I read this post on Learning From Dogs this morning and it stopped me in my tracks. Ok, it stopped me in my swivel chair, but you know what I mean. We talk about this very thing in my house quite a lot.
I am a firm believer that we should hope for the best...and prepare for the worst. Focusing on the trials and tribulations of life doesn't make them go away, it just makes them more noticeable. Focusing on the joy doesn't make the trials go away, but it sure makes the joy more noticeable. Seek and ye shall find?
My two grandmothers were polar opposites in this way. My American grandma spent her whole life focusing on what was wrong. She thought about the things she was disappointed in, the ways she didn't get what she wanted out of life. And even though she came through the depression and the war with all of her sons safe and sound, and lived the rest of her life in relative security, she was never a happy woman.
My Holland grandma had a very difficult life and faced so many hardships I couldn't begin to name them. She focused on the blessings in her life and paid as little attention to the bad stuff as possible. She lived 15 years longer than my American grandma, and lived all of her years with better mental acuity and better independent function. Could these things be related? Absolutely! Read more about how your outlook on life affects your life.
Come on, kids. We all know this. When you were laid up in the bed with chicken pox, and you couldn't go out and play, what did your Momma say? Mine told me, "OK, so you can't go out and play. But if you were well enough to go play, you'd be well enough to do your chores. Enjoy the quiet time and quit scratching."
We don't get to live a life that is free of trouble. (That would be Eden, and we blew that deal a long time ago.) What we do get is the power to choose. Free will. We have the unqualified privilege of deciding what to focus on in almost any given moment.
Here is what I'm focusing on today.
- Jim Reeves is singing "He'll Have To Go" to me. My Daddy taught me to waltz to that song and it's a cherished memory every time I hear it. Isn't music wonderful?
- I have two healthy, happy, well-balanced sons. GROWN sons. Each of them has a very nice girlfriend (one son denies that it's more than friendship, but I'm reserving judgment.) Life is good.
- My sweet hubs still makes my little heart go pitter-patter, even 25 years in. If that isn't a true blessing, I don't know what is.
- My pantry is full. My basil is growing. The freezer is full. My bed is comfy and my house is a comfortable temperature. I have great neighbors, a nice yard and a whole gaggle of neighborhood girls to fill the air with children's voices and giggling.
- I'm needed. Who would do the laundry if I weren't here?
- I'm not fat and I'm not skinny.
- I'm not young and I'm not old.
- I'm not rich and I'm not poor.
- There is plenty of work to keep me busy, and there's always tomorrow for what I can't finish today.