Fluffy White Clouds

96 comments

Today was a great day.

Something I have realized over the years is that good days are usually not the result of some big, exciting news or a sudden windfall of cash or prizes. Although, those can be fun to dream about.

Most good days are the result of appreciating what we have presently in our day to day lives.

If we wait for everything to fall into place, such as losing those last 10 pounds or finding that ‘perfect guy’, we may never feel content because we are constantly longing for more. We are never enough as we are right now. Even as you read this, you might be thinking, This doesn’t apply to me. I won’t be happy until I have ‘x’.

And you are probably right.

A couple years ago, I decided that I was going to appreciate myself, my life, and my circumstances for what they were. Of course, appreciate doesn’t mean that you can’t strive for growth and change, it just means that you understand where you currently are in life.

Even when we are between a rock and a hard place, these difficult circumstances are often for a reason even if we cannot see it at the time. I have been through some pretty rough times in my life, but when I look back on them I see what each situation has taught me and how they allowed me to grow.

When I was struggling with a career and grad school that made me miserable, I didn’t know it at the time, but they would serve as a major turning point in my life. The unhappiness I experienced eventually woke me up and suddenly, I was determined to never settle for mediocrity again.

After my parents divorced when I was 17, my mom and I started a new chapter and we moved across the country from New Brunswick to Ontario. I would have been entering my last year of high school with all of my friends (and long-time boyfriend) in New Brunswick, but instead I took a leap of faith and I chose to move and to challenge myself. My mom got a job transfer to Ontario and we moved shortly thereafter with our life stuffed into a few suitcases.

Things were rough, especially for the first few months before we found an apartment to live in. I was living with nearby family for the first while and I was trying to begin at a new school and also juggle my studies and social life while living out of a suitcase.

My mom and I shared many tears together that year.

But as they say, hindsight is always 20/20.

While that time was filled with many challenges, it was also quite remarkable to see the progression over time. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I grew as a person and I matured a lot. Slowly but surely things started to fall into place. I started my last year of high school in a new school where I didn’t know a soul, but as luck would have it, I ended up meeting my future husband during my first day of class.

Sometimes a leap of faith has a hidden four leaf clover.

So yes, today was a good day, for no particular reason except for the fact that I decided it was.

The skies were bright blue with fluffy white clouds and the leaves were blazing orange and red, after several days of cold and rain. I hit the pavement, not even overly wanting to workout, but once I got out there I thanked my lucky stars that I had. I ran a fast 4 miles listening to nothing but the crunching of the leaves under my feet and the crickets chirping in the woods.

fall-road

[Image source]

That is not my picture, but perhaps in a couple more weeks?! ;)

I must mention that it took putting my music player in the washing machine (and breaking it) it for me to run without music, but I digress. As I said, sometimes clouds have a silver lining. ;)

When I wrapped up my work for the day, I decided to bottle the fluffy white clouds and create my own silver lining in my kitchen…

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But more on that tomorrow.

Do you ever look back on a tough time in your life and see the hidden four leaf clovers or life lessons that it brought to your life?

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{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet September 29, 2010

That autumnal shot is gorgeous. At first I thought you took it! It is really pretty.
I look at NOW and can see the hidden four leaf clovers. Just praying that they pan out for me.

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2 Valerie @ City|Life|Eats September 29, 2010

It is so true that being present is the key to being happy and at peace. I work on it all the time and it can be hard.

Oddly, despite having a hard time being present (yoga has helped that immensely over the years) I have always found silver linings in tough times. I think it might be something my parents taught me – that with every bad thing there is a silver lining.

I am sorry about your music player.

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3 Bethany @ More Fruit Please September 29, 2010

Excellent timing on the post! I was having a particularly “blue” day yesterday and just couldn’t shake the funk. I couldn’t stop focusing on how unhappy I am in my current situation. I keep thinking how things are going to be so much better after certain events happen. I talked to my mom about it and her advice was to stop thinking how I can be happy in the future, and start thinking how I can be happy today. I’m trying to keep that in mind today, and so far things have been better! Thanks for sharing!

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4 Leanne @ Radiant Balanced & Fit September 29, 2010

I’ve gone through some tough times with depression/anxiety, and thankfully I got through it. Although it was incredibly hard & painful for me and my family to go through it, I came out a better person. I am much more in touch with who I am today then I’ve ever been before. I can tell when I’m starting to get depressed or anxious & now have the skills to pull myself up before sinking too low.

