If You Don’t Like It, Change It!

Bill Stimpson & Michelle Stimpson_Mississippi River

This morning I woke up agitated for no particular reason. It was a beautiful sunny spring morning and the birds were singing. I had a great night’s sleep. It was Saturday. I have an amazing life. What more could I want?! Regardless, something was bugging me. Nothing special came to mind; it was just a rare mood I happened to be in.

So poor Bill woke up with a perma-smile as he usually does. We had our breakfast together in our usual spot, but we were having trouble connecting (of course we were, because I was in a “mood”!). Whatever he would say, I didn’t understand. Whatever I would say, he didn’t get.

Not connecting

We proceeded to go upstairs to get ready for the day ahead. And then I laid it on him: “I don’t like how our morning is going” and “I don’t like the way we’re connecting.”

Now, I did feel a little silly for saying that because we both knew that I was basically the reason for the disconnect between us! The two of us have this crazy relationship where 99% of the time we’re on the same page with everything and we get along phenomenally! In fact, we love being together 24/7 and still—after 18 years together—can’t seem to get enough of each other.

After my announcement, I figured we’d sit down, hopefully analyze what was bothering me, and figure out a solution to help me move ahead. I wanted to talk it out. That was me, getting stuck in my head.

Instead, though, in response to my “I don’t like how our morning is going,” Bill raced over to me with a big smile and said, “Then let’s change it!” He reached over and pushed the “On” button on our clock radio and started dancing his butt off, with over-exaggerated moves.

He got in my face and said, “Come on, let’s dance!”, looking goofier than ever.

Thankfully, a great, rockin’ song came on; one of those that you just can’t help but move to. I tried not to smile (after all, you’re not supposed to smile when you’re in a bad mood), but I ended up laughing because Bill looked funny—he hadn’t gotten in the shower yet, so his ready-for-a-haircut-hair was messy and he was wearing an old Miller Lite t-shirt and boxers. Even though I wanted to smile, I wasn’t ready to give in and dance.

But Bill kept up his crazy moves, circling all around me, not giving up until I joined in.

Turning things around

So I caved and busted a move.

That moment took away all my agitation. It took away my need to talk, analyze, and figure things out. It brought me out of my head and into my heart. It helped me engage and participate in the beautiful morning that was upon us; it would have been a shame to let it slip by.

From the observer’s perspective, I’m sure we looked ridiculous. And just to be fair, I should mention that my hair was messier than Bill’s and I was wearing my XXL Who concert t-shirt, big enough to be a dress, and fluffy yellow socks. Quite the dancing duo!

It’s easy to overcomplicate life and try to figure it all out. And not everything needs to be analyzed or picked apart anyway. Besides, there isn’t always an answer.

Make the proactive choice for change

Life is short. So handle what’s bugging you, change what you don’t like, enjoy a sunny day, get on the dance floor when you hear music (the photo at the top is of Bill whistling his own tunes and forcing me to “tango” at the headwaters of the Mississippi River).

Following your joy doesn’t need to be a big to-do. You don’t always have to prepare for it or dress up for it. It can be embraced, spur-of-the-moment, as a joyful “come as you are” party. I’m a big planner, and this moment with Bill was another reminder to me of the power in following the joy of the moment.

So I’m sticking with Bill’s simple philosophy that if you don’t like something, “Change it!” Cheers to my wise, fun, and life-loving hubby. Oh and by the way, it’s our 16th anniversary this week. I picked out a good guy, and I think I hit the jackpot…don’t you?

Note: Think Bill’s cool? Check this out!

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17 Responses to “If You Don’t Like It, Change It!”

  • Robin says:

    Such a fabulous blog! I was beginning to wonder if you ever did get a bad mood… What a smart and amazing one that Bill is. A friend of mine once told me that she told her husband if she was ever being crabby to come over and kiss her forehead because she knew it would make everything all better. The hardest part is that’s the LAST thing anyone wants to do when a person is giving off negative energy. They want to do something negative back! So we can all learn to treat the other people in our lives when they are in a “bad way” with a loving response and teach them to do it with us, all would be right again.

  • I love Bill’s tenacity, I love Miller Lite, and I LOVE YOU! Happy day!

  • Cindy Lopez says:

    What a great story about just giving in! I love it! I definitely think you picked the right guy. Here’s to another 16 years!

  • Jane says:

    By the time I got to the fluffy yellow socks I was laughing! You got me to twirl in my chair in between writing! Here’s to a happy anniversary guys!! Love you!

  • Sarah says:

    Sooooo, I just spent 10 wonderful minutes with a big grin on my face!!! What wonderful stories and how uplifting! I just had to tell you that you are a magnificent writer and story teller. You and Bill are so lucky to have found each other. I hope to be able to find even a small piece of that love someday. Thanks for starting my day out with a BIG GRIN!!!!

  • @ Robin: Thanks! Funny, I actually appreciated publishing this post because often times people will ask me if I ever get in a bad mood! And because I’m human, of course I do. :) Like you said, negative energy usually begets more negative energy, so that’s why I felt compelled to write about this experience because Bill shows that positive energy always wins out (just like a candle snuffs out the darkness). Thanks for joining in the conversation!

    @ Jen: :)!

