#MondayMusings – Life Is Full of HAPPY Surprises, Too!

Given the way things have played out for many of us over the last three years or so, it’s easy to forget that not all surprises are unhappy ones. With Covid and other health issues, my husband’s job being eliminated forcing an early retirement, the rapidly rising cost of living, and being told I have to cut back on some of my very favorite activities, I began to wonder if it all added up to a preview of how bad everything in my life was going to be from here on out. Then I realized I had to stop focusing on the crummy stuff and think about the good things, like the many blessings I’ve had and am still having every day. They’d gotten a bit lost in all the grim headlines and brain fog going on, but upon reflection, I remembered there were still many, many things for me to be grateful for.

First and foremost of those is my family. My son and daughter are both doing very well, and their spouses and children are, too, as is my healthy and active husband. When I shoved the bad things off to one corner and focused my attention on the people I love most, both family and friends, I realized once again how lucky I am to have each one of them in my life. After all, it’s those folks we love who make all the difference.

Once I began shifting my point of view to the things in my life that I love (and those I am still able and allowed to do), everything began to look brighter. I’m laughing more and fretting less. I’m enjoying our four beautiful, funny cats, and spending more time watching all the activity at the birdfeeder. I notice hawks and the occasional bald eagle flying overhead again, and yes, I’m taking time to smell the roses, which are in bloom even as I type. In other words, life is far better than it was when I let the unpleasant stuff drag me down.

Also, you never know when something totally unexpected, but great fun, can happen out of the blue, impacting your life for the better, too. Case in point: Not too long ago, I got an email that surprised and delighted me. A boy I knew in high school was trying to reconnect with friends he’d known back in those ancient days (more than 60 years ago). He found me online, and emailed to ask if I was the Marcia he’d been friends with way back then. I am! And I promptly wrote him back.

Over the last few months, we’ve communicated regularly, catching up with each other, and sharing info about our spouses and children, and grandchildren. It has been wonderfully uplifting, but the most fun of all has been discovering that we are both (in his words) Bird Nerds. Wildlife enthusiasts. Nature lovers to the nth degree! Neither of us was all that into birding or hiking or canoeing when we knew each other in the 60s, but now, we are regularly updating each other on birds and wildlife we’re spotting, here in Florida for me, or up in North Carolina for him.

I’m telling you all of this for two reasons. First, as a reminder that mindset is everything. If you’ve been down lately because of health issues, or being trapped at home for months on end, or reading too many ghastly headlines, just remember that you can choose to look beyond those things and focus on the good stuff in your lives. Whether it’s family and friends, or the security of having a good job, or simply being able to enjoy an afternoon in your own backyard, there ARE good things around you. I hope you’ll give this some thought when those evil partners, Gloom and Doom, show up trying to body slam you to the canvas and tromp all over you. If I can do it, so can you. 😊 Honest.

The second reason I’m sharing all this is because after reconnecting with my friend, Dennis Burnette, I’ve had so much fun talking about wildlife again that I decided if I can’t give in-person talks locally these days, I’m going to revive an old series I ran here once or twice called “Wildlife Wednesdays.”

I’ll be posting some cool things I’ve learned about Florida birds, wildlife, and habitats, and I’ve invited Dennis to be a guest poster for the series, too, when he has time. His life is much busier than mine of late, but he has agreed to give it a try when he can, and I really think you’ll enjoy what he shares.

Dennis has a great deal more “professional” experience with presenting wildlife lectures and so forth than I. He also has some pretty amazing academic credentials, too. I suspect we will have very different approaches to our posts, but I hope you’ll enjoy both.

I’m going to start the ball rolling fairly soon with an inaugural post on alligators, since they are one of the more infamous critters that reside in Florida, and one I’m pretty familiar with.

Photo by Doug Little

I’ll wait until closer to time for Dennis’s inaugural post to let you know what he’ll be sharing with you. (Hint: I’ve seen his notes and they are terrific.) Both of us will do our best to make these posts informative, interesting, fun, and filled with beautiful pictures, as well. Hope you’ll check out “Wildlife Wednesday” when it gets underway.Β 

Thanks for reading this long post, and here’s to days filled with happy thoughts and loving friends and families.Β 


Remember: Keep Smiling!
(It makes people wonder what you’re up to.)

62 thoughts on “#MondayMusings – Life Is Full of HAPPY Surprises, Too!

  1. Very cool to reconnect with people from years ago. I recently linked up with a student (now 49) who was in my first class as a teacher. Now, he is a Hollywood film producer, director, and writer. Don’t you love it when you find out how a story ends?