Going through that makes me grateful for the overall positive happy outlook I have on my life now.

It also makes me appreciate my family for loving me enough to be patient & kind and forgive the many mean things I said during my darkest days.

Family truly is amazing.

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5 Maria @ Oh Healthy Day September 29, 2010

This is the exact encouragement I need today. I have recently been wanting to quit my job and move. To where? I don’t know, but somewhere away from the city and the crowds and the smog. But, I can’t do that. What I can do though is appreciate what I have now. A decent, well-paying, flexible job that challenges me. A cozy apartment and my wedding to look forward to. Someday, I will have the small house in the country, with roads resembling the photo from above. Someday, but today, I’m going to appreciate what I already have. Thanks for post!

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6 Dominic September 29, 2010

Beautiful post! I actually got goosebumps just reading it, and everything you said is so true. I find myself to be the type of personal that dwells on things, and I know my life would be /so/ much better if I just stopped and started living freely.
Thank you for this!

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7 Freya September 29, 2010

What a beautiful post! I’m struggling with a lot right now and feeling really quite depressed about it, thinking I can’t be really happy til x,y,z happens..so this is a very interesting post to read.
I love the look of the bread (?) you baked – so fluffy!!
Ps – i’m litterally having to hide the scuffins I baked yesterday, cos my family are eating them too fast :p they are INCREDIBLE!

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8 Emmanuelle September 29, 2010

Yes! I consider the past, good and bad moments alike, as lessons that taught me a lot and led to where I am today. And although that’s not exactly where I want to be, this is where I should be right now and I’m working towards the future, still appreciating (or trying to ;-)) what I have now.

So, seen you are practicing yoga off the mat, as this is known in yoga as “santosha”, or “contentment”. Meaning understanding and appreciating what you have and where you are now, still striving for growth, and certainly not meaning that you give up on whatever dreams you have!

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9 Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies September 29, 2010

Agreed – I think it’s so easy to assume that everyone else has always had it easy…when everyone has their own struggles. My life has been full of them, but they have made me stronger and I know that everything in my life is happening at the right pace, in the right place and the right time – regardless of the norms.

I agree…a day is good because you made it so. :) Lovely post.

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10 Monika @ ForeverImprovingGirl September 29, 2010

I was so happy to read this, because this is so very much what I believe. But this belief was neither innate nor easily won.

Like you, I’d struggled to find happiness for a long long time. And I too now understand that difficulties are often gifts in disguise. My current happiness germinated out of decades of unhappiness – and this happiness, I fully believe, is here to stay.

And yes: awareness of the beauty of the world, gratitude for the gifts and being fully and completely engaged and in the moment…that’s where happiness comes from. Objectively I may not be that different from the me of a few years ago, but inside…inside I am a whole new person and oh, I love the person I’ve become!

(In short: yes, EXACTLY! And thank you).

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11 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) September 29, 2010

Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us Angela. Having just graduated and feeling directionless, I have been guilty of thinking ‘when x happens, I will be happy.’ It’s been an even more confusing summer as we just moved and moving + finding a job at the same time is sort of difficult. I like how you say, you can grow and challenge yourself but also be happy with your present situation. I’m working on it and now I have your story to inspire me. Thank you!

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12 Nic September 29, 2010

I can’t wait to hear about the silver lining that you’ve created in your kitchen! They look fabulous!

Yep, I think we’ve all struggled with hard times. My was right after high school. I decided not to go to college and instead start work at a local law firm. It was at that law firm that I started to learn about healthy living and treating my body well. If I hadn’t made the decision to skip out on college right after high school (which everyone in my life told me was a bad idea) I wouldn’t have been introduced to some great people who influenced me in so many good ways!

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13 Lisa September 29, 2010

All of the struggles I’ve been through have made me who I am now. I would never turn back time and change anything. Of course, it’s easy to say in hindsight–hard to say when in the moment!

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14 hippierunner September 29, 2010

I found this very inspiring, so thank you! I like looking back on tough situations and realizing how much I gained from them.

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15 Maria September 29, 2010

All I can say is, :)

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16 Alyson @ YNL Blog September 29, 2010

Poetry :) This is exactly why I adore your blog and look forward to reading it everyday! Ok, and those rolls look pretty amazing too ;)

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17 Dani @ Body By Nature September 29, 2010

Excellent post! The proverb “this too shall pass” is a beautiful reminder that even though some challenges we face may feel unmanagable, we will get through it.

