Even a Smile

I pass a lot of the homeless on my way to work. And you’d have to have a heart of stone to not at least feel bad, even if you do just walk by them.

But today, one lady was making it really hard to walk by her. She was rattling a can of change and calling out to people on the street, imploring them, “every little bit helps! Every little bit helps!”

And as I walked by she said it again: “every little bit helps! Even just a smile!”

And that stopped me in my tracks. Because I wish I could tell you that I walked back and gave her some change.

I didn’t. I kept walking. But a smile did creep onto my face, one that only I could see, and as is the case with smiles, it did make me honestly feel better. It was so much preferable to the sour expression I was displaying originally.

And like the woman said, even a smile helps. It helps you, and it helps the people around you.

So go ahead and smile. I can guarantee that you have at least one thing to smile about.

Fill Your Cup

I saw this awesome quote this weekend: “you can’t fill someone else up if your cup is empty.” And while this isn’t a new theme that I’m bringing to baileydailey, I think it bears repeating (and repeating and repeating.)

You can’t help others if you don’t help yourself. So take time out at least one day a week to do absolutely nothing or something for yourself.

And if you really have a hard time rationalizing that “selfish” action, think of the cup. Tell yourself that it’s your duty — to everyone else. (Sometimes that’s the only way I can do it.)

So, fill your cup. If only to drain it again.

Out of Love

Have you ever tried to start a new habit or routine? To get healthier? Did it sound like this?

Okay, Debra, this is your last donut for awhile. You’re getting mighty pudgy and you could go for a walk every night instead of eating donuts in the middle of the afternoon. So, this is it. This is where we draw the line.

And how’d it go? Did you stick with that habit? Did you stop eating donuts? Did you go for more walks?

Probably not. Do you know why?

Because when you do something out of hate, it doesn’t work as well. If you’re trying to punish yourself by not eating donuts, you’re going to eventually rebel and give yourself a “treat.” (Which, folks, you won’t be surprised to know, is another donut.)

So, what should you do? You should start doing something out of a place of love. Like this:

Okay, Debra, you feel so much better when you don’t eat donuts in the afternoon. You’ve been looking great too so let’s keep it up. I just want you to feel good.

And I bet you won’t eat as many donuts, Debra. Because you’ll feel like you’re being kind to yourself. I promise – you’ll be so much more successful when what you do is out of love for yourself, not hate.


Don’t you think it’s weird how we measure time? How we kill time? How we make it fly?

Don’t worry; I won’t break out into 525,600 minutes. (Unless you want me to.)

But I just think it’s strange that when I’m bored a single minute seems like an hour. But when I’m engaged, time is an object.

So, here are some other ways to tell time (and how slow or fast time goes):

Put on old clothes. (Fast)

Go out with one of your best friends. (Fast)

Take a shower. (Slow)

Being at work on a Friday. (Slow)

The point is that however we measure time, we have to be grateful for every minute. Because one day, we’ll wish for more time, slow or fast.

Thank You

Tonight, I want to share a simple message:

Thank you.

Thank you for allowing me to come home and unwind from my day with my favorite activity: writing. Thank you for every like or comment you’ve ever made on this blog. Thanks for all of the follows, and thank you for telling others about this blog (hint, hint.)

But most of all, thank you for being you. It has been my sincerest pleasure to be “liked” by you.


(I know, I know. But I couldn’t resist. I promise this is the last time that you’ll hear of it.)

I was walking past a man in a wheelchair who was attempting to pay for parking. (And I swear the irony didn’t hit me until right now.)

He was having trouble with the payment portion and was looking up for someone to help him when I passed.

Luckily, a woman passed by as I was walking in the opposite direction and asked the man if he needed help, to which he thanked her.

And I felt so bad that I had decided to keep walking that I completely missed the kindness of the act. I didn’t recognize it as a special moment of one human helping another human. My inner self critic eclipsed a perfectly polite and momentous event.

So, I want you to think long and hard about how self doubt and judgment are eclipsing your life. What could you do if you didn’t judge yourself so harshly? What could be appreciated? Maybe it’s time to step out of the shadows and just be grateful.

The Little Sister

I'm a little sister.

I've taken my fair share of lumps, bumps, and bruises. (Well, let's see…there was an entire year that my older sister was obsessed with determining if I could break my arm in more weird and wonderful ways [falling from the monkey bars, having it run over by a Barbie Power Wheels…]) etc.

And while I would love to expound on all the divisive ways my older sister chose to torture me, I have to say that I have never, ever been so tortured as when I had to see her in pain.

I have a frequent flyers number for my hospital stays; I'm extremely familiar with IVs, blood tubes, and tourniquets.

But it is very rare that I am at the hospital with someone who isn't me.

Enter my sister's routine leg surgery to repair her ACL. All the sudden, she's this little person in a huge hospital bed with a hair net on, crying about how scared and overwhelmed she is.

I can honestly say that I've never felt more helpless. (Even when I was laying prostrate on the grass, waiting for that Barbie Power Wheels to run over my arm.) I couldn't do anything to help her pain or to alleviate her fear.

And then I thought, she must worry about me like this all of the time. And because I am the little sister, as you may also confirm if you also have a sibling, it took me until just now to put myself in her shoes in that way. (Hey, we mean well, but sometimes the younger ones can be a bit self-centered.) Especially if we have a sister as awesome as I do, who is always watching out for me.

So, if you have a sibling, try to give them a hug tonight. Remind them that there is no one like them in your life, and while it hasn't always been perfect between you two, you've got nothing but love for them.

Treat Yourself (Well)

Treating yourself is really tempting.

After all, you do a lot of stuff during the day that needs rewarding.

I had a phone call today and my voice didn't crack!

I ordered salad instead of a donut!

I made it through the day without yelling at anyone!

And it's really nice to take yourself out to eat. Or buy yourself something. Or just run a bubble bath. Treat yourself.

But this can turn into a vicious cycle. You have to go out to eat to make up for the day you had. You have to treat yourself, because you've been good all week.

The problem stems from not taking care of yourself well. If you just took the time in small moments to take care of yourself, you wouldn't have to treat yourself in such a big way.

So treat yourself well, and you won't have to treat yourself as often.

Sometimes being kind to yourself isn't all that kind.

Destination: Happiness

Happiness is always a moment away.

I'll be happy on Friday, when it's the weekend.
I'll be happy when I finally lose those 10 pounds.
I'll be happy when this is all over.

Happiness is hard to attain when you can't really ever reach it. It keeps getting pushed back. It's a destination, not a journey.

But what if happiness is right here? Right now? How differently would you function if happiness was a state that you could be in now?

Well, the answer is you can. Try it. Be happy. It's okay. I give you permission to drop anything that doesn't make you feel good. Smile into yourself.

See? Isn't it better now?

Let yourself be happy now. Don't wait.


Every time you get inside a car, you risk your life.

Now you do everything you can to avoid an accident. You spend time driving with a learners permit. You learn from an experienced driver. You take a test. You don't eat, drink, or put your contact lenses in while driving (I say it because I've seen it.)

But there's still a risk. A risk that someone out there isn't being as safe as you are. Actually, there's a very good chance they're not being as safe.

What can you do? You can drive. Because the amount of desire you have to get to another place is bigger than how costly the risk is.

And this is when fear does not have power. It's when you want/need something so bad that you're brain overrides (pun intended) the fear. In spite of the risk, you're going to do it.

Try to approach your life like driving: it's risky, but worth it.