Keep on the Sunny Side

“Keep on the sunny side,

“Always on the sunny side,

“Keep on the sunny side of life…”☀🎵

“Do you always smile?” This question has been asked of me many times in my life.  My answer is typically, “I sure try.”   And don’t we all smile at times we don’t feel like it?  

Are you optimistic?  Can you think yourself happy?  What do you do to cheer yourself up (or can you?)?  We’ve been taught “we are what we think”. Do you allow the energy of your mind to be taken over by toxic thoughts that keep swirling your brain?

Are you anxious, moody, or nervous?  Are you struggling with finding your purpose?  Or are you running on auto, numb to anything, because you feel you have no control over your situation?   

What have you learned because of the pandemic?  Do you feel stunted and fearful? Or are you exhausted?   I’m going to supply my own statistics.  Out of 10 friends in which I’ve asked simply, “How are you?, 100% shared that things are challenging.  Friends, we need to get real with one another.  The pandemic, and life in general, has put us all back on our heels at times.

This last week for me has been full of fun, friendship, and fellowship.  It had been a year since I experienced such a full week of activities with others.   All of us came crawling out from under the heavy rocks of restriction together (and wearing our masks and being wise 😉).   This was not a dangerous game of chance with the virus (and every sneeze of allergy season being treated as such).  But it was still a matter of health.  Of mental health, physical health, emotional health, and spiritual health.  While we have all stayed “hunkered” down the cases of anxiety, depression, and other mental stresses have risen.  Nearly 70% of the country suffered together with the wicked winter storms and I would guess 100% of us would say 2020 brought new challenges.  And the storms of life will keep brewing on–for all of humanity.  If we’ve learned anything it’s that we ultimately can only control ourselves and our reactions. When will we let go of what we can’t control?  Do you try to stay busy to just stay distracted?  Are you trying to keep a routine, whether healthy or unhealthy, because it’s the only normal you have in your life?  I’ve always tried to be a “glass half-full” human.  Even if I drank the other half (and I’m thankful just to have a glass). I’m ok being called Pollykarla. My comeback is optimism with a huge tank of faith and hope. The alternative is misery.

We know joy because of pain.  We become wiser because of poor choices.   Our circumstances are all different. We view only through the lenses of our experiences-can we all wear glasses of grace? Don’t expect others to understand YOUR story. You’re more than just the role you keep-you’re more than a paycheck and what you can do for somebody else, you’re more than just being a caregiver, you’re more than just being a worker, you’re more than just a filler for someone else’s loneliness, you’re more than what the world tells you that you have to be, you’re more than an invisible person that no one can see, you’re more than just a diagnosis, you’re more than just survivor, you’re more than just a spouse, parent, or loved one. You are everything; without anything. 🤍

Do not let someone else dismiss your feelings.  If you’ve been minimalized, shamed, or invalidated, I’m sorry.  Feelings aren’t right or wrong.  What we do with them can lead us down a path of danger or serenity.  We can exhale a collective sigh that we’re in it together.  We can nod our head and smile at a stranger (keeping in mind that we have no idea what he or she is facing).  It may have taken EVERYTHING in them to just get out.   And to those who are trying to go so fast to avoid stopping to feel ANYTHING, know that there are people out there willing to give you space to slow down, breathe deep, and recollect your thoughts and actions (versus giving up).   We want it all, we want it fast and now, and we forget that we’re missing out on just living in the moment.  Worry is consuming; and on the opposite end, complacency can creep into creation.

I have faith.  And when I end my posts with those two words, I’m not dismissing the fact some of you may not have it.   You may not have hope. May the void in your life become filled with a presence of a Spirit and a love that is unexplainable.  That void for me is in Christ alone; it’s true love.

I have faith in you.  I still have faith in humanity.  Don’t lose hope.  Know you are loved.  I hear you and I see you.  No one else can give you your happiness-do you know where it lives inside you?   Surrender to the sweet spot meant only for you.  Not because you feel forced or pressured.  Use your 6-foot space to truly stand apart from anything that is keeping your hope hostage.  Use boundaries to be your best; and respect the rules of engagement with others. Don’t just know someone; understand them. While you’re swimming so hard for others, don’t let yourself drown.  We’ve all swirled in the waves of uncertainty, fear, health, relationships, and other dangerous “rocks” in the river of life.  Throw a life preserver and support a soul.  Don’t pull someone under because of your own riptides of repression.  Give them a hand of hope. 

