In the morning

Service with a smile at a bed and breakfast inn, Placerville, CA, December 2002

Service with a smile at a bed and breakfast inn, Placerville, CA, December 2002

“Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.”Elbert Hubbard

When I first read this quote, I thought, “I really need to take that advice to heart, and try to do that.”  The next thing I thought was, “Hey, one way to do that would be to sleep until ten a.m.!” Needless to say, I’m NOT a morning person!

It is surprising, though, how much a pleasant attitude can change an entire day.  Whether it’s our own or someone else’s cheerfulness, a congenial spirit can enhance happy times and ameliorate bad ones.  I’ve noticed when I make the effort to be courteous rather than grouchy, it seems to get much easier as I go along, with each smile or kind word lifting my own mood even if no one else notices.

I hope you have a wonderful day today, but even if you don’t, try Hubbard’s little piece of advice, and feel free to let me know how it goes.  You can ask  me how I did, too.  Nothing like a little accountability to give myself some incentive.

One year ago today

Strangely enough


  1. HarryS

    A friend of mine says, “If I don’t see God in the first person I see every day, I certainly won’t see him in the second , or the etc’s.”.

    • Thanks, Harry – that’s a good way of looking at it. A verse I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is 1 John 4:20, “For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” To me that says there is something that is supposed to be happening in our hearts and minds when we see each other; we are supposed to really SEE them – if that makes sense? It’s so easy for us to overlook or even despise each other, but we need to think twice about that.

  2. rayanard

    Julia Can I put my pocket watch away and stop saying”Oh No! I’m Late , I’m late.( Do train conductors still yell”All Aboard? I digress. My Drillsgt use to tell us”Move with a purpose and you got 5 minutes to do “a, b, & c and 4 minutes are already gone. When I use to drive a truck, I made my own schedule and didnt”let people stress me out.. I found out if you have too much to do 1 dont sit in front of a TV all day or “get hooked on Candy Crush.( I’m stuck on level 12 and put it down for awhile”.. Be blessed

    • I am so thankful I never had to have a drill sergeant. I think of that hilarious line in Private Benjamin where Goldie Hawn sees the barracks for the first time and says “What, no curtains? I’ll be waking up at the crack of dawn!” 🙂 I assume Candy Crush must be a video game. I can’t go near them for fear of getting hooked. Years ago when we got our first prehistoric computer I got hooked on Pac Man and later on Amazon Trail – then I started grad school and figured out the computer games HAD TO GO. I don’t want to get anywhere near Angry Birds. It seems like every other person is talking about that. Hope you are staying warm and having a nice week. Today the local news said “the temperature will be warming up to the 30’s” – I guess it’s all relative!

  3. Linda Blackford

    Good Morning, Julia! Your post immediately reminded me of the following prayer. There are variations of it on the internet, but I don’t know who originally wrote it. I’m sure you’ve seen it, too, but even if you have, it should bring a smile:

    Morning Prayer

    Dear Lord,
    So far I’ve done all right.
    I haven’t gossipped,
    haven’t lost my temper,
    haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent.
    I’m really glad about that.

    But in a few minutes, God,
    I’m going to get out of bed.
    And from then on,
    I’m going to need a lot more help.

    • Linday, I love this and yes, it brought a smile to my face. That is me to a “T” and sometimes I need a good bit of help just to get out of bed, especially when it’s cold weather. Thanks for sharing the prayer. It’s funny but it has a lot of truth in it, too!

  4. I find each morning I always seem to wake up with a smile, and I try to share it with everyone I meet and greet or see. You are so right, such a simple action, causes great reactions and the complexion of not only your day but all around you. Thank you for the wonderful message my sister!

    • Thank you Wendell, if you wake up with a smile, that is a true gift and you are wise to share it. I find it a real challenge some mornings. A nice cup of tea or sometimes coffee helps a bit, or not being in a rush, but I just don’t do mornings very well. People such as you who are able to spread some cheer in the mornings are absolutely essential to those of us who are sleepyheads or grouches. Starting the day with smiles really does make a big difference. Thanks for being here!

  5. MaryAnn

    Cheerfulness, courtesy & a pleasant attitude are my goals today. Thank you for the encouragement. It may be more difficult on this day, because we were awoken out of a deep sleep by an unknown caller. I did not get back to sleep, so your “hint” to be accountable will carry me through until I give my report. Heehee…

    • I hate, hate, hate to be woken up by the telephone even when it’s someone I love dearly such as my mother, who has almost learned not to call me early in the day! Mary Ann, I have never seen you when you were not cheerful. Even when you are miffed about something you are not a pouter or the type to give anyone the silent treatment. With you I always sense a determination to turn any bad situation around. I love that about you!

