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#507: An Evening of Happiness

Friday, August 26, 2011

I debated with myself whether to write this blog -- it's a happy one -- or even to write it, as I want to explain some things that make me happy while not sounding like a braggart or seeming to be begging for applause, with I definitely am not.

But here goes.

Lately I have felt unfulfilled, bored, lonely, stressed, depressed, I'm not sure what. I mowed the back yard this afternoon, cleaned up and was ready to sort papers and declutter and stay in tonight. A friend of the family's wanted to meet for dinner so I went. No biggie, just a comfortable diner where we know the staff and feel welcome.

While there I talked to a couple seated behind me about their two-month-old baby emoticon. Then I asked their son how old he was, that I guessed 10 (trying to flatter him). He said he was only six and quickly added, "But some kids at school think I'm in the fourth grade but I'm only in the first." And he smiled. I wished them all a healthy, happy life and, as I left, the parents and the son were beaming. The baby may have been too but it's hard to tell at that age. emoticon

I had noticed two women also sitting nearby who prayed before their dinner. I have remarked to diners before about how satisfying it was to see that but tonight I felt compelled to say hi, tell them how nice it was to see them say grace and told them I wanted to leave their tip, and did. They also were smiling, thankful and surprised as I left.

The next stop was Publix grocery store where I had an interesting conversation with a woman as we both shopped for dog food. Then had a funny joke-telling time with the cashier and bagger as I checked out.

As I left the parking lot I saw an Orlando firefighter walk back to his rescue truck. I asked if he knew my nephew Aaron, also an Orlando firefighter. He admitted he did and complimented him. We exchanged names and I asked him to tell Aaron his uncle was checking up on him. This is a running joke between Aaron and me because it seems every city firefighter I meet, no matter where that is, knows him and makes an effort to kid him about his uncle checking up on him. We shook hands and left, both smiling.

On the way home I stopped at a nearby bowling center emoticon to watch a friend's last summer league session. I had a $5.00 off coupon and gave it to a family finishing up their games. The mother was suspicious at first until I explained that he center gave me occasional incentives for bowling leagues there. Then she couldn't seem to thank me enough. To me it was not a big deal. All I did was print out the coupon. Seemed a shame to let it go to waste.

I met up with my friend, watched her team win the second half of the league then headed home.

What makes times like this so uplifting to me is that I am not an extrovert at heart, but I have learned that simply taking the initiative to begin a conversation with people makes me feel good emoticon so it is something I try to do whenever I am out.

Psychologists will be better able to analyze why doing good for others -- even something as simple as asking about a baby -- lifts our spirits. All I know for sure is that this evening's events will help me sleep better. For as much as others thanked me tonight, I thank them for opening up to a stranger and letting him into their lives for a few bright moments. emoticon

Now, how do I bottle these feelings and keep them on hand for the times when the spirit needs an uplift?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    The best way to change the world isn't to devise a magnificent plan, but to do one small thing, wherever we are, and whoever we are with, to manifest God's love and joy. Thank you for showing us how.
    3462 days ago
    Great blog! Thanks for sharing...each person you encountered, at each location - you make a choice and acted on it. So often we think our actions don't matter unless they are 'big' - but as your blog shows, small acts of kindness, generosity - looking outside of yourself to see others has such an impact - on those you've touched as well as yourself. emoticon
    3463 days ago
    Great Blog Lou!! I read something in a book recently where a woman had went to another country and was on a bus and there was a rain storm or something and a lot of flooding and a man smiled at her and she said how can you smile at a time like this? He said because it is all that I have to give and invited her to walk with him among the people that were laying all around dying and they smiled and gave of them selves what they could. emoticon Linda
    3463 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5178852
    You glean happiness from many small situations and do they ever add up! Why wait for a huge opportunity when all it takes is a smile, a positive comment or a shared coupon. I'm glad you took the invitation out for a meal.