    A positive attitude makes everything better. Like you, I prefer to count all my blessings.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Good for you, Pete. And somehow, I’m not surprised that you understand the difference a positive attitude can make. How wonderful to learn that your former student has such a successful career, and in such a creative field, too! It must feel great to know you contributed to his success in life, and in your very first class, too! That’s getting started on the right foot, if you ask me! πŸ˜€

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing your experiences. Have a wonderful week! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks SO much, Jackie! I’m really happy you enjoyed the post, and I do think a positive outlook is something we often have to remind ourselves about. It’s easy to forget how important it is, especially in today’s world.

      And yep, reconnecting with Dennis has been great fun, and I do hope you’ll enjoy our Wildlife Wednesday posts.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today, Jackie, and happy travels, my friend! πŸ˜€ ❀

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  2. How wonderful to connect with an old-school friend. I love when that happens. I agree, positive thinking is often the best medicine. And your last smiling quote is perfect!! Hugs and best wishes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So glad you enjoyed today’s post, Darlene, and that you recognize how important that positive attitude is. (I’ve always gotten the impression that you have a pretty strong one already in place, but it never hurts to remind ourselves, right?)

      And yep, it was a happy moment to reconnect with my friend, Dennis, and to remember those high school years, and catch up with where we each are now. Our emails have been so much fun, and I do hope you’ll enjoy Wildlife Wednesday when we get it rolling. Glad you liked that final quote, too.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and here’s to a super week ahead! πŸ˜€ ❀

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  3. Wonderful post, Marcia πŸ™‚ A good reminder there is always good to find and light in what seems like the darkness. I look forward to your Wildlife Wednesdays again. Xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • So glad you enjoyed Granny’s Monday Musings, Denise, and it’s great to know you’re looking forward to the return of Wildlife Wednesday. I am, too. Dennis and I aren’t going to aim for every single open Wednesday, but will take our time to put together some (hopefully) interesting and informative facts for you all, accompanied by some beautiful pictures, and will share them on the first Wednesday available after we’ve compiled each post.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I’m happy knowing you understand how important it is to look for the light in the darkness! Here’s to a wonderful week ahead! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Wonderful news, Jaye! And my best wishes for it to continue exactly that way throughout the rest of the year, and on, and on, and on! 😊I really believe part of the process rests in our hands, and we have to remind ourselves to count those blessings we do have, and do our best to stop focusing on the other stuff. It’s not always easy to keep that positive attitude (believe me, I know), but we CAN do it if we try.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope your blessings continue to grow each day! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A wonderful and timely post, Marcia! It has been all too easy to focus on the harder times we’ve had and ignoring that we have so much else in our lives to balance it. They say enough is as good as a feast and, as long as you have enough, the extras like the soaring eagles and scented roses come free. Now, there’s something else to bring cheer – your new wildlife series! You know how much I love your information about the critters you have in your neck of the woods. Now I have those occasional ones from Dennis to look forward to as well. πŸ˜€ ❀ πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for those lovely and encouraging words, Trish! You are so right that it’s all too easy to focus on the bad and ignore how many good things we have in our lives to counterbalance it. And oooooh! “Enough is as good as a feast?” I love that one! It’s new to me, but I’m gonna remember it!

      I’m so glad you’re looking forward to the return of Wildlife Wednesday, too. I’ve really missed giving my wildlife talks, and this is going to be so much fun. And with Dennis sharing his expertise as well, I think folks will enjoy it.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today and sharing your kind and heartwarming words! All of my online blogging friends are a huge part of the blessings I’m counting, and you are most definitely included! Here’s to a wonderful week ahead, my friend, and many more blessings coming along each day! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Cathy. I struggled for a while, but realized I was forgetting to pay attention to the joyful and happy things happening each day. I’m so glad I gave myself a good smack on the noggin and opened my eyes again! Makes all the difference in the world.

      I’m really glad you’re looking forward to the revival of Wildlife Wednesday, and hope you’ll enjoy the series. I might be a bit rusty at first, but it will all come back to me, I’m sure, and I’m very much looking forward to sharing with you all. And Dennis will be posting some extremely interesting things, too, with loads of good info included.

      Thanks for stopping by today and taking a moment to say hi! It’s always nice to see you here on TWS. πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Olga! I’m glad the post rang true to you, as a positive attitude can change every single day for the better. And I’m also glad you’re looking forward to Wildlife Wednesday’s return. I’m excited about being able to share some of the most interesting birds and animals that live here in central Florida, and I’m delighted to have Dennis joining me when he can with posts chock full of goodies and details on all sorts of things.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today, too. Here’s to a wonderful week ahead! πŸ˜€ ❀

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    • Ha! Coach Marcia, eh? I like that, Craig. 😁

      I think many (most?) of us have had trouble staying positive in light of everything the last few years have dumped on us, but looking for the GOOD in each day is something we can do to counteract the creepy Gloom and Doom team that so often shows up in our lives.

