Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Abraham Lincoln
I know from experience this is true. In the past, I spent lots of time thinking about the negatives in my life. I was so serious about all that was bad that I rarely thought about what was good. What a waste of energy!
It took me some time and hard lessons to learn that being sad and unhappy was how I chose to live, and it didn’t have to be that way. My attitude and perspective needed to be changed. What I thought and how I looked at life was wrong.
I am not a Pollyanna type of person who only sees the good. I know there is bad stuff happening out there. But I have a choice about how I deal with it. I can focus on the ugly things I can’t change and complain about them and be unhappy. Or I can look for the good that may not be easy to see but worth the effort to find it.
I now choose to look at life positively. In the world today, it isn’t always easy to find the good. Sometimes we have to pull out the weeds to see the flowers. It does take a bit of effort but is worth the work.
“Sometimes when things are falling apart,
they may actually be falling into place.” Unknown
Often life is difficult, everything seems to be wrong and bad, nothing right. We ask ourselves why is this happening to me? How could I have prevented this awful thing? There is nothing I can do! Our attitude is completely negative and we begin to feel sorry for ourselves. We look at life with the perspective of tunnel vision rather than a panoramic view. We wonder why there is no sunshine only clouds. We feel like troubles are raining down and we fear we will drown.
Perhaps we are meant to see these times not as wrong or bad but as times of change. Yes, change is often difficult and frightening. Sometimes change seems overwhelming. We may feel incompetent and inadequate, unable to meet life’s challenges. However, if we can see these troubles raining down on us not to drown us but to prepare us for the good that is to come then we can overcome the fear and move forward. Forward, out of the dark clouds and rain into the sunshine and blue skies. Forward, out of fear and doubt into contentment and peace of mind.
Today I realized something. I think police and doctors probably are pretty good at determining the true age of people but the average person—not so much. How old you look to the average person seems to depend on how old they are.
This realization came to me when I was at a local health food store getting my favorite Chai tea, that I can find only at this particular store, and my cat’s favorite kitty litter. Yes, the cat is not only picky about the food she eats but has a brand of litter she prefers. Back to the age thing…
I was checking out and chatting with the cashier (who was a “mature woman” but not “old”) about the litter, her cats like it too and it’s earth friendly, I wasn’t paying attention to the total of my bill. When she told me the amount I asked if that included my senior discount. With some surprise she said, “you are a senior”? And I said, with some amusement, “yes, for a while now”. She told me how great I look and what was my secret and all that, which was very nice and made me happy.
It also made me think about all the other times I have been to this store and young people have cashiered and they just give me the discount without hesitation. They know I am a senior because I am probably older than their mother. To them I am old because they are young. To the older cahier I am, if not young, not yet old because she is near my age.
Perspective is an interesting thing.
So far I have no problem with my age. I am looking forward to being really old. Old people are like little kids—they can be cranky and act up a bit and say outrageous things and get away with it—you know it’s true.
I will have a problem with my age when people start telling me to go to my room or that it’s bedtime or to eat my vegetables. The people who start that with me will also have problems—I intend to be a really crotchety old lady someday.