A Reflection on Love, Laughter, and Happiness
“The love and laughter are what you need most in your life. They’ll fill out all the potholes in the road.”
— Maria Shriver
“True happiness comes not when we get rid of all of our problems, but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice, and to learn.”
— Richard Carlson
Ever since I received a copy of Maria Shriver’s “Ten Things I Wish I’d Known” as a high school graduation gift, I have been a big fan of her reflections and commentary on life and living abundantly. Her thoughts on love and laughter filling the potholes in the road soothe the anxiousness that I feel as we head into a Thanksgiving that will look vastly different from Thanksgivings past.
Our usual large family Thanksgiving gatherings will be significantly downsized this year, and we aren’t sure which of our family we will see in person as the December holidays draw near. Taking inspiration from Richard Carlson about navigating problems, we are shifting our intentions for the holiday time to focus on being fully present with our smaller group and to enjoy the in-depth time that we will be able to spend with them. I know that we will find love and laughter during this time, whether in the slow morning coffee conversations, in the midday nature time with our rambunctious dogs, or in the late-night games, and I am looking forward to cherishing the new memories we will create during this one-of-a-kind holiday season.
An Important Time to Utilize Resources and Give Back
Of course this is also a time of year when many of us spend time reflecting on what we are thankful for, and thankfulness seems to be closely intertwined with love, laughter, and happiness. I am thankful to live in the beautiful city of Chattanooga. I am blessed with a community full of love, laughter, and happiness, and I want to make sure that it remains that way throughout these volatile and uncomfortable days. Again, taking inspiration from Richard Carlson for generating true happiness, I intend to use the time and energy “leftover” from the balance of our downsized holiday gatherings to give back more than I usually do this time of year to my community – to keep its wonderful, vibrant spirit alive and thriving. In addition to shopping and eating with local small businesses, my family will continue to be plugged in to the needs of some of our favorite not-for-profits. Some of the ones dear to our hearts include Chattanooga Community Kitchen, Girls Inc. of Chattanooga, Hospice of Chattanooga, Northside Neighborhood House, and Reflection Riding.
Regardless of where you are on the spectrum of love, laughter, and happiness during this holiday season – from struggling to find reasons to love and laugh to having an abundance of love and laughter to share with others – there are resources available to help match you with an organization to serve you or for you to serve. Ask! Your Chambliss team can share numerous resources that are available in Chattanooga and the surrounding region, and we would be happy to help connect you with the right match. Or, if you are looking to make charitable gifts this holiday season in accordance with your estate and tax plans, our estate and tax team is ready to assist you!
Wishing you much love, laughter, and happiness as we approach the final stretch of 2020!