Monday, May 13, 2013

Seeing the Positive

I am generally a positive person.  I thought I better get that out there right from the beginning because I can hear my mom saying, "Not everyone is like you, Dana"!  BUT, even if you don't naturally look to the bright side, I believe that everyone can train themselves to stop focusing so much on the negative. 

This idea first came into my mind last week when we were still enjoying nice weather (we are now back into the 30's and frost warnings).  I was taking general pictures of our yard and realized that I might be able to get several of my favorite things in one picture.  Here it is:

It is hard to make everything out because it is still early in the year and it is not a very good picture but it contains:
  • Stepping stone made by our old neighbor
  • Soon to be blooming rose I received for Mother's Day a few years back
  • Buddha who we stumbled across on a different Mother's Day after searching for years
  • The very bottom of a hummingbird feeder
  • The pots that will soon hold my herbs
  • Waterfall
So many of my favorite things are right in that one corner of the yard.  When I looked closer at the picture I also noticed other not so beautiful things such as:
  • Garden hose and exposed pond tubing
  • The unfinished porch
  • My husband's old bowling balls that he keeps trying to insist are art
The important thing is that when I was standing outside taking pictures, I didn't even see those ugly things.

A similar situation came up the next day when I was sitting on our porch relaxing (this is actually what I was doing a few weeks ago when I came up with "Pondering Happiness").  I was listening to the birds and the waterfall and I noticed that you could really smell the lilacs.  When I really started to pay attention to the sounds, I noticed there was also the constant sound of traffic, garbage trucks, sirens, and a dog barking.

The important thing is to find the good, happy, beautiful things.  Even if they aren't what you notice first, train yourself to quit focusing on that barking dog and hear the birds instead.

I use this all the time, especially lately.  When I'm frustrated about not having a job, I think of all the things I've been able to do with my time off.  Of course that means I actually have to do something with my time, not sit around feeling sorry for myself!

I recently received an e-mail from a friend who is also out of work.  She had asked how I was staying motivated in the job search.  I ended that e-mail with "Whenever I get frustrated or overwhelmed I just think, this is life.  Every little moment.  You can enjoy it or not.  Why waste it being miserable, sad, depressed, overwhelmed, etc?"  I prefer to be happy and content. 

Here are a couple better pictures:

On a side note, I've decided to use my twitter account to record my workouts.  I thought that would be extra motivation to exercise daily!