      And I’m really happy you are looking forward to Wildlife Wednesdays. I know that the habitat and critters I included in Swamp Ghosts was something you really enjoyed, and I hope you’ll feel the same way about our upcoming posts. Nothing like nature to soothe the soul, right? πŸ˜€

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and here’s to a great week ahead, filled with positive things to help you ignore any negatives. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A great reminder, Marcia. As Dumbledore said, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” It’s so great that you managed to reconnect with an old school friend, and so neat that you are both into wildlife. I look forward to both of your upcoming posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Jeanne, and I love that quote! It may have to show up on a Granny Says post one day. After all, you can’t go wrong with Dumbledore! πŸ˜€

      Yep, connecting with a friend from such a long time ago has been a real treat, and one that helped me start focusing on the positive side of things again, for sure. I’m really happy to know you’re looking forward to Wildlife Wednesdays, and Dennis and I will do our best to share some of the fun and interesting things we’ve each learned over the years.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today, and here’s to a wonderful week ahead, filled with positive moments and people! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahaha. Thanks for the apology, Vera, but you got it right the first time. I think at 79, we qualify as old, even if we are young at heart! πŸ˜€ (BTW, I’m answering both your comments in one response, here. )

        Honestly, reconnecting with a high school friend after all these years is pretty amazing. Then, finding out about our common interests and hobbies is the icing on the cake.

        I’m glad you want to learn about alligators, too, as I think I’ll run Part 1 on May 10, if all goes well. It’s a basic intro, but I do have at least two more parts to share over the weeks ahead. Alligators are surprisingly interesting, at least to me, and hopefully to those who follow this blog, too. πŸ˜€

        Thanks for stopping by today and for taking the time to let us know you’ll be interested in what a couple of old Bird Nerds have to say. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Best. News. Ever! I love (and missed) Wildlife Wednesdays! A positive mindset makes all the difference, doesn’t it? Hence why I start each day by watching (and being thankful for) the sunrise. It’s sets the tone for the entire day.

    How wonderful to reconnect with an old friend, Marcia. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • So happy to know you enjoyed Wildlife Wednesdays, Sue, and delighted that you are looking forward to more of them. Watching the sunrise is a wonderful way to start the day, and since I’m up before it rises pretty much every day, I should do the same thing. It’s just not very visible from my house, but at least I watch the daylight growing brighter, and see the first birds appearing at my feeder for the day. That usually works for me. πŸ˜€

      And it has been really special to reconnect with Dennis after all these decades. Finding out how much we have in common was a wonderful surprise, too. Can’t wait to get Wildlife Wednesdays going again, and having his input now and then is going to add an extra dimension, for sure.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today, and here’s to a wonderful week ahead! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    • You are very welcome, Yvonne. I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you’ll also enjoy the Wildlife series. Dennis and I will do our best to make it interesting and informative.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today, and hope your week is a great one! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Like

    • Thanks so much, Yvette! I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and hope you’ll also enjoy the Wildlife Wednesday series when we get it going.

      Good to see you here today, and here’s to a great week ahead! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Nancy, and I agree about reducing stress and improving overall health when you master having a positive outlook on life. It really does help!

      I’m also glad you are looking forward to Wildlife Wednesday, and hope you’ll enjoy the series.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today, and hope the week ahead is a great one for you! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this, Marcia. A change in mindset changes life completely. Focusing on the positive things makes the less positive ones fade away. How fun to reconnect with an old friend. I look forward to future posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Jan, and I agree with you 100% on that change in mindset approach. It’s helped more than all my medications put together, and I’m not getting so stressed out any more. So far, so good, anyway! πŸ˜€

      Connecting with Dennis has been so much fun, and very enriching in many ways. I’m really gonna enjoy doing the Wildlife Wednesday posts, and hope you’ll like what we share with you.

      Thanks for stopping by today, and have a fantastic week! πŸ˜€ ❀

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    • Thanks so much, Sue. I can’t guarantee that my outlook will be rosy every day, but I’m sure in a better place than I’ve been for months, and it has already made a huge difference, especially in my stress level.

      So glad you’re looking forward to the Wildlife Wednesday posts. Yay for animals is right! I’m so happy I thought of starting up that series again, and hope you’ll enjoy it!

