Looking for perspective and gratefulness

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All right. I am tired of, well, of myself. My attitude.  Yes, it’s true, my life could be better.  There are certainly things I would like to be different, and lots of people in my situation would not want to be in said situation.

That being said, my life could also be worse.  Now, that in itself is sometimes not incredibly encouraging… I mean, do you tell a person with breast cancer “at least you don’t have brain cancer”?  That’d be stupid.  I mean, most of us, no matter what our situations, can find someone whose life is better and someone whose life is worse.  Because that’s just the way it is.  And, your life is your life.  I don’t think we feel all warm and fuzzy in our own disappointments and frustrations because someone else is worse off,  because we are stuck living our own.  Good or bad, our “bad” is our bad. 

But, I keep coming back to that whole ‘attitude’ thing.  I need to work on improving mine.  No matter what might – or might not – change in my life, I need to look at it differently.  Part of my life being my life means I am stuck in this one… it’s the only one I’ll get, even if I wish I could go back and make different choices and therefore be on a different path.  No matter how bad I’d like to do that, I don’t get to.  Here I am, so where do I go from here?  I don’t really believe “it’s all up to me and I can have a better life from here on out” because  1) I’m not the only one in my life.  Other people in my sphere of life make decisions that effect me, for better or for worse, and I have no control over their choices.  2) There is evil in the world – sickness of mind and of body – and that also I can’t control.  It can effect me.  So, we are back to that whole attitude thing, aren’t we? I can’t help what happens to me, to a large extent, but I can choose how I react to it.

That’s hard.  Really, really hard.  I haven’t done very well at this over the last decade or so.  To be honest, I am not sure how I can improve, or if I will.  But I am going to try.  Because the last decade hasn’t been all that enjoyable.  There have been good times, but they have been outweighed by the depression I have felt.  I want so badly to be done with that!  I deserve better!

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11 responses »

  1. My mother used to say, “Just be happy!” and sometimes you can – not always, but sometimes it is a choice. You just decide. So I wish you the best – you might just make it.

  2. It’s true that we can’t control how other people behave. It’s also true that we need to control our reactions to them and our circumstances. It is soo very hard.

  3. Anne, having been “in the toilet and circling the bowl” myself, I know how hard it is to look ahead. I did counseling for a bit. The thing that helped me most though was to start a gratitude journal. I listed 3 things each day that I was grateful for. Just 3 things everyday. And somedays I sat a while before anything came to mind. Sometimes it was simple things, like a hot cup of tea or that one of my kids smiled at me. Soon I began to have more than 3 things to be thankful for. God has given us so much. I tried to remember that as I sat in my depression. Gratitude helps the attitude. Not judging here my friend, just encouraging you to look up! Blessings to you!

      • I am doing better Anne, thanks for asking. Not every day is full of sunshine and roses in my world. I do try to see what is good and still struggle with weight and self image. But I am better!

      • I’m glad to hear you’re better… it is hard, I know. Believe me, I know! I will be praying for you – I realize one thing that’s going to help me pull out of this is to be thinking of what I can do for others instead of being so inner-focused.

  4. Anne, I have been a reader of your blog since it was featured on MSN. I’ve never posted anything to you because I felt I never had anything to add. Today, though, I feel compelled to reach out to you because I am a follower of the “it could always be worse” and “everything happens for a reason” attitude. This is how I have survived my life with a positive outlook. I had terrible things happen to me as a child that no one should endure but I rose above it and have become a successful wife/mother/professional. I have wonderful children, one of which is severely disabled. She has lived years beyond expected but her needs are overwhelming at times and have taken the “normal” out of my life, marriage and my other children’s lives. I can’t express to you how heartbreaking this is but everyday I put on a brave face and positive attitude. I know (from being told) that I am a role model to people in my community, work and family. What I have found that has helped me heal from my losses is to try to touch someone else’s life in a positive way. I have little time to share w/ others so I will often just give words of encouragement. People listen because they know what I’ve been through w/ my child. They will say “if you can do it, so can I”. You have so much to offer people. I could never imagine homeschooling my children, you’re so creative, a wonderful animal lover and I bet a great cook. Think, feel, believe positively. I love the idea of the gratitude journal and may start one myself. Don’t get me wrong, I can be a crab and feel awful about things but I keep trying. I recently saw an episode of a popular sitcom where the mom complained that her family didn’t care. She decided to “bring her best” to them everyday, hoping that they would do the same. I’m going to try this. Maybe you could too. Sorry this has been so long. Please keep blogging, I love to hear about your life. Prayers and well wishes to you!

    • Wow… to be honest, I am surprised anyone still follows my blog from the old days! I mean, besides G, ’cause she loves me… lol. (thanks, G!) Well, and Vonnie… hmm, guess I should rethink that opinion… 🙂 But, I am glad you’ve been here too, and so happy you left me a comment! You DO sound like the type of person who is indeed a role model to those around her. I would look up to you if I knew you, I am sure of it. That “normal” thing… I’ve been thinking about that idea alot, as two of my friends have been dealing with major health crisis that have completely derailed “normal life”… it’s an interesting thing to contemplate, any rate. That gratitude journal is such a small thing, but I think it’s helping – at least Kiki and I. Alan hasn’t really gotten on board yet… but I think he will eventually.
      Thanks for your comment, and I hope to see more!

  5. I completely agree that your “bad” is your “bad”, and it’s a hurdle, not a ranking system. In other words, if it’s bad, it’s bad. If it makes you feel bad, then it does. Just because someone else’s life is worse, it doesn’t make yours somehow good. Although:

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