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Living For The Day

Are you living for the day? Note that I didn’t ask you if you were living in the moment. I think that’s nearly impossible. But I think you can live for the delicacies in a day. Rather than putting your energy into an unpredictable future or an overfamiliar past, I think spending our time in the present can lead to the most happiness.

I know this by experience. I have, and probably always will be, somewhat of a forward thinker. I dream about my career goals, married life, and even the possibility of children someday (I’m least decided on that part). But my boyfriend taught me an important lesson that I hope I will take with me wherever I go.

You see, he’s leaving for Columbia Law School in less than three weeks. New York. The big, bad apple. I’m just kidding, I’m sure it will be great but the part that’s not so great? He’s going to be across the country (I’m not even going to count the exact number of miles apart because that will just make it more real). He’s been to the city twice; I’ve been once. This will be interesting.

But exciting. It’s been the weirdest summer because I’ve been waiting for the tears to set in and there have only been a few. Rather than dreading each day that passes by until his departure, I’m really just focusing on enjoying the time together that we have now. Living in the present. He’s told me to do this all along and he’s right—I’ve been so much happier for it.

The best part is that I feel confident about the future. Of course I know it will be hard—I’m not delusional—but I feel strong in our relationship. We’ve been together for two years now and I feel like we’re both committed to making it work. My key to this whole process is to take it day by day. If I harbor this three year tunnel of law school I’ll drown in it. Floating by won’t weigh me down as much.

I’ve lived for the future before and life isn’t nearly as fun. Chances are, you’ll end up disappointed because your expectations can be hard to match with the reality of life sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always good to set the standard high for yourself but I think there’s something beautiful about taking a day, even the most imperfect one, and still finding something to smile about at the end of it. When you take the time to notice those moments rather than move on to your future, life is so much more real and meaningful.

I hope you’re loving your summer and your life. Of course things will change, within us and around us, but if we are open to it, there will be something to love there as well.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Letting Go of the Let Downs

I’m back! This has been one of the busiest summers of my life so thank you for being patient with me. I miss writing daily on my blog—but I’m always here in spirit and I plan to get back on track real soon. I’ve been editing my book on a nightly basis (because I’m working the 9-5 shift daily that Dolly Parton sang about), but I’m nearing the finish line with the editing process. It feels great!

Enough about me. More about us and how to be happy. Simple enough.

By the way, if you want daily Sunny Suggestions and updates, please “like” the new Facebook page. I would greatly appreciate it! Here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/TheSunnyGirlLaurenCook

So, for today’s topic I’m emphasizing PATIENCE. I don’t know about you but this summer has had some very challenging and frustrating moments. There have been times when I’ve felt beyond annoyed and you just want to tell anyone who’ll listen (like my Twitter account?)

But that’s not very ladylike now is it? Whether or not it’s classy (it isn’t), the key here is that it will just delay your happiness further. I always call my Auntie Nette if I’m having a meltdown moment (like I did today) and she reminded me how important it is to keep calm, pray for peace, and find your positivity else where. Redirect your focus. I listened to her advice and indeed she was right—like she always is. It’s often best to just move on instead of melt further into a melt down.

I’m not suggesting you ignore the problems in your life but I don’t think you have to stare them down either. The bullies leave you alone once you stop giving them attention. I think the same can apply to problems sometimes—you just need to walk away rather than fester in them. I heard it said recently that we need to let it out and let it go. I love that.

So if you get a comment or a look that rubs you the wrong way—don’t hang on to it. Don’t give it the attention it doesn’t deserve. If you want to be happy you’ve got to make a bigger deal of the best moments and make a lesser deal of the letdowns.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Is Blissful Ignorance Better?

Let me begin by wishing you a very Happy 4th of July! As much as I love this holiday (I’m baking blueberry muffins right now to start the day off), I wanted to write about something a little different today. Still, I hope that today will be a very happy one—be sure to celebrate your freedom! Even in the 21st century, freedom can be hard to come by in other countries and it is truly something to be thankful for.

But as I was trying to fall asleep last night, wishing that I knew a little bit less about some things and people in my life, I thought, “Sometimes I miss the days of blissful ignorance.” I think there’s a fine line when I say that term, “blissful ignorance” though. While I believe it’s essential that we educate ourselves as much as possible about the happenings of this world—what wars we may be in, the situation with global warming, and foreign genocide just to name a few—I think there are some personal circumstances where blissful ignorance may be better.

Better, but not always possible. I have such an inquisitive nature, I can hardly let myself remain ignorant, even if I want to. I often find myself searching for the truth even when I know that the truth will hurt me. Why do I do it? Would I be happier turning the other cheek to the darker sides of life or would I be happy knowing the truth? It’s unsettling either way.

Have you been in a situation like this before?

Ultimately it’s about finding peace. And unfortunately for me, maybe it’s about caring a little less. Sometimes I care so deeply about someone or something that it just hurts me more when that care is rejected. And so maybe this is a thought:

Maybe sometimes people don’t want to be cared for on your terms. They just want to be left alone.

It’s sad to me but I’m starting to think it’s a reality. So maybe if I care a little less, I won’t get hurt so much and then I can start to be happy. No situation is perfect but I think we can still find happiness in the imperfection.

I hope you’ll excuse my somewhat less than happy thoughts on this happy Fourth of July but sometimes you need to say what’s on your mind. I didn’t feel like being generic today, I felt like saying it how I see it.

How do you see it?

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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