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18 Heidi September 29, 2010

How strange!! Our stories are so similar! When I was 17 my parents decided to move to the other side of BC from Vancouver to a tiny little town and I fought it with everything I had, but I realized I couldn’t make it work in the city, going to high school while living with a friend. So I moved with them, and on my first day of school I met my future hubby and we now live in that same tiny little town with two kids :D Sometime the hardest things we go through are the things that shape us in the most wonderful ways. And you certainly wouldn’t know how amazing life can be without experiencing some bad first :)

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19 Amanda Davis September 29, 2010

Yes, especially the tough times my parents went through financially. It really sucked at the time but it taught me to be more responsible and careful with money and to appreciate the things I have.

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20 Heather (Heather's Dish) September 29, 2010

amen to all of this. there are so many hidden 4-leaf clovers in my life it’s ridiculous, and all i needed was a reminder today that the job i dislike has also been a catalyst to me falling in love with blogging and realizing what my true passions are. i love your attitude and the way that we’ve all been able to watch you as you grow and encourage others like me to pursue their dreams!

thanks girl :)

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21 KitKat @ Pursuit of Happiness September 29, 2010

What a great post, thanks for sharing!

Sometimes it’s so hard to see the silver lining during a rough time. But now having experienced the good that comes out of the tough times, it makes it that much easier to know that the rough patch will go away and potentially leave you in an even better place than where you started.

Almost 8 months ago I went through a really hard breakup (and some days it’s still hard) but in the past few months I did my first ever triathlon, I’m taking a photography class and I just started boxing! I have also been able to spend so much more time with my family and friends and can’t not explain how much I’ve learned to appreciate all of them. And as hard as it is, having a positive attitude through rough times can make all the difference.

Without having gone through the hard breakup part, I don’t think I’d be as strong as I am today and I definitely don’t think I would have pushed myself to try all these new things. It’s crazy how it all works out :)

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22 Babs September 29, 2010

Leaps of faith are what life is all about. Several years ago I had to decide between 2 jobs–one I had been temping at for the last 6 mons and a new job. Both had positives & negatives, but in the end I opted to go with the new, because it was new. Through the job, I met the man I’m going to marry in a few weeks. A man that did his own leap of faith when he moved from Australia to America less than a year before I met him.

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23 Bridget September 29, 2010

beautiful post. having an attitude of gratitude truly changes each day for the better. you are an inspiration, Angela. thank you for simple, and yet striking, post and the consistent wonderful photography of your MOUTHWATERING food :) ahh what a beautiful day it is :)

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24 Julie @ Hotlegs Runner September 29, 2010

There’s always a silver lining — or a hidden 4 -leaf clover. Sometimes we just have to open our eyes (and our hearts) to be able to find them =)

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25 Jenny@ The Healthy Teenager, green tea, yoga and baking September 29, 2010

I can’t wait to hear about your fluffy clouds ^.^
I love your attitude, you’re a real inspiration. You’re totally right, you’re the only one who can control your happiness, you’re the only one in charge of your emotions.
It’s up to yourself to make the most of life as it is.
Love it!

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26 Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman September 29, 2010

Oooh, can’t wait for your edible fluffy cloud recipe tomorrow. This is a great reminder. I was recently diagnosed with a chronic illness that has no cure or treatment. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the pain and think that I can’t be happy until the pain stops. But since that’s not going to happen, I guess I need to just learn to be happy despite the pain.

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27 Shanna, like Banana September 29, 2010

Living in the now and appreciating it for what it’s worth is very difficult. I was (and still am) who thrives on goal setting and achieving the ‘next big thing’. This makes being in the present unsatisfying at times, but I’m slowly trying to turn that around.

This past Sunday was one such day when I literally frolicked in the ocean and then proceeded to be a goofball in Target and wear a turkey on my head the entire time shopping. It was a good day :)

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28 Sassy Molassy September 29, 2010

Thanks for this positive post! Sometimes it is hard to find the silver lining, but that’s when you have to create it yourself. Often, I just remind myself that the tough times are getting me closer to the person I want to be and challenging me to be stronger and better version of who I strive to be.

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29 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine September 29, 2010

My senior year of high school, my boyfriend of two years broke up with me. It was one of the hardest times of my life, but I came out of it so much stronger. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to stop crying, that everything would be alright, but I think handling it the way I did taught me far more than if I’d bounced back in a minute. I know now not to let other people create my happiness.

