I ran across a blog meme the other day that prompted participants to list ten things they wanted to change about themselves. Now, I'm all for taking a good, hard look at myself. I do it too much, actually. But then I clicked on one of the links and read someone's blog containing five answers followed by a note that s/he was too depressed to continue and I thought wait a tick! There's something wrong here!
There's enough negativity in the world. Too much, actually. There's always someone or something just lying in wait, ready to knock us down. So I decided today to list 13 places on the internet that lift my spirits when I click on them. After you've checked out my list, I'd love to know what sites are on yours.
1. Operation Beautiful. The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other women to find. The point is that we are all beautiful.
2. Prettybooks on Tumblr.com. A collection of quotes, images and book reviews. The images make my heart happy.
3. Whitley Phipps singing "It is Well With My Soul" on YouTube. This is a relatively new song to me, but it struck a chord with me immediately. No matter how bad the day is going, if I listen to it, my spirits lift. It's not just the song that lifts me. The story he shares gives hope, especially when he says, "It is in the quiet crucible of your personal private sufferings that your noblest dreams are born and God's greatest gifts are given in compensation for what you've been through."
4. The Happy Writer. The writing life is a hard life. Staying positive is freakishly difficult. Go here. Be Happy.
5. 1000 Awesome Things. This blog, updated every weekday, reminds me to find joy in the little things, whether it's #299: Finally pulling out an ingrown hair or #899: The smell of frying onions.
6. Christian the Lion. This isn't a website, but it's a wonderful video. If you haven't seen it yet, rush right over. If you have, watch it again. It makes me happy every time. John Rendall and Anthony Bourke bought Christian as a lion cub from Harrods in 1969. They raised him in their London home for several years, then set him free to live in the wilds of Africa. A year later, against advice from experts, John and Anthony traveled to Kenya, hoping to reunite with their old friend. "They" said Christian wouldn't remember.
7. Gives Me Hope. The optimist's answer to FML. Some of the experiences people share are big -- dealing with cancer or grief. Some seem small -- one woman paying another's bus fare. But all give hope and light in a world that seems to be growing increasingly dark.
8. Greater Good Network. Their websites bring together communities that care, giving all of us the power to make a difference in the world with simple, every day actions.
9. The art work of Liz Lemon Swindle. It always touches me. At this stage in my life, I'm really touched by Mother
10. Poetry.com. For me, words can be soothing. Words used beautifully, succinctly, correctly, are like music to my soul.
11.Military Homecoming videos on YouTube. Is there anything better than seeing spouses and children surprised by a returning soldier? I start sniffling within seconds. So touching.
12. 365 Project. The 365 project is a photography project where you document a year of your life by taking a daily photo. I'd love to join in but my camera was ruined in a downpour last year and I haven't been able to replace it. The shots I get with my old camera phone just aren't that good.
13. Bible Gateway . A searchable online Bible in over 50 languages and 100 versions, featuring a verse of the day.
You may not like all 13 of my choices. You may not like any of them. But they're the places I go when I need a lift. Now ... what are your favorites?