Saturday, August 5, 2017 | By: Rita Hutcheson-Cobbs

Routine broken...finding happiness even when life throws you a curve...

#MarkEnglish coaches/partners with #GarrettCobbs

Each month, Decatur Parks and Rec send out a calendar for the Special Olympic activities for the month. This month our calendar was late arriving due to staff vacations, surgery for one, and families getting ready for school to start. Things that made it no big deal that it might be a couple of days late. We didn't know that golf would begin again for the season on Wednesdays. So, as usual, Garrett and I went to do our thing, pickup our "energy drinks" and head to bowling. I got a text in the midst of all that saying, "Golf at 3:00." Not a problem, unless you are Garrett. 

The situation with Garrett is not a whiny story, but one that is a reality. Garrett was born with brain damage that later left him with the diagnoses of Fine-Motor Cerebral Palsy, vision and hearing impairment (without devises other than glasses), Asperger, a mentality of a four-year-old at an average, but with social skills at age level. He has no sense of danger, can't play golf alone or ever drive. This year, Garrett began having seizures, diagnosed as Hypertension Anxiety. These are the basic areas of Garrett's disabilities, but he takes medication for the seizures and blood pressure.

When I told Garrett that the plans had changed and we had to go by the house and swap equipment, there were a hundred questions from getting his things, going by the house, who would be there and if it was going to rain on a perfectly sunny day. I was asked how many holes we would hit and what time we would get back home. Now nothing Garrett dishes out at me can undo me, I have lived with this and more for thirty-years...I have the answers and when I don't, I make them up lol. I never yell and always speak in a happy, positive voice.

headed to opening season of Special Olympic Golf!

There are times in our lives that things are uprooted, a curve is thrown. Finding our happiness is difficult. We want to be able to put on our most comfortable jeans and well worn converse tennis shoes and be in our happy bubble for the rest of our days. However, life happens and that routine is broken. We begin running to habits and hangups, the wrong things and certainly the wrong people to feel we have some control over these moments that are out of control. At some point, we have to decide, make the choice to say, "No!" I won't do this again...feel regret over making a bad choice then another. 

There are times, we have to pull away from the situation, take a step back and think about how we really see it. Don't allow our emotions to run our decisions. Don't react with our first thoughts. It may take literally sleeping over our decision and sometimes it may mean waiting, not procrastinating, but waiting while still going about our daily tasks the best we can.

When I was five-years-old, I remember being in my bedroom, playing with my dolls and saying out loud, "I choose to be happy forever about everything." Why would a small child say that? I had witnessed to often grownups arguing so intensely that I was afraid a fight was about to happen during any of the altercations. I knew at a young age that I didn't want to be like them. In my own little space, I knew that I wanted to live happy and positive. Some say that I live in my own bubble, but in truth, I seek the positive, don't worry about things, trust God immensely, meditate on His Word a lot, but at five-years-old, I didn't know any of that. I went to church, but a Sunday/Wednesday faith wasn't much to go on for me. It was a decision, a choice. The Bible says, "...a childlike faith..." Simple. Quick. No excuses. 

Maybe if we went back to the mentality and the reality that believing truths we discovered as a child, we would love differently. Love would be easier, forgiveness would come quicker, trust would be consistent, and happiness would be forever. Sometimes our routine is broken and we are kicked out of our comfort zone, then we are asked to decide if we are going to react and live negatively or positively, sad or happy. The choice shouldn't be that difficult, should it? Just saying...

Challenge for you...keep a gratitude journal.
Write down three things a day that you are thankful for. 
Living a healthy lifestyle begins with an emotional choice to let it go...
It's a choice...No Excuses!


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