RSVP for some future living you’ll do somewhere off on the horizon.
You and the sunlight are both here now.
I’d hate to see you procrastinate away living for another time—when this is the living time.

Because it was not a guarantee that you’d wake up today.
Many people didn’t.
They didn’t get to feel the rise and fall of their chests.
They didn’t get to stop and notice they are alive.
They are missing this day that you and I are present for. 

If they had opened their eyes today and joined us here, they’d likely already be running too, and also at the precipice of making the same mistake you and I can make if we’re not careful.

They too might be seduced by the calendar and distracted by their obligations and weighed down by the tragedies—so much that they would forget to fully live in this small twenty-four hour sliver of time and space in front of them.

I realize that conditions aren’t perfect today for any of this but trust me they will not be tomorrow either.

There will again be things you need to do, tasks at hand,  appointments you’ve made, everything filling up the small white block of your calendar assigned to that day, all the worries that will have made sleeping tonight difficult, and the noisy parade of bad news you’ll be scrolling through should you reach the morning.

All the more reason you need to do, in this imperfect day—something that declares you will not be so overwhelmed by all that is not right, that you refrain from living well.

Fill your time with the people and animals who make you feel loved, with moments spent in the places that refresh and inspire you: with creating and making and dreaming the glorious stuff that cannot wait because they can only be born today and by you.

Please put joy on your agenda today.
Don’t make it wait.
Create space for it.

Work for justice and be outraged when it is denied.
Passionately oppose every bit of inhumanity that you can.
Never grow comfortable with cruelty or brutality.

But amidst the countless appointment reminders, calendar notifications, and sticky note prompts that you have to keep you focused on all that seemingly needs to be done—include one more critical reminder, even if you have to tattoo it on your heart:

Welcome to another day. Don’t forget to be happy.

Previously published on johnpavlovitz.com; reposted with permission.