That bread looks ah-mazing. So excited for the recipe!

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30 liane September 29, 2010

Weird.. I was just having a conversation with someone at lunch about finding the positive in the situation I’ve found myself in…
On Nov 15, 2004 I walked into work and was told that the office was closing and I was let go. I was devasted. In hindsight, it was the really the best thing… I picked myself up, got myself through a couple months of unemployment and worked at finding a job that fit.
Last week, I found out that as of Nov 10th, I won’t be working at the company I am at now.
Pretty much 6 years to the day, I find myself faced with another bout of unemployment.
Except instead of being devasted and thinking I’ll never find anything else, I know that’s not true.
I will survive, I might be counting pennies for a bit, but I can live without “stuff”. The things that are truly important, the irreplaceable things — family, friends– I am surrounded by those, so I might not find a job tomorrow, or even next week, but I know I will :)

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31 Lisa September 29, 2010

That bread looks so good! mm!

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32 Lisa September 29, 2010

And, its posts like these where you let us into your life and show how your own struggles turned into blessings in disguises and how things happen for a reason, that gives me the hope that the hard times I’ve been through will turn out the same. I love reading and ALWAYS look foward to each and every day! =) Thank you for sharing your life with us!

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33 Kristina @ spabettie September 29, 2010

This is So Absolutely True… I have had a couple VERY difficult things to deal with in my life, and looking back now, I know they showed me how strong I truly am, and how I act in emergency and just what I am capable of. :) whew… there was a doozy, and sometimes I still am in awe when I think of how calm and collected I was.

Positive thinking and MAKING DECLARATIONS can be a Very Powerful Thing.

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34 Traci September 29, 2010

Yet again I am encouraged by your Post. I even shed a tear. Thank you for sharing:)

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35 Allison September 29, 2010

Great story..Nothing better then listening to nature on a run prefect time to just let your mind go and take it all in.. I never run with a ipod. I want to hear myself think or not. Just a beautiful thing.

Wonderful post today.

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36 Mary @ Bites and Bliss September 29, 2010

That’s a beautiful story, Angela. I always like to think something good comes from every situation, no matter how bad it may seem at the time. :) It helps you get through the rough times knowing it’ll all be worth it.

I bet the scenery was gorgeous for your run! I feel the same way with horseback riding through the leaves and cool weather- it’s so pleasant!

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37 Kelsey @ Clean Teen Kelsey September 29, 2010

I really appreciated this post, Angela. I’m 16, almost 17, and my parents are going through a divorce right now. It is unbelievably hard with all the papers, discussions and drama, and sometimes it’s a struggle to see the bright side of things. I try to remember that this experience will help strengthen me though, and if I can handle this now, I will be much more prepared for challenging things in the future. Thanks again for this post. :)

Kelsey

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38 Sarah (turning point) September 29, 2010

You should write a book! Your inspirational stories along with your awesome recipes would make for an awesome book! I would buy it!! :)

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39 Janelle September 29, 2010

I have actually been incredibly introspective lately, wondering where I’m at in life and why. I have always felt out of place in life, but lately I’ve discovered I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. And your so right, happiness is a choice.
Today my happiness was the ginger cookies I made from your recipe. They are pretty close to the best cookies I’ve ever made. Seriously. Thank you!

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40 Andrea September 29, 2010

Love this- I totally agree! I even consider there to be a huge silver lining to reaching rock bottom with my eating disorder- though recovery was exceedingly difficult, it made me reconsider every aspect of my life, not just my relationship with food. I switched programs in University, re-evaluated my friendships, and started doing things that actually made me happy instead of what I assumed would please everyone else. I’m not 100% there yet in terms of being easy on myself, but I’m waaaay better at listening to that wise inner voice now.

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41 Holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 29, 2010

It can be so hard to see the silver lining when you are in the cloud, you know? Like you said, hindsight is always 20/20.

To be honest, when I look back on the tough times of my life they aren’t so tough to me anymore. I’m having some issues with family members right now and I know that in the end everything will work out, but it is hard now. I don’t live with any regrets because my past decisions got me where I am today and they made me the person I am today.

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42 Lily @ Lily's Health Pad September 29, 2010

Hard times help you grow. I must keep this in mind when I think about my current work situation. But as cliche as it sounds, if I can get through this rough spot, I can get through anything. And in the end I will come out stronger.