    @ Cindy: Thank you! And yeah, it is about “giving in”…no reason to stay stubborn. Life is too short!

    @ Jane: I’m smiling now thinking of you laughing and twirling–glad you enjoyed! And by the way, those yellow socks were from you. :)

    @ Sarah: Wow, what a day-brightener! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and for the ‘thumbs-up’ on my writing and story-telling…that certainly feels good! Yes, Bill and I are incredibly blessed. My wish for you is that you get to experience that richness in a relationship, because you are an amazing woman who is a pure delight to be around. Sending love!

  • Debbie says:

    LOVED the story! So true so true!! I need to do some dancing :)

  • Sharon says:

    I LOVE that story!! yes, you certainly did hit the jackpot!! xoxo

  • Char says:

    BIG SMILE on my face as I read and pictured Bill doing the dance to move you! Yes my dear you did get a good one and so did he!! Happy 16th Anniversary in a few days!!


  • Rochelle says:

    I can certainly picture Bill doing the groove. What also makes me belly laugh is the oldie you have posted on Facebook – Bill all decked out in the Nerd Halloween outfit. It was so realistic of his playful side!!! And, Mike and I never will forget seeing you two in person trick or treating at our door! That event could make anyone’s undecided mood change to 100% happy!! Great blog… Your silly old Auntie who loves you.

  • Cindy D says:

    Michelle: I went from smiling to laughing to crying…smiling and laughing at the sheer joy of the day and crying as if I was watching a love story unfold. You both are fabulous and I love being a spectator to your life through your blog. You lift me up and offer such perfect, positive perspective.

  • @ Debbie & Sharon: Thanks so much for reading…and so glad you liked the story!

    @ Char: Happy to have brought a smile to your face, too! Thanks, as always, for being here. :)

    @ Rochelle: Great case-in-point for how Bill is like this–consistently! Probably one of the big things that attracted me to him…he is a nut. Thank you for cheering us on as you have from day one! Love you back!

    @ Cindy: Wow, your eloquent words really took me aback. Such depth in your thoughts, and I so appreciate you taking the time to share your heart with me. Just reading your comment reminds me that it’s important to keep writing and doing what I’m doing. Thank you for that. I certainly feel your love as a spectator, cheering us on. Much gratitude to you! :)

  • Cindy says:

    I have to say this is one of the best entries I’ve read from you. Why? because it showed that even you can wake in a “mood” like the rest of us :-). Thank you – what a great solution too! Happy Anniversary!

  • I enjoyed this story a lot. It reminded me not only about how we can all choose our mood for the day but also was a great case-study of how we can influence the moods of those around us. Thankfully, happiness appears to be contagious!

  • @ Cindy: Thanks! It’s fun to see that readers are really enjoying knowing that I occasionally get in a ‘mood,’ too. Glad I can enlighten everyone with my rare mishap! :)

    @ Happiness and Wisdom: Welcome to the blog, and I see that you also added me to the blogroll on your site–thanks so much! Love that you said “happiness appears to be contagious”. It’s certainly an easy formula to spread cheer, huh? Thank you for reading and commenting, and I’m glad to have you here!

  • Robin says:

    Music is good for the soul! Sometimes we all wake up on the wrong side of the bed, the next time I do I will try to get up and bust a move!! Happy Anniversary!!

  • Kelly says:

    With an odd moment to myself, I clicked on an email that I thought was current, and it was from May, which helped me see your post on linkedin. So here I was thinking… I’ll take a look. You two are so cute and I completely relate to that time when you can be “Stuck” and you want to analyze why you are there..(Hey, that’s what you and I do for a living right?). But in the end, the best days are when (usually it’s the kids) someone does or says something completely funny or silly. For instance, how can you not laugh when your 2 1/2 year old son quotes Samuel L Jackson in The Incredibles “Honey, Where is my SuperSuit?” (with tone and inflection to a tee? Out of NO where?) It’s a true delight and an absoute sign to SAVOR the moment. Something I am trying SUPER hard to do more every day. Thank you for putting this post up- even if it took me a few months to see it, it is still very relevant!

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Michelle Stimpson: Editor/Writer

Michelle Stimpson Hi and thanks for visiting - so glad you're here! This blog is especially for cool people who want to experience joy and live a life of purpose. Welcome!

Here you'll find great stories that will inspire you and remind you that life is good, and there's an abundance of joy all around us. Simply put: When you follow the things in life that make you come alive and bring you joy...the magic begins to unfold.

Start by checking out the "Best Of" page and be sure to consider subscribing above. Thank you and cheers to joy!

Michelle Joy Stimpson
Executive Editor & Writer
Life Coach, LifeShine

Bill Stimpson: Partner-In-Crime

Bill Stimpson Hi! Not only will you see me “show up” in many of Michelle’s stories and posts here, but I also serve as Michelle’s editor, helping her clarify intentions and make her posts shine.

One of the great joys in my life is being involved with this blog! It’s a constant reminder for me to focus on the things that bring me joy. It also feels great to be sharing so many of these joys with you - in hopes that you, too, will find ways to focus on your own joyful experiences.

Here's to an abundance of joy in your life!

Bill Stimpson
Hubby & Associate Editor

The Parent Company

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