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Radiating Happiness

Radiating Happiness

It’s Wednesday. Hump Day. The middle of the week. We’re on the cusp of the weekend, but still slogging through our workdays. Instead of reminding ourselves that we still have TWO WHOLE DAYS until the weekend, let’s focus on ONE GOOD THING that’s helping us make it through the week.

Ready? I’ll go first!

A little bit of background…I teach High School English through an online private school. Students attend all classes as live sessions through video conferencing software so while I see and hear my students every day, I don’t actually SEE them. Last week was different.

At the end of every year, students can sign up for a one week camp called Elevation where they come together for fun, leadership instruction, social interaction, and camping. Last week was one of those weeks. I decided to take the opportunity to make the four-hour trek to the canyon where the camp is held to actually lay eyes on some of the amazing kids I teach.

Still with me? Here’s where the really awesome part begins…..

One of my students approached me and gave me a huge hug. He was so genuinely excited to meet me and the feeling was completely mutual. We talked for about 10 minutes and during that conversation, he said something that I am trying to carry with me in all future interactions with people. He told me that I “radiate happiness.”

I.

Radiate.

Happiness.

This week has been tough for a number of reasons, but I have reminded myself over and over that, to at least one kid in the world, I radiate happiness. Do I know how? Nope. I try to always bring positivity and encouragement to my classroom and students and now I’m even more determined to do so because I RADIATE HAPPINESS. That thought is making all the difference in the world to me.

Now it’s your turn. What’s your one good thing this week?

There Have Been Days Like This

It was with a loud crash that she hit the floor, her knees gone weak with fear. “Help,” she cried, to no one in particular, a sort of mangled prayer to a god she never once believed in.

“Help me,” she whispered, hoping to see someone there, yet there was nothing but vast darkness, her hands clenched tightly.

There was a hollowness in her soul, an icy chill that ran through her veins when she hit this point. The bottom, again, a place she promised to stay away from, spun so quickly up to greet her. “Help me,” again she whispered, desperate.

The cold steel seemed to awaken in her hand. It was so strong, so faithful, and so delicate. She closed her eyes, tears falling hot and fast, such opposition to the cold running through her heart. One line, then another, cutting across her flesh.

Help,” she whispered, partially to her ever trusty blade, partially to the blood now trickling down. It was warm like her tears, and safe, a reminder that she was real.

Exhausted, she wept.

This was never how it was supposed to be.

Look At My Daughter

Take a long hard look at my beautiful girl.

She will be 9 years old in a few weeks. At her next doctor’s appointment she will be given the HPV vaccine, even though she will never be able to consent to sexual activity.

Look at her as you think about that.

Abby’s 7 times more likely than her non-disabled peers to be a victim of sexual assault. She would never be able to tell us what happened. She would never be able to tell us who did it.

And now, laws are being passed in many states—and it won’t be long until Utah tries it here—that would force her to carry the product of her rape to term. How would I ever explain to her what was happening to her body? How would I ever make her giving birth okay?

The truth is I absolutely would never do that to her. Never.

Look at her and tell me you would subject her to that. Tell me in what world would it be okay to do that to her?

If you think so, you’re wrong and I don’t want you in my life or hers. Period.

–Lexi Magnusson

Dose of Happy: The View From Up Here

Recently, Sunshine and I went to the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex to visit a friend of ours. Normally, when we go visit our friend, we stay at our friend’s house. This time, when we texted our friend that we were getting near, he texted back an address and told us to meet him there. We got there, and it was a hotel. See, our friend’s house was on the market, staged and ready for an open house early the next morning and he didn’t want us to have to feel rushed to leave, so he put us up in a hotel.

Now, our friend is one of those “go big or go home” kind of people. Well, maybe “live life out loud” or “live life at high speed” or something would be more like it, but whatever–the point is, our friend believes in living life to the fullest. And because he knows that we live in a tiny house on wheels, he couldn’t just get us a hotel room. He had to go and get us a suite, with a living room, a bedroom, and a bathroom that on its own was bigger than our whole living room, kitchen and dining area combined. The living room and bedroom each had one entire wall made up of windows overlooking the city to the south, and to a city girl like me, the view was stunning.