    Keep up the good work, good and faithful servant!
    3465 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    You are a sweetheart Lou - both in person and t all of us who are blessed to be your online friends!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3472 days ago
    Look how many people you made happy here on Spark just by sharing your lovely evening with us. You are a very special person. I hope you don't have many days of feeling lonely.
    3473 days ago
    Awesome blog, Lou! You are such an inspiration.
    3473 days ago
    Beautiful. You are a good person Lou, no doubt about that... thanks for the inspiring blog, I am glad you shared!
    3473 days ago
    What a blessing you are to so many people, Lou, both at home and here in Sparkland!!! Thank you for sharing this great blog with us!

    3473 days ago
    Oh Lou, I so agree! You are such a giver, whether you realize it or not. And you are reaping the benefits of giving! You so deserve the happiness!

    3473 days ago
    We are made in the image and likeness of God. He told us that in Genesis. Later we learn that God so loved the world that He gave... Is it any wonder, then, that we feel most complete, most centered, most joyful when we are giving to those around us? It makes perfect sense, doesn't it?! I'm so glad you had such a fulfilling night. We are promised that if we give, we receive. I am petitioning heaven even now to bring to you those same joys and even greater joy when you most need it, in ways only our very creative and loving Father can provide. I love that you are continually looking for ways to bless others. That inspires me so. *hugs*
    3474 days ago
    You of all people seem to understand what I am talking about when I share about trying to spread the SMILE EPIDEMIC! Sharing smiles is free & the pay back is AWESOME! You're a wonderful man my friend. Love, Dawn emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3474 days ago
    Glad you had a wonderful evening. And your touching so many lives will have divides you'll never know about - some of those people will probably be inspired to 'pay it forward'.
    3474 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/27/2011 12:23:37 PM
    Definitely something to build on.
    You probably can't bottle it, but will have to just keep on doing it to keep the momentum going.
    Wishing you many happy evenings (and days too).
    3474 days ago
  • LESLIES537
    You're such a gentleman! Thanks for sharing your kindness with us. Your positivity is contagious!
    3474 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8301081
    What a wonderful evening. emoticon
    3474 days ago
  • CHARMIN944
    You blessed quite a few people and in doing so, gave God the glory. Thanks again for such a wonderful blog.
    3474 days ago
    What a beautiful blog!I can empathize with you. Reaching out to fellow human beings is a great thing to do. emoticon

    A beautiful blog Lou, thank you. emoticon
    3474 days ago
    I love it. I have an elderly lady customer whom comes to our pharmacy...she loves to read....I have two boxes of books....I asked her if she would like them. She looked at me and asked for how much? I just smiled...I'm giving them to you I say and i'll deliver them to you....she smiled thanked me and I felt good, got those boxes gone out of my back room and she will be busy for some time. Giving or sharing gives us such a wonderful feeling. Too bad more don't do it more often.
    3474 days ago
  • LEXIE63
    It is always good to share the love. :-) Those little unexpected kindnesses can really make someone's day.
    Lex xxx
    3474 days ago
    That is nice of you Lou. You are a very thoughtful man and a Blessing to many. It is nice to make a person smile. Life is short. God Bless.

    Wendy emoticon emoticon
    3474 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8142747
    This made me feel so good! It's amazing what a little kindness can do to other people, but more importantly, to yourself! Great blog and I'm so glad that you're out there spreading goodness around!
    3474 days ago
  • BIGDAD1211
    Doing good is an extension of being Christ -like. The things you do you do through the Holy Spirit and pleasing God through the Holy Spirit is an awesome thing!!
    You are a great friend and a good man of God. Remember that my friend!
    In Jesus Name

    3474 days ago
    As ye sow so shall ye reap. I heard that somewhere in the past emoticon
    Seems like you were sowing happiness. May your harvest be grand!
    3474 days ago
    Lou, what a great example! PLEASE DO talk about things like this! They HELP others, and they help me. I get in those funks, or wet-blanket moods, and I need to remember to repel them with things like this! Great ideas, and thanks for another great blog! emoticon
    3474 days ago
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