Bits and Bites of Everyday Life


Don’t worry! Be Happy!

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.
Leo Buscaglia
True North Perspective

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more


Summer should really be a time to relax, soak in the sun and enjoy special activities outdoors. Feeling happy is easy when golden sunlight filters through the open patio door and you wake up to the sound of birds singing on a beautiful day. Feeling happy is easy when you’re sharing a wonderful dinner in a quiet restaurant or on a patio with a good friend or a loved one. Feeling happy is easy when a soft evening breeze caresses your face as you watch a gorgeous sunset and look into your partner’s eyes. Being happy is easy when things go well but what happens when loneliness or worry sets in, when your plans backfire, when you suffer loss?

These things can happen at any time of the year and that includes summer. What do you do then? Do you let your mind run wild and make you sick with worry? Do you let worry weigh you down as if you were carrying a ton of bricks? Do you lose precious sleep, become grumpy or explode at the slightest irritation? Negative reactions are too numerous to list and some are so extreme, they send shivers down your spine. I followed the Guy Turcotte saga and wondered, “How could a bright young doctor lose control to the point of murdering his two beautiful children?” It may have started with worry, uncontrolled worry mixed in with jealousy, rage, sorrow… and it spun out of control. A breakup, a divorce, a sudden loss of status is always a very critical time in someone’s life. This is definitely a time when relatives, co-workers and friends need to show support and encourage the distraught person to seek help. No man is an island!
There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.”
This senseless crime could have been prevented! So what do you do when your mind is spinning out of control with worry? First, you must acknowledge that it’s not your entire life that is going up in flames. Maybe it’s your job, family quarrels, a spouse that wants out or a financial downturn… Despite the problem, the sun still rises and shines every day while other areas of your life remain stable. In last week’s column, I mentioned some people are afraid to have fun. In the same way, some people are equally afraid to be happy. They think if all is going fine, something will surely come and spoil it. So they worry incessantly and imagine the worse. Anxiety sets in and colours everything in stark hues… and since we are what we think, something will eventually go wrong. In my novel, The Neglected Garden, Andrew, who is constantly consumed by obsessive distrust lashes out at his wife. “Every one is after your hide – just waiting to deceive and betray you. Promises hold no value. One has to be on his toes all the time for fear of being stabbed in the back. You’ll see! You too will betray me someday. Then, I will be lost and have no other option but to end this damned life.”
And yet, happiness is within everyone’s reach! One has to constantly show self-respect and entertain positive thoughts. Wayne Dyer who says good things happen when you start believing that they will often quotes Rumi and I love this quote: “You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.” Live on the active side of infinity. Don’t let people or worries drag you down! Get out! Visit a friend or invite a friend over or use music to soothe your soul and lift your spirit. Treat yourself to something special.
Last Sunday, my plans bombed out! I could have stayed home and moped around. Instead, I delivered a bag of clothes for Lea’s dolls and dropped in to see my friend who lives close by. She immediately invited me to stay for lunch. We had a good time and later sat outside for a while, enjoying the beautiful gazebo in the backyard. Later on, I called my favourite aunt and asked if she would be home after dinner. She sounded amused and said, “You can do better! Come and have dinner with me!” What I didn’t know was my sister and my brother-in-law were visiting too. Diane and I had been talking about visiting Aunt Jeannette for quite a while. Auntie has been a model of courage for me. You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him or her. In that respect, my aunt stands very tall. She still lives in her house which is always kept immaculate; she has flowers all around the property and a garden at the back. Now in her eighties, she has had her fair share of challenges.
When I asked her what keeps her going she said she prays a lot. Her faith and her strength of character are unequaled. And when I commented how well she is aging, she replied that one has to keep going. She doesn’t sit around twiddling her thumbs because that’s when you start worrying. As Glenn Turner said, “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.”
So in that spirit of replacing worry by positive thoughts, I recharged my batteries. We shared a wonderful dinner at the Champlain restaurant and to top everything, Denis offered to help me purchase gravel for my laneway. He also offered to spread it with his tractor… a job that would have taken me at least two days. On top of that, he rotatilled the front flowerbed so I can add good garden soil and rebuild it.
Although I had to drive back in that fierce storm, I felt good. Happiness is within everyone’s reach but you must want it and you must strive to make it happen.
P.S. As I picked up my notepad and Wayne Dyer’s book The Power of Intention, a spray of beautiful, dried flowers dropped onto my lap. I didn’t even know they were there. What a wonderful gift! Life is full of surprises!
So, put your worry thoughts aside! Like the song says, “Don’t worry! Be happy!”


"Don't worry, be happy"  Are words, that at times don't make sense at all.    The time my son , at the time 4 years old went missing, for over 9 hours, I was very worried, and no room for "HAPPY" inside my soul.

But when he was found at Lake Ontario Beach, very close to where we lived,( in Toronto at the time,)  and I held him in my arms again, I was the happiest person on earth!!!


There are times, we do worry, and rightfully so. And there are times of great joy and happiness as well.

Without valleys there are no mountains, but, together form  beautiful images for us to enjoy, and paint!!!

It always reminds me of life, with is pain and sorrows, and it's great joys and happiness, which are all part of our life, and strengten us. In painting, one needs blackand white, the contrast gives it power and beauty, just as in life.

I love your article, enjoyd , like always reading it, and look forward to read many more of the same.


Thanks Alberte!!!




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