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43 Stephanie @ Laugh and Cook September 29, 2010

Angela, thank you for sharing your story! It’s inspirational when someone we know overcomes certain obstacles and becomes a beautiful human being.

Growing up, I went through a lot of obstacles, such as teasing and being bullied for not being able to hear others, but those times have shaped me into the person that I am today. I’m emotionally stronger, confident, and willing to beat the everyday challenges. It’s difficult on some days, but the loved ones around me are the ones who help me get through it.

Great post, Angela!

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44 Sava September 29, 2010

That is incredibly sad about the music player,
But it sounds like you turned a bad situation into a situation that was just fine :D

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45 Tina September 29, 2010

Agreed! Happiness is being able to see the blessings we currently have and then sharing that love and joy with others. Great post!

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46 Jennifer@ knackfornutrition September 29, 2010

It is funny how people can think alike sometimes. I wrote about appreciating the little things today on my blog as well. :)

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47 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) September 29, 2010

Angela this is such a remarkable post! I love the depth of personal info, insight, realism, real heartfelt words you shared. Thank you for keeping it real :)

I totally agree with you on “mind over matter” and deciding to be happy or not. Life is about choices; and I am not a fake person at all, and I am not a ra-ra cheerleader type, but overall, I try to be upbeat and positive. Well I don’t “try”, I choose to be. Not every day is perfect, but it’s how we view the world, our circumstances, etc etc.

You and I both have psychology backgrounds so could talk about the junction of cognitive-behavioral influence all day long with ya Im sure :)

Seeing the rainbows and the bright spots? Well, I spent 10 months in Phoenix and hated every single second of it. It was awful, not for me and I longed to get back to San Diego after making a silly real estate purchase in Phoenix. With much blood sweat and tears, and just making it happen, we got back to sunny So Cal, we are home. And never plan to leave!
:)

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48 Steph September 29, 2010

Great story, Angela. You are very inspiring and you just made me feel so much better!

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49 Laura @ Starloz September 29, 2010

great post, i look on the brighter side of life. it’s much happier here!

that bread looks INCREDIBLE!

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50 Danielle September 29, 2010

A great post. This speaks of thanksgiving – of the act of ‘giving thanks’ & of having gratitude. Beautiful!

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51 Lisa @ bakebikeblog September 29, 2010

What a beautiful reflection :) And you are so right – sometimes even the smallest things can make a day something wonderful :)

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52 Krystina September 29, 2010

Oh my gosh I want to eat all of those biscuits! They look so flufffffffffffy.

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53 Camille September 29, 2010

I know for a fact that my day would be perfect if I ate those biscuits.

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54 Ashley @ Will Run for Food September 29, 2010

Great post! I need the reminder every now and then!

Oh, and did you just recently “wash” your ipod? If so, try sticking it in a bag of rice overnight. It helps to remove the moisture and has revived many water-logged electronics in our household. :)

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55 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 29, 2010

What a beautiful post Angela! I would have to say when the husband and I broke up a few years ago while we were dating, it was something that was one of those things that seemed like it was the absolute most horrible decision in the world (which i suppose it was) but it forced me to really focus on myself and take control of who I was. Thinking about him every day of my life for a year and a half is more than enough for me to decide he was the one I couldn’t live without.

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56 Jen September 29, 2010

What a great post! I think it is great that you take the time to add inspirational and thoughtful messages to your posts, and they are so on target. Nearly all of us can relate to them–I guess that is why your blog is so popular! Keep up the great work!

Jen

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57 Jessica @ The Process of Healing September 29, 2010

LOVE this!!!
I’ve been through some difficult times in the past and now I see the good they came from it. Now, I’m going through a VERY difficult time and struggeling to see the four leaf clover.. but I have faith it’s there.

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58 Kacie (Nonexistent Colors) September 29, 2010

Thank you so much for sharing!! That’s not something everyone can do, but I feel most can relate to in some way. My undergrad was seriously a struggle for me, and it’s taken me until now– moving across the country, starting a masters program, and not knowing a soul, to realize how unhappy I truly was back then! I am in a whole new territory of life, but I am truly enjoying the challenge, and discovering more about me!!