 I smile thinking of my family (great news-I’m going to have another grandbaby in August 😊).  I do love smiling.  And if I cry, I’m ok with it.  Tears feel good sometimes; they’re needed.  And I give myself space to sit with my emotions.  And by taking care of myself mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, I’m better prepared for the jagged jams on my river journey.   The sun is shining bright today.  I think I’ll just think about that and soak it in while it’s here-care to join me?

Have faith 🤍

63 thoughts on “Keep on the Sunny Side

      1. We’re still in Phoenix until May and then we’ll head back to private property in northern Wisconsin. I do have some RV reservations made for MN and the UP. Fingers crossed, those plans don’t get derailed.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. There are some days when I plaster a smile on my face and wait for me to feel like I deserve it. Fortunately those days are few and far between. I am by nature an optimist but this last 12 months has tried that sorely. This post was uplifting and inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. atimetoshare.me

    You are a bright beacon in a darkened world. We need more yous on this planet. Relying on Christ alone is the only possible answer for me too. He has been my Savior, my brother, my best friend in times of joy as well as distress. Keep on sharing the great news.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you sweet friend. I understand. Ironically, today, beginning at 6:40 a.m. I spent two hours on the phone with my internet provider and my bank. Yesterday I received a call about possible fraud on my bank card. I thought it had been taken care of after a couple of calls and all good. And then my card stopped working and I woke up to work on my website and visit with you all, and my internet was not working. I was on hold for one hour and 19 minutes before finding out that office was in Nebraska and couldn’t help this poor Missouri gal. Yikes. So I was transferred and put on hold for another 20 minutes and found out they had shut off my internet due to my card being suspended. SO….back to the bank. Everyone was so kind and I could feel my patience starting to slip a bit. And I started singing and saying blessings out loud! The lady working at the bank reinstated my debit card after a series of questions and then Whammo! My internet is up and working and my card should be too. I had to laugh. Literally. I’m an early riser so by this time of the day I feel like half my day is over (that’s because my brain stops working HOURS before bedtime. LOL). All is good and I’m going to keep on the sunny side! Thank you for reading. It’s great to have such a community of understanding friends! Hang in there. Prayers for you for a peaceful weekend. Karla

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you sweetheart for your support! We’ll keep on the sunny side (even in the cloud and rain)! My day has started after a challenging morning in which I said, “Not today Satan!!!” I’m keeping on the sunny side! And I took it out by drilling holes in my wall for a new curtain rod–and you know well what it’s like drilling through my walls. LOL! 143 A & F! God is so good! There’s nothing to complain about.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The times have indeed moved our foundations a bit, but that change is the betterment of us all even though at the time it can be hard. But out of those mists in time a light slowly appears as our hearts open to what it now understands…and in that understanding set us free…for fear is but not understanding.
    Great post Karla, may it show us all that courage and build a faith to rebuild with the love we now understand 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Mark. I agree that the light can find it’s way if you fully open the heart. When my head can’t take anymore I’m ok. I just let go and give it all to my heart and soul. Your responses are always inspiring. Stay safe and blessed! 🤍☀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful post! Many are in the “fake until you make it” camp. A friend is the B team girl’s basketball coach. A young girl (5th grade) on her team broke down crying during practice. The girl apologized for crying. She confided that she usually “holds it in” until she goes to bed. She has been dealing with all sorts of issues that most 11 year old girls don’t have to worry about – a father dying and unable to work, a mother working 2 jobs to try to keep them from becoming homeless, trying to cook and clean for her younger siblings, and to “be strong” for everyone else. The amazing thing is that her team mates didn’t know but when they found out, they supported her in ways big and small. That is the microcosm of what Christians should do. If only we take the time to listen to each other and to God….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for your kind words and thoughtful example. After being at the Middle School for many years, and with my own, I know the adult problems that are projected onto young kids. It’s heartbreaking. And the worst thing we do is put a stigma on “mental health”. Suppression is never good. And we need to stop treating it as if its taboo. That is why our suicide rate is so high. I smile because I found hope at a time when hope was gone. Physically and mentally I couldn’t take care of everyone else due to my own struggles. And when you surround yourself with the right people and arms are extended, in good and bad, you can grasp one another with the simplicity of what is the genuine center of our souls–love. I dealt with so many bully situations. And faced them as an adult as we all do. I’m proud of her teammates for supporting her. That’s what being human should be about. God bless you!