Sunshine, our dog Mollie, and our friend took off to do whatever it is they do when they hang out–probably fossil hunting or some other grand adventure. I went shopping, as my ass has grown too big for my pants or my pants have shrunken too small for my backside, and there are just so many good stores in the DFW metroplex.

I got done shopping (in a surprisingly short amount of time) and returned to the hotel. After taking my purchases out of their bags and packing them in my luggage, I surveyed the living room area of our suite. There was this cute little armchair right in front of the window, but it was facing the wrong way, so I turned it around and plopped my ass down facing that wall of windows, and I watched the world go by from my perch on the eighth floor of this hotel.

There has always been something so soothing to me about watching the world from high up in a building in the middle of a large city. Maybe it’s because I can watch the city go by without being affected by the hustle and bustle and mad rush and overwhelming NOISE of it all. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a large city and somehow wound up in a swamp and miss the hell out of city life. Maybe it’s a little of both with some unknown factors thrown in for good measure.

Whatever the reason, I sat there in that room and watched the world go by out that window and listened to the sound of the air whooshing through the vents of the air-conditioning system and the faint sound of the water in the fountain eight stories below me splashing on the concrete.

I sat there in that silence and watched the world go by, and felt such a deep peace.

That may not sound like much out of the ordinary to some of you, but to an addict like me, to sit alone and just watch the world out a window and enjoy the silence–well, that’s a miracle.

There were many years when I couldn’t be alone. There were many years when I couldn’t stand silence. There were many years when I always had somewhere to go and something to do and somebody to be.

I was able to sit there in that chair and watch the world go by and be content with just sitting still. I was happy to know that, unlike all of those people in all of those cars rushing by below me–I had nowhere to be, no pressures, no deadlines, no expectations to meet. I had only to sit and reflect in the silence.

I was able to sit there in the silence, with nothing to distract me from myself, and not want to crawl out of my skin.

After my addiction, failed marriages, prison time, and all of the other horrors that go along with addiction, it’s a miracle it is for me to be able to sit in silence and watch the world go by. It’s a miracle for me to sit high up in a hotel and watch humanity pass by without worrying that life is passing me by.

So my dose of happy this Monday is being able to enjoy the silence, to be comfortable in my own skin. I hope each and every one of you can find a few moments this week to enjoy some silence, and just be.

Ask The Band: Need Advice On BFF’s Affair

Okay, Band, I am in a quandary and need some mature advice.

My closest friend cheated on her husband this year, her husband found out, and they decided to stay together and work on their marriage.

Last week, my friend confided in me that she had been cheating again (same guy), but it ended the week before she told me. Only this time she did not plan to tell her husband. Our husbands are also close friends and in business together. She told me this but also straight-up said that it was okay for me to tell my husband about what she’s been up to. Because my husband and I love them both and also value the truth, we each talked to her separately and urged her to tell her husband the truth. She agreed that she should be honest with her husband if her marriage had a real chance at being repaired.

Last weekend, she told me that she’d told him, but that they were going to keep the matter to themselves and seek counseling. Over the course of the week it became obvious that her husband had no clue about her affair. My husband and I agonized over what to do.

Did we (1) urge her again to come clean or (2) leave it alone?

We chose option 1. She blew up and told us to back-off. So we did…but with nagging consciences.

Today, my husband decided that if his friend found out at a later date that his had wife cheated again, and found out that we knew about it and hadn’t told him—well, he just couldn’t live with that.

So without actually telling him outright, he gently told his friend today that his wife was not being truthful and he needed to talk to her. (I had no clue he was going to say anything to him.)

My friend’s husband went home to confront her.

Needless to say, the poo hit the fan and the truth is out. Now she’s lashing out at my husband for talking to her husband and “ruining her life.” I feel awful about the whole thing; I love my best friend and her husband as well. They have been amazing friends.

I would love to hear from anyone who has been in a similar situation—do you think my husband did the right thing?

Would you tell your friend if their spouse had cheated on them? Could you live with yourself if you knew and did nothing? Where do we go from here?