      Have a wonderful week, Sue, and thanks so much for stopping by! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Like

  8. Connecting with an old friend and finding out you both share a passion for wildlife sounds like kismet to me, Marcia. I am so glad to hear of the postivity you’re embracing, and that you’ll soon be diving back into a topic I know is close to your heart. I’m cheering you on, my Penderpal!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Honestly, Mae, it was amazing to find out that we enjoy so many of the same things. It’s great to reconnect with an old friend and adding our mutual interests into the mix has been huge fun! Kismet, indeed!

      I knew you’d be glad to see me refocusing my mindset, and I thank you for your support in that. I know it’s important to you, as well, and I hope your new venture (and all your days) bring you much peace and joy!

      Yep, Penderpals forever! And here’s to a wonderful rest of the week! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Love your positive attitude Marcia, I’ve found I focus more on the good things in life as I get older, otherwise there would be too much anger and regret, and I really don’t want to live like that. I’m happy you’ve decided the same, and I’m very much looking forward to the return of Wildlife Wednesdays , I always enjoyed those πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s it, exactly, Debby. Life is too short to fall down that dark hole of anger and regret, especially for things we can’t change. Embracing the positive things around us is a far better approach, and better for our health, too!

      Glad you are looking forward to Wildlife Wednesdays, and I hope we’ll have some topics and pictures you’ll really like.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today, and here’s to a great week ahead! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good. This subject will probably take at least 3 posts to do a good job of it. First one will likely show up on May 10, if all goes well. Hope you’ll enjoy it, Janet! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Like

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Teri, and yep. Reconnecting with Dennis has been a lot of fun. I think Wildlife Wednesdays will be fun, too, hopefully for you guys as much as for he and I, as we share our love of all things outdoorsy. 😁

      Thanks so much for stopping by today, and have a fantastic week ahead! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! Great to hear that you’re focusing on the positives, and doing such a great job of it!! We all know we should do that, but sometimes it’s hard to see the half-full glass when we’re missing the things that used to fill it up.

    Keep on keeping on, Marcia!! Looking forward to Wildlife Wednesdays!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve got it exactly right, Kass. “it’s hard to see the half-full glass when we’re missing the things that used to fill it up.” I love that analogy! And I’m determined to keep my eye on that half-full glass, so it never starts looking half empty again!

      Glad you enjoyed the post, and that you’re looking forward to Wildlife Wednesdays. I am, too, and hope everyone will enjoy what we’re planning to present.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today and taking a moment to say hello! It’s always good to see you! Have a great rest of the week, too! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is a wonderful post. Thanks for the uplift, Marcia. We all need to be reminded what is good in our lives. According to the National Science Foundation, 80% of our thoughts are negative. But the good news is that, as you so gracefully pointed out in this post, we can change by focusing and being thankful for all the good that we have. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, Carol, and I thank you for letting me know. I think I might have begun surpass that 80% mark for awhile there, but no more, by golly! I’m determined to look for the good in every day, and focus on it. And even if I get side-swiped now and then by something negative, I’m gonna pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again. (Hey! Someone should set that to music! What? Oh. Nevermiiiiind. 😁)

      I really appreciate your stopping by and taking a moment to say hello, and I hope the rest of your week is a wonderful one! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Marcia. It’s all a question of checking into our thoughts – that mindfulness thing. I try to start my day with some positive affirmations which I pick up on YouTube. But there sure is a lot going on in this world to bring us down. Here’s a song that we can offer to ourselves. Negative thoughts are means of letting us down.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Marsh. Thanks for sending out some inspiration. And yay for you meeting up and finding a common bond from a very old friend. The universe surely works in mysterious ways. Enjoy doing what you love. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Debby. I’m working on NOT forgetting the good things in my life, and so far, it’s making a very big difference in my health as well as my attitude. Figured I’d share. πŸ˜€

      And yes, reconnecting with an old friend was great in and of itself, but finding out how much we have in common was astounding. I’m looking forward to sharing Wildlife Wednesdays here again, and if all goes well, Dennis will be a part of that, too.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and and here’s to a great rest of the week! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s so important to see those negative thought patterns. As you say, changing even one of them to a positive makes a huge difference.

    Throughout everything, I find humour is at least as important as gratitude.

    The Wednesday Wildlife posts sound great. Good luck with everything, and I’m so glad you’ve reconnected with your old friend!

    Hugs and love πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Harmony! Yep, if you can’t change ALL your negative thoughts and actions, just start with one at a time. Step by step will still get you where you want to go, right? And I’d be in real trouble if I lost my ability to laugh at life and at myself. Laughter makes everything better, for sure. (I think I’ll get a t-shirt made! πŸ˜€ )

      I’m really looking forward to sharing some Wildlife Wednesday posts with everyone, and having my long lost friend, Dennis, take part is going to make it extra fun

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and take care of yourself, my friend! πŸ€—β€οΈπŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

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