Posts Tagged ‘family’

Happiness: A Three-Part Blog Series

Posted in Mackenzie McCloud on January 14th, 2015 by Mackenzie McCloud – Be the first to comment
"A smile takes just a moment, but the memory of it lasts forever."

“A smile takes just a moment, but the memory of it lasts forever.”

Yesterday in my Wellness lecture, we touched on a lot of different things, but the main focus was psychological health. Probably my favorite part of class was when we got to talking about when we’re happy. For me, it’s easy to get into a deep philosophical discussion about happiness as an extended state of being versus a temporary condition versus a handful of chemicals you can get from a pharmacy (courtesy my inquiry seminar from last semester, Brain Enhancement). BUT that’s not what was discussed. It was way better. It was all of it. It was all the things, big and little, you do or experience throughout your day that might make you happy. You could choose anything that makes you happy to share with your group, however silly or trivial or ridiculous it may have been.

This wasn’t on my list, but it definitely should have been. Part One of Happiness: I am happy when other people make me smile.

What?

That’s too easy, right? Maybe it is. And I’ve talked about it before. But it’s true. Smiles are incredibly powerful. Potent. They’re contagious, infectious. Fast-acting. When people make me smile, I’m automatically happy. I’m actually pretty sure the use of those facial muscles triggers an emotional response (I know there’s a study on that somewhere out there). It could be a corny joke (Cobber humor at its finest), just someone randomly complimenting me on a scarf, or even laughing at the way I talk (I still can’t believe some of y’all think I sound funny).

That’s the most amazing thing, though: When someone goes out of their way, makes a tiny bit of extra effort, to make my day. It’s so easy to do, make someone’s day. That girl holding the door for you? Let her know you think she looks exceptional when you toss her a quick ‘thank you.’ (I kid you not, this might change the course of an entire week.) The guy sitting at the far table in the library? You heard him sing one night in the Maize (or any place you could hear someone sing), and it was amazing! Tell him. Or hey, it’s Wednesday. There is very little emotional significance to a Wednesday, in my opinion. So what better time to drop a sweet note, or some flowers, or a Buffalo Wild Wings gift card, in a loved one’s mailbox/doorway/office/etc.? That’s right. There is no better time than right now. It doesn’t even have to be a material thing. In fact, I am going to text my brothers after I post this, and tell them exactly what they mean to me. Because all we’re guaranteed is right now. This second, this moment. And then it’s gone. So, yes, when someone takes a couple extra steps and a couple extra breaths to tell me he thinks my hair is pretty, I’m happy. When I get a massively (and wonderfully) long text from a friend back home, telling me that she feels just as connected to me, like she can still talk to me as if I’m right there, even though we haven’t seen each other for months, yes, I’m happy. Because he didn’t have to do that. She didn’t have to do that. They had their ‘right now’s, and they chose to spend them on me.

Think about that for a second. Some people know all too well that one second, that one tiny moment, would change everything.

We, as individuals gifted and blessed with multiple means of communication, have an unbelievable power of influence that should not be taken lightly. I think we sometimes take it for granted. And I think we sometimes misuse it. It’s a choice. Choose to smile. Choose to make other people smile.

This post is dedicated to the memory of a young woman who chose. She gave an infinite number of smiles, and left us with infinitely more.

Suzannah Catherine Piercy

December 26, 1995 – Forever. Forever, sweet girl. I promise.

 

 

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Posted in Mackenzie McCloud on December 20th, 2014 by Mackenzie McCloud – Be the first to comment
As much as we argue, I absolutely love my not-so-little little brother.

As much as we argue, I absolutely love my not-so-little little brother.

Sometimes I’m super forgetful – like, super DUPER forgetful. I forget tons of things all the time. One thing I’ve never forgotten, though, is how much my family and friends mean to me.

I told myself when I was a senior in high school that I was going to leave Georgia. I was going to find somewhere I could grow, somewhere I could be free to fly (or fall on my face) and reap all of the lessons from it. I didn’t realize until now, though, that I was experiencing one of the most confusing parts of ‘Senioritis,’ which is ‘Deposit Submission’ tunnel vision. Some common symptoms include unwavering excitement for college, creating multiple and largely unnecessary Pinterest boards to organize information you’ll need to ensure the best years of your youth, continuous repacking of college-bound belongings, and scouring of the course catalog while you pretend you have your life figured out – or realizing you totes don’t. Although rare, some incoming freshmen may also experience the urge to laugh manically while discussing plans for college.

Okay, I didn’t have that last one, but everything else is pretty much true. When it came to college, to my future, I was full-speed ahead, with dreams of corn cobs dancing in my head. It wasn’t until a few weeks into my first semester that I felt it: the little twist in my stomach. Initially, I thought I’d just eaten too much food in DS, but feeling still didn’t go away. It’s obvious now, of course, what I was feeling. I missed home. I missed the hours upon hours of laughter and insanity that softball road trips brought my mom and me. I missed the complete and utter safeness that can only come from a father’s hug. I missed goofing off – and fighting – with my brothers. I missed the teammates and classmates who’d been there for me for years, coaches who’d taught me just as much as all of my favorite teachers. I missed all of the people – neighbors, tutors, any and all familiar faces – from my southern city that had made my life even a tiny bit better. And I really missed my pets.

It’s understandable. It’s normal. So why does my stomach still have a small pinched feeling?

It’s because I miss home.

I miss talking with my classmates and my professors, sometimes trying to solve the problems of the world in one hour-and-ten-minute class. I miss the giddy feeling that comes with seeing the Cobber softball field and my new teammates. I miss laughing and chatting into the wee hours of the morning with my friends. And I really miss DS.

I’m beyond excited to be back in Sharpsburg, drinking real sweet tea, surrounded by all the people – and animals – I’ve missed so very much. ‘Happy’ doesn’t even come close to describing it.

That said, I’m looking forward to hearing the reliable ringing every Cobber knows so well.