And I fully agree with you, it is the smallest of the small where you find happiness!! Some days I can’t even explain what made them great, they just were! :)

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59 Chelsea at Striking Balance September 29, 2010

I am actually going through a tough time currently. I just broke up with my boyfriend of 3.5 years. I was the one that initiated it because I was no longer happy, but that doesn’t mean I’m not upset about it. You form a lot of habits in those 3.5 years that I now need to break! I wrote about the experience on my blog, so I won’t go into details here. But already, I am feeling more at peace and like this hard time will turn into a four leaf clover for me. Thanks for this post, I needed it :)

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60 Sarah September 29, 2010

Angela,

You’re right about happiness. I’ve noticed that conditional happiness always remains that way. People who can’t be happy until they have X often decide, as soon as they get it, that they then need Y, and then Z, and then the rest of the whole dang alphabet. Best to be happy with what you’ve got, however much there is of it.

I’m hoping that what I’m going through right now will serve as an opportunity for growth. I’ve had severe shoulder pains (impingement) for five months, and I can’t do much of anything, including exercise or the hundreds of creative things I used to do. I can’t brush my teeth or sleep without terrible, horrible ouchiness. Nothing has helped so far, in terms of treatment. I’m using this time to learn to take care of myself, eat better, rest when I need to instead of push myself, and to realize just how much I have in life, even if there’s not much left at the moment. I’m hoping I’ll just have a big growth spurt as I go through all of this. I’ve already decided that optimism isn’t mindless and frivolous the way I used to think it was, but the only way to survive with my sanity intact. I’m hoping to make this more than pretty words and put it into action. And it’s scary! And I don’t know how to do it! But now happens to be the right time to start.

And… this is so sappy. But I have you to thank for that last realization. Reading your blog has helped me in more than just my eating habits. Thanks. :)

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61 Lauren September 29, 2010

Beautifully written, Angela. You are so inspirational. Having a good day is only a matter of deciding to make it one :)

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62 Laura September 29, 2010

Thanks for this post, Angela!
I have found many silver linings after cloudy parts of my life. Your message here reminds us all to live presently and find the positive each day, even if it seems so small it’s invisible.
LOVE the rolls – did you bake them in a skillet?

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63 Erin September 29, 2010

I loved reading this tonight. No one’s life is perfect and it’s so important to put that in perspective and remember it. Every day is a gift, whether it’s raining and you’re cold or it’s the perfect sunny day and your heart is filled with joy. Life flies by.

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64 Michelle @ IronDivas September 29, 2010

I am such a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. It is easy to get off that train of thought, but I remind myself of that daily. I just made a huge leap of faith and finally am starting to do something that gives me joy. I started, along with a girlfriend of mine, a women’s fitness group in our area trying to encourage other women to make healthly eating & fitness a part of their lives, and showing them that it can be fun! There is no monetary gain in it right now, but just knowing that we can impact someone’s well-being and future is such a great feeling. Thank you for your post, it is really encouraging! I count my blessings everyday, and know that even if I were to never receive another one, that I have been given plenty!

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65 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 29, 2010

I’m excited to find out about the fluffy white clouds in your kitchen! 2009 was a super tough year for my family and I, but like you talked about in this post, I think so much of it made me stronger. It made me appreciate what I have so much more, and now I make an effort each day to be thankful for my life and not take little things for granted.

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66 Jessica September 29, 2010

Thank you for this post! I can relate to your school/career story. I love school, but later I learned that I do not like my major/career choice. I got a good paying job out of college, but I was so unhappy and anxious all the time. All I wanted to do is curl up in a ball after work and comfort myself with reality TV and wine. And then, one day I decided that I had to quit. I didn’t know when, but I would save money until I felt comfortable enough to leave.

Now I am at a job that I don’t hate – yay! It doesn’t pay nearly much and I am still unsure what I want to do long term, but I am SO much happier. I have a very good idea of what I want to do though. Life is too short to settle, right?

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67 Jessica September 29, 2010

And while I was at that job, I would tell myself that I could convince myself to like it and mold myself to be this person who I thought that I should be. That just doesn’t work. It was all of that struggling that made me more grateful and more hopeful.

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68 Eleanor September 29, 2010

I have never commented on your (amazing/beautiful/inspiring/lovely!) blog before, but I felt the need to with this particular post.
I’m 17 now, and my parents are in the process of getting a divorce. If I’m to choose a parent to go with, it will be my Mum. And if she gets the chance, she will move. Your leap of faith sounds a lot like the one I’m -nearly- about to take, and I just want to thank you for sharing that.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that makes moments perfect. We get to choose whether we have a good day or a bad day, and we can also choose to appreciate our days for what they are: chances at making life beautiful.

