Soul-Wise Living
Soul-Wise Living

How to Turn a Bittersweet Moment Around

Bittersweet Moments. They happen throughout life.

Bittersweet Moments happen all the time but particularly at meaningful events ~ events that have beginnings and ends to them. Weddings. Funerals. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Graduations. Times of nostalgia ~ Even Vacations.  It’s important to stay focused on the joy of the moment in order to turn a bittersweet moment around

Let me share a bittersweet moment I had this week with you to show you how to turn it around. 



I spent two days with my 85 year old Dad closing down our summer cottage that we’ve had since I was in elementary school. When we close the house down for the winter, it’s typically a cold, windy fall day. It doesn’t have any of the warm sun filled energy of a summer lake day. It’s a day filled with chores~ putting canoes and kayaks away, storing the outdoor furniture where it can be safe from the weather, cleaning the refrigerator out etc. It’s a race to get it all these chores done before the sun sets early from the sky. It’s always bittersweet. 

It was harder this year than ever before as we were driving out the driveway when my Dad said “I wonder if this will be the last time I see this place.”  If that doesn’t tug at a daughter’s heartstrings, I don’t know what will!  The conversation turned to my mom’s love for the cottage and the care she devoted to it when she was raising us on the lakefront shores during the summers ~ oh the stories I could tell! How to turn this very bittersweet moment around? That was the question. 


Since we were on the topic of childhood memories, I  immediately recalled one of my most favorite sayings: Don’t Cry Because It’s Over. Smile Because it Happened by Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss always makes me laugh. I went from this saying to reciting one of my favorite books: “Oh the places you will go.” that I so enjoyed reading to my nieces.

 Having Triggers like this for you to turn to is EXACTLY how to turn a bittersweet moment around. 

And So, I turned to this expression:
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

The bittersweet moment was taken in. Appreciated and turned around for I am off and away. I turned the ride with my Dad into a memory of laughter and giggles, philosophy and a memory that I will always have. And,  I returned home with new vigor for the upcoming joy I will have with my clients, my family and my friends. I am, indeed,  off to great places! How about you?

How do you turn a bittersweet moment all the way around~ what triggers do you use that allow you to take it in, appreciate it and turn it around? And what Great places are you indeed off to? And most importantly, how can I support you in those dreams? 

If you liked this post, please share it with your friends by clicking the links below! And, don’t forget to share your thoughts below too, I’d love to hear from you!


  1. Hi Laura – thanks so much for this post. It’s been a few weeks of bittersweet moments for me. But for every sad thing I’ve heard or experienced, there has been a moment of laughter and joy (not always in the same experience, but there all the same). For me, it’s a lesson in the impermanence of everything. I’m adjusting priorities this week and for the near future to (hopefully) capture the moments I most need. Hugs!

    Comment by Barbara — October 29, 2013 @ 7:59 am

  2. Barbara ~ capturing the moments and allowing the joy in always is such a great lesson too. Sending you much love. xxoo

    Comment by Laura Clark — October 29, 2013 @ 10:21 am

  3. Tomorrow is the 17th anniversary of my Dad’s passing, and he died the day before his birthday. So for years this has been a bittersweet week for me. I love to remember all the things we laughed about through the years. As you said, looking for joy and happiness is the answer. I used to wallow in my sadness, but a few years ago I decided that’s not how I want to remember my Dad, and feeling sad is such an energy drain. It took a bit of catching myself, and I’m still quiet around this time of year. But quietly joy filled. Now I have to figure out how to deal at Christmas since my Mom passed away last year a few days before. Perhaps I’ll go through all of my old childhood photos and look at our smiling faces.

    Comment by Pam Norton — October 29, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

  4. Pam ~ that sounds like such a lovely idea!!! Smiling faces always bring joy ~ and surround yourself with that too ~ it may create smiles through the tears. Let me know if you need any support. xxoo

    Comment by Laura Clark — October 29, 2013 @ 8:00 pm

  5. Thank you Laura; what a moving and powerful lesson!

    Comment by Terry Nicholetti — October 29, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

  6. You’re welcome Terry! Glad it was able to provide support. xxoo

    Comment by Laura Clark — October 30, 2013 @ 5:57 am

  7. What a lovely story to impart such a deep truth! Thank you for sharing the experience.

    Comment by Lilia Lee — October 31, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

  8. I’m glad you in-joyed it, Lilia! KEEP SMILING 🙂

    Comment by Laura Clark — October 31, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

  9. Laura – I just want to say “thank you”. This was a beautiful piece! It’s a philosophy I try to adopt. Be present and be appreciative for the moment you have. We can always “what if” and worry what tomorrow has in store, but in doing that – we miss the beauty of the moment we have in front of us right now!

    Comment by Alyssa Johnson — November 2, 2013 @ 8:15 am

  10. Being in the moment is so important YES!! You are so right Thank you for your thoughts, Alyssa!

    Comment by Laura Clark — November 2, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

  11. Laura, you have such a way with words. I can’t wait to share this with my sisters as we all begin to gather our thoughts about ways to celebrate our father’s 80th birthday by memorializing the places (not lakes, but oceans 🙂 that were such an important part of his childhood and ours.
    Thank you- as always.

    Comment by Rebekah — November 2, 2013 @ 1:27 pm

  12. Oh what a wonderful idea ~ and it’s okay that you love ocean energy ~ remember, I do LOVE the lake but live closer to the ocean 😉 HUGS!

    Comment by Laura Clark — November 2, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

  13. Laura – your support and wisdom is everywhere. As my Dad’s birthday approaches, and he is no longer here for me to share the day with – I will smile, think of this story, and your photo above, then I will SMILE as I recall many amazing days with my Dad. Thank you!

    Comment by Cindy — November 3, 2013 @ 7:49 am

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