Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



good life by donna meuli

Part of cultivating a good life is…learning to find the magic in your everyday.

We all have adverse situations in our lives from time to time. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those who deals with them easily. In the last few years, our family has been learning to adjust our lives after the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder for our teenage son. Suddenly we were dealing with low moods, depression, frustration vented as anger, and talk of suicide. Not only did we need help for our son, but I realised I needed to help myself if I was to work my way through this and maintain my own happiness and health…for my family’s sake as much as my own.

I think that decision lead me to become more open to finding inspirational help. One day I was researching “living in the moment” and came across these words which changed everything.

“Notice the world around you: the small things. Be thankful for them. Living for the moment and taking notice of the small things will help you cultivate more positive experiences.”

I realised that some of the tough situations we faced were actually lessons and I learned I could cope with hard things if I could find something to be thankful for from each one. I learned that although some days were incredibly tough, there were also some beautiful moments where my son would show me something he’d found on the internet he thought I might enjoy. Sometimes a little note left on my laptop to listen to a song… and when I did, the lyrics brought me to tears.

As I became open to learning more, I realised that not every day is magic, but there is magic in every day. There is no magic wand. The magic comes from the desire within you to find joy. I learned to set myself daily goals to find joy in the simple things around me. I was dreading the winter months coming, so I set myself a photo project to find the magic in winter. By adjusting my focus to finding this, I found that there is magic in even the most horrible winter day. This is now something I’m trying to make part of my daily life. Making the decision was the easy part. To make this a habit has required commitment by way of making fun challenges and projects. It’s amazing that if you become passionate about something, the benefits multiply.

I’m really thankful I have a son who has challenged my own way of thinking. I’m proud to tell people that although we’ve been through (and will continue to go through) difficult times, we’re learning valuable life lessons along the way which are helping to cultivate a very good life.

Donna Meuli is a member of our 2015 Creative Team. She lives in New Zealand with her husband Ian, her two children, Nicholas and Anna, and her Border Collie, Shelby.

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7 Responses

  1. laura g. says:

    I have found this to be so true…find something “normal” in the midst of chaos…and find something joyful, as you have to tide you over the worst bumps…thinking “this too will pass” and I will find something joyful again…good luck and bless you and your family!

  2. michelle says:

    Our daughter has autism, so I completely understand.I have to remember also God does not give you what he thinks you can handle,he knows you can.Take everyday as it comes.

    • Donna M says:

      Thank you Michelle. Yes, you will for sure understand and I know what you mean. Despite the difficult times, I realise we have been given a gift:)

  3. Monica says:

    What a beautiful story – – it seems that those with sitauations in their lives such as yours are truly seeing the true meaning of joy – – and I only hope others will realize this as well. I know a few familys with a child that has autism and I’ve seen pain – – however, I’ve seen more joy in those families, because they appreciate each and every day and it sounds like your family realizes the gifts that have been put in front of you. Blessings to your family –

  4. Phyllis says:

    Just wondering when you will be making your App for the Androids. I use Samsung and love my phone and tablet. Hope it will be soon.
    Thank you.