Every day, and I mean every day, I wake up and smile.

I smile because I am here, alive and well. I am healthy, and so are my boys.

Now that I am 52, I look at life completely different. I do not take one day for granted. I know that one day, I won’t be here.  We all know one day we won’t be here any longer. As you get older, or maybe it’s wiser, you seem to have a greater respect for your life.

One day I won’t be here to look at the beautiful sky and shout to my kids, “Look at that, look how beautiful the sky is!” One day I will no longer be able to share the excitement of many wonderful experiences. So with that in mind, I do not take any day for granted.

I aim to own my day. Some days I am really good at it, and others not so much.

Today was one of those “not-so-much” days. When days like this happen, where I say I am grumpy or cranky, I try to figure it out. Why am I cranky? Was it the day? Was it a moment? Was is something someone said or did?

Then, I remind myself – I control my day.

Okay, you can argue that hey, my boss is mean, or whatever you can think of; we can all come up with things that will impact and affect our day in a negative fashion. But, we do have the ability to make it better. It is truly how we look at things.

I came home from work, still thinking to myself you are grumpy. I had a choice to make then and there. Was my day going to continue into my night? How can I change and make the rest of my day better? I decided to do what I know always makes me feel better – go to the gym and workout. Working out for me is no longer about getting thin, or how my body looks. Working out for me has become my opportunity to think, breathe, and unwind from the day. Yoga and meditation are a beneficial part of my day as well.

After working out, and leaving the gym, my older son Jacob called to talk. Seeing his face helped me end my day on a high note, and served as a reminder of how much I really do control my day. After talking to Jacob, a couple of my girlfriends called, we made plans for the weekend and now I can say, my day is ending on a high note.

I am so glad I followed my own advice and changed the mood of my day.

So what’s your plan for your next wake-up? Make a list of things you can do to help jump start your day.

Remember you get to own and create the spirit of your day.

I wake up at 5 a.m., smile, read from a prayer book and light a candle. I enjoy starting my day with light from a candle. It is soothing and serves as a reminder that we are all bright lights in the world. Remember, you too are a bright light. We all are. Use your power and own your day.

A special thank you to Kevin Longshore for sharing his beautiful photo with me.