Living on the bright side
Jan. 19, 2015
by Jenni Sebora

Everyone should have something to look forward to each day, no matter how trivial or small they may think it is.

I love my job, but as with all jobs, there are some things that I am responsible for that are definitely not my favorite (paperwork); and with most jobs, especially those in which you deal with children of all ages, I can be emotionally drained by the end of the day.

Each morning, as I am driving to work, I think of something that I will do after work that is fun or relaxing, or just something to look forward to. Sometimes it is to read another chapter in a novel, a bath with a candle and music, a television show, attending my daughter’s game, a walk, attending my son’s concert, a “free night” at home, or planning a vacation.

Sometimes, as my 14-year-old daughter proclaimed, “Life can be hard.”

This is true. She is so right. So, sometimes just having that one thing to look forward to for that day can really help with those times when “life is hard.” It’s almost like a coping mechanism.

We know, and studies have proven, that living life on the more positive side brings us greater happiness.

It makes sense. We know that there will be struggles, but living with the “glass half full mentality” sure is the better way to live. It helps us be more resilient, and helps keep things in perspective, too.

Sometimes, some things we see as struggles or difficulties don’t necessarily always have to be that way, if we look at the situation differently.

Attitude is a choice; however, it can be hard. Sometimes, just being crabby is called for. That is when I put on my “crabby robe,” to let my children know that I have made a choice to be crabby, and they may want to avoid me for a while, until I have changed my attire. Darn robe. This just can’t be my choice most of the time.

I got one of the biggest compliments from my in-laws over the holidays, and they didn’t even know they complimented me.

Almost every year, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my husband, our children, and I travel to my husband’s sister’s house in Wisconsin. We celebrate the holidays with his siblings and their families at this time.

This family celebration is something we all look forward to. My husband has a wonderful family. I really do love my in-laws. They are fun, funny, creative, caring, open-minded, and just plain nice people.

We never really worry about what we are going to eat; we just enjoy each other’s company. We may go bowling, or play a game that always involves humor, and we always go for a family walk, no matter the temperature. We come prepared, or we borrow warm clothing.

This year, I could not go because I had some other church and civic responsibilities I had to attend.

My husband conveyed this information to my sister, and my sister relayed to my husband that they would really miss me and my presence, as I was always very lighthearted and fun.

Of course, my husband passed this comment on to me, and that was the best holiday gift I received.

I do try to live by the philosophy of “don’t sweat the small stuff, most of it is small stuff,” and that is true.

Of course, there really are challenges, hurt, and pain in life, but how we choose to respond and how we deal with it can make a difference in how long the pain or disappointment may last, and how we recover from it.

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