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  • Thanks, Pat, for once again starting a trend here in Cowbirdland. What a great idea!

    Here’s ten that came to mind – certainly not a comprehensive list, just what I thought of just now. I don't know about a happier me. My primary goal and aim in life is to live in the here and now, and to make a difference. These are 10 ways I've found that help me to reach that goal and aim. When I'm there, I think I'm usually pretty happy. Happiness, though, is not my goal. It's not about me.

    Sometimes, happiness is just an illusion. I don't know a whole lot about that. I'll just share what I do know about.

    I can’t wait to read what everyone else contributes! Thanks for stirring us up out of our mid-winter slumbers!

    1. Start Within.
    “If it is to be, it begins with me”. The answer isn’t “out there”, anywhere. There are many clues there that will always point back to here. To me. Read the clues, then follow them back home. If my relationship with my significant other isn’t right, do everything to make it right before I ditch and run to another. The same problems await me in the next one, if I don’t. It isn’t them – it’s me. Hello! Welcome. If I gave it my best and it's still not right - get out!

    2. Be a Positive Force for Change.
    If you want me to change something, don’t try to scare me into it. Don’t fan the flames of conspiracy theory and expect me to help you fan them. Don’t tell me not to go there because this, that or the other thing is going to fuck me up if I do. Give me a positive reason to reconsider my course of action, and I might just listen to you. Otherwise, I’m going where my heart and spirit tell me to go. They know me better than you do.

    3. Live in the moment – leave it all on the floor of today.
    It is all right now. Heaven. Hell. Purgatory. Limbo. It isn’t then – it’s now. What’ll it be? Where would I rather be, today? It's my choice. This is it – today’s what I got. I can make it mine. Or not.

    4. Don’t fear the reaper.
    As the American Indian/Native American tribal saying goes: “It’s a good day to die”. Face the reaper. Fuck the reaper. LIVE! Today. Die today. It’s all the same.

    5. Feed your family. Not just bread. Roses too.
    This applies to my blood family, and to my chosen family. Feed them all. Give of myself. Hold nothing back. Give my best.

    6. Laugh!
    Always bring my mental laugh track to work, and use that button liberally. When it is too bizarre to be real, laugh at the absurdity of it all. Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke! Help to make others laugh, too. Humor rocks!

    7. Dance!
    Like Mr. Bojangles. Dance. Like Tina Turner. Dance with Tina Turner. Dance. Dance out of tune. Dance the jitterbug. Dance the night way. Dance in the moonlight. Dance in the nude. Dance falling down like Joe Cocker at Woodstock. Dance like Mr. Tamborine Man, with one hand waving free. Dance like me. Just dance. Don’t stop until I drop. If I can’t dance physically, dance in my mind. Dance.

    8. Be Kind to One and All.
    We’re all in this thing together. If I don’t believe that, I might be part of the problem. Think about that. It’s the bottom of the 9th, 2 runners are on, 2 outs, it’s all up to you. Turn to the catcher and say, “Good luck!” Then, tear the cover off the ball with the best swing you got, run like hell, and leave it all on the field. When the dust settles, find the catcher and either say, “Congratulations, dude!”, or say, “Good game. You really had us there. Sorry you lost.” Be kind.

    9. Speak up.
    If I want to say something to somebody, say it. Don’t hold it back. Don’t wait until the time is just right. Don’t try to make the words sound perfect. Don’t say what I think they want to hear. Tell them how I feel. In my own words.

    10. Be Quiet.
    Set some time aside each day that is just for me, and whatever I believe. Commune with what I believe. Read. Contemplate. Listen. Meditate. Start with 5 minutes. 10 minutes. Stretch it out. Get up a little earlier. Make it a priority. Change my life.
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