Choose Happy!

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Dear Reader:

Every morning we wake up, no matter what the circumstances surrounding us, we have the choice to “be happy.”

Isn’t that an amazing gift? We have been given the choice to make whatever design we wish for our lives…after all we have been granted “free will”… but the successful lives learn early we can’t do it without listening to God’s advice and guidance.

Linda Carson, my friend, oncology “chemo” nurse, and mentor gave me this pillow for my birthday.  (title photo) I love it! It was Linda’s sweet demeanor, quiet sense of humor, and encouraging presence that made my chemo treatments, not only bearable, not only tolerable, but a growing experience in acceptance and love.

There were people, throughout my treatments, over varied periods of time, who came through the door with different backgrounds and attitudes but, with very few exceptions, who, also, became close colleagues in the time we spent together.

We had a bond….a special bond…we all had a disease that was life-altering. We could share hopes and fears with each other – (“strangers”  at first) that we couldn’t share with family who didn’t want to hear the possibility of a  permanent detour from life.

And we were happy. I know that sounds bizarre…but I have memories of more laughter during chemo sessions than any time else. Shyness and awkwardness melted away quickly and happiness at being alive and accepted by a group of people who shared this same medical challenge, in all forms, was uniquely freeing. No bars held back!

Grandma Moses said it best: “Life is what you make it, always has been, always will be.”

Today, thanks to modern medicine, we have more people living with all types of cancer than ever before. We hear (more often) the term, “Not curable but treatable” by physicians… when only a few years ago it would have sounded like  “Not curable or treatable.”  The length of time between ‘OR’ to ‘BUT’ can provide millions with a new “orbit” on life.

Haven’t all of us experienced episodes when we got the breath knocked out of us or perhaps we stayed underwater too long before rising and gave out just as we emerged from the sea, lake, or pool?

Don’t you remember those panicky seconds when we didn’t think we would ever breathe again? When we couldn’t catch our breath and the only thing we wanted in all the world was just one more breath?

We soon discovered that a top priority in life is simply breathing…simply being alive. Today the basic act of breathing in and out, that I took for granted for so long, makes me so happy!

As for me…while I can continue to  orbit my life around family and friends who support me unconditionally…I am happy. I am very happy! Happy is my choice off the smorgasbord of life.

So please excuse me, if I keep this post short, I have some happy things to do with the rest of my day and I must be on my way. Joy is peeking out  behind happiness and it would be a shame to leave it waiting for me to discover it any longer.

Until tomorrow… Choose happy.

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

*Here are three photos that make me happy.

  1. Mandy’s birthday present to me – a “lit-up” battery operated BOO sign! It stayed so overcast yesterday I could turn it on in my den for extra lighting….Love it! Boo!

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2) Mandy and John also got me this giant mum with buds so tight you can’t tell the color…what a surprise I have in store!

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3) Boo’s Garden Poster….my garden makes me SOOOO HAPPY!

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About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Choose Happy!

  1. Sis Hagen Kinney says:

    Hi Becky,
    Your choice of “happy” comes through in every blog, every day!!! Yes, you do “report” on some things that are “sad” – like Rudy, for instance – but the overall tone of your blogs is truly one of happiness! I LOVE reading your points of view every single day!
    So, keep on keepin’ on with what you are doing — choosing happy!!!
    Much love,
    Sis

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Sis….I am just so happy we have gotten to meet through this blog when our lives would never have met otherwise…God does work in mysterious ways! Have a happy day!

      Like

  2. Johnny Johnson says:

    I thank God you are still with us! Abd that He saw fit to leave you with us to share these experiences from your life to us.
    But woke up as usual around 6:30 and you know I love my quiet time on the deck with my coffee, opened the door not fully awake and stepped right into rain! I was feeling a little low. Couldn’t go outside even though I am allergic to the hardwoods twice a year, I still have to go outside! I have always loved being outside for as far back as I have memories. I came and sat down looking out the opened shades outside. I did a couple of chores, sat back down looked st a couple of things sent on Facebook, played my turn in the game WORD same thing as scrabble thst my daughter and I play. Then as usual I then read your blog which was out of order because I normally read it first on the deck. And I read what it said and thought I shouldn’t be feeling like this, God has granted me another day, I am breathing snd I should be happy. Thats when I got my rain coat, went outside rolled open the weatherproof umbrella took a towel. Wiped down a chair and got under the umbrella and had my second cup of coffee. So you see next to the Minister at my Church you inspire me, your inspiration has made me happy when I was down. Thank you! And Thank God for leaving you here with us! I believe what you do is the reason you are here! God left you so you could touch people like this. And boy am I happy thst He did!

    Like

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Johnny…you might be down about this rather gloomy prolonged weather but you sure made my day today…over at my house…the sun is shining in me because of what you wrote….now we both are letting our little light shine! Thank you Johnny!

      Like

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