Today I wake up after a restless night. I stayed up way too late reading articles and trying to find out more about the recent tragic situations. Instances of police brutality, instances of community retaliation, 30 heroin overdoses in my hometown in 3 days, and all less than a month after the Pulse club shootings, a boy being snatched by an alligator at Disney (my personal happy place), suicide bombers at an airport in Istanbul, a rapist getting a slap on the wrist, countless other world atrocities, and in my own life; my cousin taking his own life.
I am trying to make sense of it all. What does this all mean? Why is this happening? Why is the world so crappy right now? What can I do to help?
At this point I know that this is a detour from my normal happy Disney posts. I also know that I have not written for a long time. I’ve struggled greatly with motivation to write about the happiest place on earth, when there is a so many awful things going on.
Today I choose to focus on the good, so here are the things that are good in my life. I will celebrate those today. Not to ignore the bad in the world, but to change my own outlook to a more positive one. I am focusing on the good because I am exhausted from focusing on the bad.
Number 1- I have an amazing husband. He is my best friend and we were able to have a great time this past week getting away and celebrating our 9 years of marriage.
Number 2- There is beauty in this world. Look at this sunset! It is absolutely incredible! I look at this and don’t see the bad in the world, but the intense beauty.
Number 3- I have some amazing kids in my life, who give me hope for the future. M and J are the sweetest, funniest, and kind little boys that I know. They are thoughtful, caring, love sharing with their Aunt Ashley, and I can’t imagine my life without them. I choose not to be a parent, but am blessed to be Aunt Ashley. I mean come on… they’re adorable!
Number 4- I am a relatively healthy and active individual. I am overweight for sure, but I don’t let my weight hold me back from hiking, biking, and going on adventures with my husband, best friend, and family. Do I need to lose weight, YES, but I can move and enjoy my life and health.
Number 5– I have the privilege of advising a club where I teach who’s entire purpose is to SERVE others in the community. We have had the opportunity to make blankets for Akron Children’s Hospital, pack food at the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank, help kids with cancer make holiday gifts for their families, clean up trash in the community, and so many other activities to better the world around them. It is an absolute honor and pleasure to be their advisor.
Number 6- Speaking of teaching, I teach so amazing students! They’re fabulously talented and it is an honor to share and make music with them. This past year alone I had approximately 160 students in my choirs that I was able to share joy and music, not to mention my amazing private lesson students that I have. While teaching can be stressful, seeing my both my choir students and my private lesson students succeed, is a HUGE blessing.
Number 7– As a Disney Travel Planner, I get to help families plan magical vacations. Disney really is my happy place. If I can help others find magic and joy in their life, that makes me happy. I am honored to be a part of the Charming Travels team and thankful for the opportunity to help others plan.
Number 8- While vacations are a temporary escape from reality, ours is coming up within the next week! I am greatly looking forward to heading to Disney, the beach, and to Atlanta for a week to relax, enjoy life, and recharge.
Number 9- Not to brag or anything, but I have the world’s cutest dogs. Yeah, they bark and do annoying things, but they’re my babies and they’re good. The are part of the good in my world.
Number 10- My hometown is full of amazing compassion. Let me brag for a minute about how the small village of Lakemore and Springfield township came together to fill and entire semi-truck to send to the residents in West Virginia after the floods. My community is full of giving, selfless people.
Enough about the good in my world. I challenge you today to love one another. Be kind to each other. Perform a random act of kindness today. And find at least 10 good things in your life to focus on.