An Attitude of Gratitude

An early mentor was a big believer in the power of positive thinking. He’d thoroughly researched positivity, often spoke on the topic, and developed a program on the subject for the Kentucky extension service. His sage advice and practical suggestions for fostering a positive attitude have stayed with me and served me well over the years.

The glass is both half empty and half full. How you see it is a choice. Focusing on the positive (what you have) instead of the negative (what’s missing) has all kinds of benefits. The silver lining may be hard to find, but it’s always there — somewhere.

Sone find staying positive easier than others. I’m a natural. Long before learning about the gratitude attitude, Mom talked about my “bright and sunny disposition.” I have my moments — nobody is perfect — but tend to catch myself and nip it in the bud.

Journaling helps. By 1979, writing about whatever was on my mind had become a habit. Entries are typically a week or two apart — sometimes more, sometimes less. I wrote every day for several months after Andy died and have been journaling almost daily since the COVID-19 outbreak.

For too many, staying positive this year has been a tremendous challenge. By comparison, my challenges have been trivial. For whatever reason, staying home doesn’t bother me. COVID-19 is a good excuse for something I’d likely do anyway.

I’m grateful for the ability to work from home. Living alone helps. I don’t have to share internet access and can spread class stuff all over the house.

I’m grateful to be able to retire at the end of the year. The plan was to keep working for two or three more years. At this stage in life, I should have known better than to plan anything. My plans never come to be — something better comes along.

I’m especially grateful for my friends. Getting together may not be possible, but technology makes it easier than ever to stay connected. When we’re able to get together again, going through this will make us more appreciative of time together.

Most of all, I’m grateful we’re nearly 11/12’s of the way through 2020. Nobody knows what the future holds, but I’m optimistic. Happy Thanksgiving!