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    1. How sweet of you to say. Your kindness and support mean a lot to me. Your attitude is one we should all adopt. I encourage anyone reading this response to check out your website/blog. Have a blessed day and weekend my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Vicki

    I had an experience at the cafe we go to every Friday morning for our date day breakfast that was so heart warming & special everyone in there was smiling & teasing me ☺😊. Your post today made me cry in a good/sad Vicki get it together way. Just remember how special & blessed your life is & that i can only control my own life & no one besides me. That people & pets mirror our attitude. This morning gave me true awe & joy! Congrats on new baby! Look forward to your posts dear sweet friend! 💖💕💗😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww Vicki, that experience at the cafe sounds delightful. “People and pets mirror our attitude “~~that is a profound statement Vicki. I’m so glad we stay connected and that my posts resonate with you. I think of our walks at the campground and the moments I learned from you of health and attitudes. Thank you for your support and friendship. 💚💛❤️💜🙏🏻

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  6. You are a ray of sunshine!! Many congratulations on the new baby. What a joy and gift! I of course am smiling as I type this. When I lived in Europe, I had some ladies who didn’t like me. They thought my happiness was fake. All I could do is laugh because Christ fills my heart with joy and it is joy that I will spread to all who will receive. xx Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you my dear friend. I appreciate your sweet words. I knew you’d love the great news! I understand your story well. And I’m so glad your heart is full. Even in my lowest points, when I couldn’t crack a smile, I could still feel the love. Makes my smile grow just thinking about it! I’m so glad you’re a ray of light in my life! Xo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is deep and true, and touches all the “bases” — first (faith), second (others), third (self – like Gayle Sayers famous line “I am Third”) and Home — where one’s heart is. This is a great “pep talk” and as you know I was nodding away and Amening. 🙂 One of the best posters / memes I saw lately said this: We are not all in the same boat. We are in the same storm. Some have yachts. Some have canoes. And some are DROWNING. Be Kind and Help when you can.” Your post fills that thought out profoundly. Thank you. P.S. Love that old song too — used to sing it with my little guitar jamming group when we could get together. Some day….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jane, I see you nodding and amening 😊 what a thoughtful and poignant response. I love the meme you shared. I see the waters near me and all of the vessels we use to stay afloat. I’ll remember this poster. I’ll grab my little ukulele and jam with you….but first coffee ☕️ and deep talk. 💚❤️💛

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  8. I agree with you, Karla, how the answer most of the time now is “challenging.” I appreciate your sentence where you highlight all the different forms of health, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. And, I appreciate “our circumstances are all different.” Congratulations on the wonderful news of a new grandbaby on the way!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Karla, I truly needed a shot of the sunny side. Thank you so much for sharing so much positivity and honesty in this post. While my glass has a few chips in its outer surface, it remains half full. I give credit to God who refills my glass each day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I’m so glad this post resonated with you and I always appreciate your support. I know you wear your faith on your sleeve and it’s encouraging. Both of you take care! Blessings 🙏🏻❤️

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  10. Smile whenever possible, and be ok knowing that sometimes you won’t. “Relentless positivity” is what I like to call it. It sounds a harsh way to talk about something that is meant as encouragement for everyone, as you say without dismissing the fact that some people don’t have hope sometimes.

    Keep on emitting that positivity with your smile, your thoughts, your actions, and your prayers. Kia kaha to you and all who experience struggle through this tough time. 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish, thank you for your kind words and comments. I appreciate your input and outlooks always! “Relentless positivity”~perfect ~I’ll take it. You keep on being a light! And I looked up “Kia kaha”~what a beautiful phrase. You stay strong too, my friend. 💛

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