      • MaryAnn

        My Encourager!

        • Thank you, Mary Ann – I feel the same about you 🙂 !

  6. Sheila

    Julia, I read this quote to our daughter, Stephanie, after I got to our office. Her reply was, “Oh Mommy, is that why you come to work after 10:00?” Then we laughed! 🙂

    • Hee-hee, that’s almost as good as sleeping in until 10:00! Seriously, I cannot imagine you NOT being cheerful. But for me, I would much prefer a job that started at 10:00 a.m. – or even later! I used to love working nights at USAir. It’s a completely different vibe after all the suits go home.

      • Sheila

        I love that image, “after all the suits go home”……. 🙂

  7. HarryS

    Some of the things I do every morning which began as being compulsory and then evolved into being voluntary have come to be my joys of the morning. When I think of how grumpy I once was and how I was blastedly irritated if I woke up before I needed to get up and how I responded with anger and cursing and how when it now occurs it has come to be a time of quiet and blessed communion with God as I understand him is just slightly beyond me. I certainly can’t understand this transformation and it is not something that came about by my own will so it must have been by grace.

    I enjoy checking the weather on my computer.
    I scan the headlines.
    I check the ball scores.
    I visit several blog sites and postings from several spiritual sources and ponder their reflections.
    I read the postings of daily obituaries.
    I read the comics.
    I especially love to visit BC and Frank and Ernest!
    National Geographic posts a picture of the day which is a great joy and in viewing this every day I have visited many places around our beautiful world.– Ntnl Geo Photo of the Day

    And most of all I understand this morning time as being an attitude setter for me.
    If I start my day with joy and live it with the anchor of hope, what do I suppose might happen?

    • Thanks for this message Harry, maybe there is hope for me. I have such a hard time wanting to wake up, no matter whether I sleep till 6 or 9! I finally learned to look on occasional bouts of insomnia (waking very early and not being able to go back to sleep) as gifts of time! Because usually I’m a real sleepyhead/grouch in the morning. I am so happy to read that this time has transformed for you into a time of blessing. I should look up that National Geographic site. It might help to start the day with a gorgeous photo each day. I appreciate your sharing these ideas with us.

  8. Well, we can meet at 11 am for brunch and by then you’ll be all awake and cheery, LOL

    I am totally a morning person and generally get tons done before 10am. Mr B rises very early for work to be at the office for 6am, so I’m often up with him. I carry Petals to the door for a goodbye and Blossum comes too. We all wish him a good day and get kisses. Then the kitties go back to sleep and I putter, clean, laundry, blog, craft or whatever I feel like doing. I sure have a nice life.

    Really, the only time I feel grumpy is shopping, it’s just pure misery here. In fact, Mr B told me I was short with a gal the other day while exchanging a Christmas item. Long story short, we first had to break-up her social visit with a male co-worker to get service and then she wasn’t friendly at all. She insisted we had the wrong receipt for the item. Since it was the only item I had purchased there I knew it wasn’t. Turned out different sizes have different codes. Considering we were the only ones in the store, she made no effort to be courteous or helpful at all. When she finally figured out she was wrong, no apology was offered. I left there exasperated. I admit I have high expectations, having worked in customer service for so many years. I feel sorry for business owners who are desperate for good people. The economy in Alberta, means there’s a shortage of workers for lower paying retail jobs and they are stuck hiring anyone interested in a pay cheque.

    I tend to do most of my shopping on holidays to the States. Your sales associates are so much friendlier and your selection is far better. Bravo for all those young folks happy to have a job.

    • Wow, I’m glad you think the service is better here in the USA, because I often think it’s gone way downhill. I too worked in public contact (customer service) jobs for many years, and we were always made to understand that the customer paid our paycheck and we owed them, not the other way around. When I find a store or restaurant with nice employees, I will go back there even if the prices are a bit higher (and for a cheap frugal person such as I am, that is saying a lot). I have had more than a few incidents such as the one you describe, and I get very annoyed if the person seems not to care. I am so happy you are able to be home and enjoy it! I feel the same way. I told my sister years ago, my favorite activity is to “putter around the house.”

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