Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Happy Place

By: Samantha S. Daviss

I always used to think you had to have one particular place that made you happy. But as I have lived and traveled and matured I have come to realize that my happy place comes from within. I am happiest when I am with my family, when I am with my friends that know me inside and out (and still love me), I am happiest when I can accept all the problems in my life and just deal with them one issue at a time. That is my happy place.

My early morning happy place is lying in bed and hearing those little feet come around the corner, knowing a little three and a half foot blonde bandit is about to crawl in bed with me. My morning happy place is driving in my car with a cup of coffee in my hand headed to a job I love for many reasons: it gets me out of the office, I get to interact with people, but most importantly it allows me to pick all my babies up from school every single day and not miss a beat in their lives.

My mid-day happy place is having the ability to run errands around town while singing to some great tunes on the radio. And my afternoon happy place is waiting in the carpool lane at my son’s school anxious to pick him up and hear all about his day and how everything went, and then returning home to two smiling faces waiting anxiously on momma and Big Bubba.

And the rest of the day is history, especially if my husband is home and not traveling; I get to watch my boys play and ride bikes outside and catch up on my day with my best friend. Even when our lives get crazy and hectic with sports, building our house, work, and activities; regardless, my happy place is with them. Even if there is screaming and yelling and punching happening in the backseat of my car (which typically, there is); it doesn’t matter, because in that rear view mirror I can see my entire life…my happy place.

I have been fortunate enough to get to travel to some of my happy places too, like Italy, and the Texas Hill Country, and the Caribbean…but right now, probably my most favorite happy place is where we are building our forever home. Not because it is our forever home, but the spot it sits on is absolutely perfect. I open my car door and hear nothing. It is so wonderfully peaceful and serene and I am so excited that my boys get to grow up in a spot like this. So for many reasons this is my new happy place.

It makes me happy that they will grow up there, that my husband and I will grow old there together, that we will celebrate life events there, and build tons and tons of memories with friends and family there. I look into the future and see nothing but smiles, memories, laughter, and of course some tears; but for the most part it is the spot that all of our happiness will be wrapped up.

Regardless of where I am though, my happiness comes from within. I look outside and see sunshine and know that soon I will be playing with my boys, or later tonight I will be sleeping with my very best friend who loves me unconditionally (despite all my weird idiosyncrasies), and maybe tomorrow I will run into a friend and we will share a laugh or two; but right now I am just happy to have what I have in life and love living it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I wish I had all the money in the world…

By: Samantha S. Daviss

We hear of all these stories about wonderfully lucky people who win the lottery, or have fabulous lifestyles or careers that their cash flow is endless. And I would love to be that wealthy…and not for the obvious reasons like wanting to have a villa in the heart of Tuscany, or a fabulous yacht, or live in the lap of luxury. But for the more obscure reasons, like paying it forward.

I hear and read about all of these generous stories of people paying for airline tickets for wounded soldiers to go see family, or an attorney helping out his waiter with severe dental issues and paying $25,000 to have his teeth repaired, or paying for a veteran’s meal at a restaurant. Now the meal I could probably swing, but I want to be able to pay for every veteran or active duty service man or woman’s meal, every time I see them.

To have all of the money in the world, or at least a nice chunk, I want to help those that need helping. I want to fill the kitty on Make a Wish Foundation, I want to be able to pay for families who haven’t seen their loved ones in years to fly home for a visit. I want to fulfill dreams of kids who have never seen the ocean or felt the salt water on their skin, or for that matter had a chance to fly in an airplane.

Basically I want to give those in need a chance at adventure. If they have to walk 50 miles to work every day, I want to be able to buy them a new car. I would love to start a scholarship fund for students from my hometown to attend my alma mater.

I want to bless people with a life worth living, and a life they deserve. There are so many people out there who have offered their services to our great nation through the military or just working a minimum wage job to support their families and give them the best lives they can, I would love nothing more than to give to those people.

If a person wasn’t able to finish their high school degree or college degree, I would love nothing more than to pay for them to finish school and change their stars.

What a wonderful gift that would be for me to afford people the lifestyles they deserve and have worked so hard for. I want to say thank you to all those in need. I want to protect them, open shelters, open job opportunities, and want to be someone who could change the world one person, one smile, or life at a time.

But there again is that one minor hurdle…the fact that I don’t have all of these extra piles of cash laying around. But maybe someday I will be blessed with the lottery and can pay it forward. I would of course do it all anonymously, I want no recognition, no praise, and no appreciation…I just want to see the smiles on faces, the happy tears in their eyes, and the eternal gratitude that in some small way their life has been changed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tangible Thoughts

By: Samantha S. Daviss

I get made so much fun of for still carrying around my huge paper day planner. But with no disrespect, that thing is my personal Bible. I can’t live without it. I get teased for not keeping everything on my phone or in my computer, but to that I always say my day planner can’t fall in the toilet, the pool, or the washing machine.

I am a “paper trail” kind of girl. I love anything and everything paper. I love to touch books, feel their pages, and smell the old in their pages. I love to see my week of chores and activities laid out in front of me with all of my different color highlights for each family member in my day planner. And I love to send cards to friends for no reason at all. I used to do it all the time, but now that I’m a bit busier with three monkeys, I have fallen short; but nonetheless I love knowing that someone is on the other end receiving a card from me just because…no bills, no reminders, no invitations, just a card to say “I’m thinking about you”.

I think cards and letters are wonderful. It is something you can hold on to forever. Texts can be deleted, voice mails lost, and emails erased from this space in time. Where do they go? We will never know. Maybe they are in “the cloud”, maybe they are just gone…who knows. But a piece of paper will always be there.

That is why I have written letters to each of my boys, to let them know just how I feel. To let them know that no matter where life takes them, or takes me, I have no regrets never telling them how I feel about them, how proud they make me each and every day, and it is tangible. It is something they can always hold near and dear to their hearts. I have written letters of “good bye”, in case God feels it is my time too early; I have written letters of loving them and watching them grow; and I have written letters for when they become grown men, husbands, and fathers themselves. It is a letter of love, advice and encouragement.

Being able to hold something of someone you lost is so important. I have a little plush Teddy Bear magnet on my dryer that I found when I lost my mother in law. To most people it seems odd, but to me it is just a little piece of her that I get to see and touch every single day. Because I know it was on her dryer, and it was something she saw and touched every day, so it is just a chance for me to stay connected to her.

But more importantly I still have cards from her that she wrote to me. They are in a basket in my bathroom. In fact the very last card she wrote me was just because…

She was watching my boys for me one afternoon, and I came home to find this card on my counter, and it meant so much to me that I can recite it verbatim.

“You make me so proud every day to call you my daughter in law. I don’t know how you manage to do what you do every single day (on your own when my son is gone). You balance a house, three boys, a career, and everything else beautifully and with a smile.”

So you see three years later I still have that card, and I read it often. And it was just a simple $.99 card from the Dollar Store that touched me for the rest of my life. It is one of my most prized possessions. Not only because it was one of the last things I received from her, but because she did it just because.

I will always be able to touch, feel and see her handwriting in that card. That is something I couldn’t get from an email, or a text, or a voice mail. I feel the love and staying power of tangible items is a priceless gift that should never be forgotten.

Take the time to write that thank you note, or to send a card just because, or stick a Post-it on someone’s windshield just because. I promise you will affect them in ways deeper than you could every imagine.