These words keep swimming around in my head. They are everywhere you look these days. On signs, on television, on social media. They are the perfect photos; the family gathered around the dinner table; the sweet kids' love notes. When I think about it, though, our health, our children, our friends... these are all things that we can be thankful for, but sometimes these somewhat global things can be overrun by the junk that fills our life. That constant rush of life and those little everyday stressors can often make it challenging to "look on the bright side".

Finding happiness or gratitude in everyday life is a constant choice. Each morning, you wake up with a chance to look at things in a different way. You may choose to focus on the great song that you heard on the radio. When your kids are fighting, you can choose to laugh at their comments to each other, or revel in the moment when the fighting turns, albeit brief, to tenderness. Savor it. There is joy to be found in every day moments, it just takes practice to find them. For me, as I begin to focus more on the positives in my life, it becomes easier to do so in everyday situations. This way of thinking has helped me to truly appreciate life and be present in the moment. It is cliché to say that we only get one chance to appreciate this life, but it is also true. This is not a dress rehearsal. So embrace the madness and find joy! It is there. We just need to look around and see it!

As we near the holiday season, commitments arise. We need to bring something to class, bake something for a holiday party, buy gifts for teachers... not to mention all of the family traditions and gifts. I challenge you to try to enjoy the shopping, the homemaking or home”faking” (a term penned by my best friend who can hire and order all the things to make her house a home!), the last-minute errands, and the family traditions. Step back and try your best to giggle at the mall-goers madly fighting over parking spaces. Be grateful that you found the last flamingo beanie boo to finish your child's gift. Feel blessed to have kids who ask for “one more kiss!” Be filled with thanks that you have friends to share the craziness of your day with and who will support you in this life. Laugh when possible. Hold the door open. Give compliments freely. When you “ fill someone else's bucket”, you fill your own.

These are the little things that fill our lives with happiness.