Love,
Eleanor

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69 Hillary September 29, 2010

all i want to say is: thank you for this :)

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70 stacey-healthylife September 29, 2010

Those look fantastic, so light and fluffy.

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71 Wei-Wei September 29, 2010

You’re so amazing.

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72 Moni'sMeals September 30, 2010

Thanks for sharing. You and your blog are beautiful and I just love coming over to check-in. :)
I am so happy for you that you have been in such a good place the past few years- a “present” place at that. ;)

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73 Marina September 30, 2010

I was like that, thinking how I’ll be happy when something happens, when I get to some point. But that’s not true, because the heart always wants more.
Now, every day when I wake up, I thank the universe for another day, and I promise myself that today will be a good day, and I’ll be happy and satisfied with myself.

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74 Judy September 30, 2010

Great post Angela. It is so important to focus on the positivies in any situation. If we are looking for the positive, we will find the positive. I also feel that everything happens for a reason and we must TRUST that things are happening exactly the way that they should be. Life can be amazing if we appreciate the love and beauty that is around us each and every day.

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75 Annie@stronghealthyfit September 30, 2010

Great post, very insightful :-) I think there is always something to be learned from difficult situations or periods of time in one’s life. I believe those times usually they serve to lead you to something better/new, or to teach you something important.

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76 Jes (Self Motivation) September 30, 2010

Thank you. I really needed to read that today. You just made my day!

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77 rachael September 30, 2010

Great post! I definitely look back on hard times with a silver lining too.

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78 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 30, 2010

Amazing post Angela! I can relate to this so much.

I went through some really tough times last year when I struggled with realizing I was in the wrong program at university, but it gave me the strength to change my career path and now I couldn’t be happier!

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79 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 30, 2010

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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80 Allie Finch September 30, 2010

Beautiful story Angela :) Thank you.
THIS MOMENT is all there is — if we cannot except now, see things as they really are & be content…we will never be happy or at peace. Our egos are always “looking for more” & we have to break that cycle by being present. Rock climbing & yoga have helped me embrace living in the presence & incorporate that into every day life — so many active activities teach us focus & presence: running, cycling, kayaking, etc. My husband & I are making huge life changes to assure that we live NOW. No more waiting.

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81 Allie Finch September 30, 2010

I went through an extremely rough time a few years ago & was in a situation where someone who “loved me” betrayed & hurt me in numerous, horrible ways because of his addiction. I hated myself for so long because “I allowed” it to happen — I didn’t care enough about myself. This is my four-leaf clover: to heal, I had to forgive myself. I had learn to love myself, be able & willing to admit that I am beautiful & deserve happiness & surround myself with uplifting people only. As awful as that experience was, I would not change it because one of the bi-products was a woman who now loves herself & only treats herself in loving ways. :)

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82 Kristen September 30, 2010

We all go through difficult times in our lives and I firmly believe that these hard times are what makes us stronger. If we are never challenged then we will never be forced to dig deep for that inner strength that we may have never known we have had all along.
After going through one of the most trying times a couple of years ago, I realized that sometimes you don’t know just how murky the waters you are swimming in are until you’ve made it out of them. THEN you can look back and see just how far you’ve come.
I appreciate your uplifting posts, Angela. I’m sort of going through a time at the moment. Miserable with my job, but I think that this too shall be a turning point for me as well. Thanks for sharing so much of your life with the internet world!
Kristen

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83 Kate@andwhenshesays September 30, 2010

What a neat post. It is so true that the best way to get through life is to find the silver lining or the four leaf clover in even the crappiest situations – sometimes it doesn’t come til later, but if we can do it in the moment it’s so empowering! You can prove to yourself that you’re strong enough to not let it keep you down, and there is no feeling quite like that.

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84 Laura September 30, 2010

One of the toughest times in my life was the four years my Mom had cancer, and the few years immediately following her passing away. Actually, I’m still just recovering from that. But here’s the cloud/silver lining part: I just happened to have lost my job right before she got sick. Even weirder, I had gotten a new one, and it suddenly fell through for strange and inexplicable reasons. So I picked up and went to take care of her, living with her and my Dad during the week and helping with their business and taking her to chemo and generally being the clown/mood lifter/cook/caretaker/best friend in the house, then traveling back (from MA) to NYC on weekends to “visit” my husband. Although this was extremely hard, both physically and emotionally, for various reasons, I had four amazing beautiful years with my Mom that I might not have had if things were going just slightly differently in my own life. My Mom and I were best friends, and I wouldn’t have traded even one moment I got to share with her, not even those spent on the chemo ward.

Also, although my Dad and I always loved each other, he wasn’t much of a talker and we weren’t close in the same way. By sharing that time together, I developed such an amazing and deep relationship with him that we may never have come to on our own.

Even my brother and I became closer. Though he lives far away, we now talk all the time. Just the fact that I was taking care of our family when he couldn’t be there opened a whole bunch of emotional doors for us. We had been at odds most of our lives, so so different we couldn’t relate. And now all of a sudden we see more similarities than otherwise and really appreciate each other.

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85 AC September 30, 2010

As said many times in the previous comments, thank you for this thought-inspiring post. I feel as though it is applicable to everyone, whether they are going through an especially hard time or not. In your post, you mentioned that decided today would be a good day simply because you chose it to be, was very powerful for me, and I’m sure many others. Your positivity is truly infectious, reading your posts really brightens my day and makes me see how to make lemonade from any kind of lemons. Thanks again!

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86 Clare @ Fitting It All In September 30, 2010

I feel that way about a lot of break ups. It seems like the worst thing in the world at the time, but then you find someone new and are able to look back at all the things you learned.

In the same spirit, one of my favorite quotes is “One of God’s greatest gifts is unanswered prayers”

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87 Erika September 30, 2010

What a pleasant post! I can think of a time in high school that I was beyond miserable. It was awful and had to do with a lot of my “friends” – but after talking to a woman from our church I decided to get over it and I realized who my true friends were and was able to get rid of the fake in my life. However, to this day I’m still very particular to who I let in my life and have a hard time trusting people – but it keeps the clutter out of my life.

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88 Lou September 30, 2010

Hi Angela, this post made me smile because it touched on some things that have been in my mind today. Earlier on, before I read your post, I realised (looking out the window waiting for my dinner to heat up), ‘it’s a good day, just a plain day but good because I feel good and I want to take note of what is here and now and real’ and just by being grateful I was able to feel happiness and I took note of how wonderful that was (and that made me even happier, lol). I was also talking with a friend who is going through a possible break up and we discussed how you can’t have the lotus without the mud…truly one of the most beautiful expressions of finding a silver lining…no suffering, no joy. I’m stealing that from Thich Nhat Hanh :)

Anyway, I just thought it was sweet the way your post overlapped with my own mental landscape today and I’ve been meaning to say hello and thank you for your inspiration, so I took the coincidence as my cue to write. You really have been a big inspiration to me over the last six months on my own weight loss and fitness journey and I always smile when I see your entries pop up in my reader because your joie de vivre is so infectious :) Keep up the good work dear, it is very much appreciated :)

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89 Angela (Oh She Glows) September 30, 2010

Thank you for such a lovely comment! I really appreciate it.
No suffering, no joy is very true.

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90 Virginia @ YtotheUmmy September 30, 2010

Oh dear :’) This post made me almost sniffle a little. I’m going through a particularly difficult time in my life right now, and this was just the assurance I needed. Thank you, for reminding me that sometimes…things gotta get ugly before they get pretty. You’re wonderful :)

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91 Jessica (Fit and Clean) September 30, 2010

What a beautiful post. It sounds that you are at a good place right now. I’m not at that “good place” at this point in time yet, but things have a way of working themselves out, and sometimes healing takes a long time. (I lost both of my parents to cancer this year). Things ARE looking up, and I TRY to stay positive. Leaps of faith can define a person and who they become. And it seems that your leap of faith at the beginning of your journey has most certainly defined you. Love reading your posts and thank you for sharing!!

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92 Natasha September 30, 2010

Dooesn’t the fall just make you so glad to live in Southwestern Ontario?!
This time of year makes me feel so blessed to live here!

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93 Jolene (www.everydayfoodie@hotmail.com) September 30, 2010

Every one of life’s challenges has changed me for the better. I have learned to not take anything for granted, and to value and appreciate every thing in my life. I have noticed that I never find myself complaining, and I don’t wish the days away waiting for the weekends like I have in the past. Hard times in life really teach a person what is important. Health, family and friends are all that we really need.

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94 Kaitlin With Honey October 1, 2010

Beautiful post, Angela!

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