As weird as it may sound, I’ve been told that I have the personality of a yellow lab puppy and I’m OK with it. Seriously. I think it’s a huge compliment that my husband, and a few select friends who understand the analogy, feel that my outlook on life reminds them of a yellow lab. Happy, ready to play, forgives slights (ok… I’m still working on that one), always seems to look at or for the positive? Yeah, I’ll take that one.
The first time someone commented on my general outlook on life, I was quick to downplay it. After all, it’s not “normal” for someone to always look at the positive side of things, is it? I thought that lots of people looked for the good in others… sought the happy side of things instead of focusing on the negative… but that doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s easy to see the glass as “half empty” instead of “half full”, but that is definitely not my way of seeing things. I’ve learned that I actually have to make a concerted effort to see all the negative aspects of a situation instead of making the best of whatever may come my way. Is that a bad thing? Is this a character trait or a character flaw? Why don’t more people automatically lean toward the good in their lives? Am I really so strange?
I’ll admit that there are times when I actually have to focus my attention on the positive instead of drowning in the negative. Late at night, when the house is quiet and I’m the only one left awake, my mind starts spinning webs of “bad stuff” that can be pretty negative… dragging me down… keeping me awake and spooked. It’s only with repeated practice that I can pull myself out of that hole. I count my blessings… say my prayers… and drag my sorry butt back to the happy side of life. It’s not always easy, but I much prefer to be happy than sad… to be positive than negative… to be up rather than down. It’s just in my nature.
This blog has been my way of acknowledging and counting my blessings. I may look at my life through “rose colored glasses”, but the other option just isn’t palatable to me. Whining and complaining feel like a slap in the face when I take stock of all that I have in my life. I have a husband I adore and who makes me strive to be a better person… I have two boys who are happy, healthy, and amazing young men… I am blessed with family and friends who remind me every day that I am loved… I work with some pretty fabulous and interesting people who I thoroughly enjoy… I really can’t complain about a single thing in my life. God has blessed me in so many ways… I cannot help but be grateful for every aspect of my life.
It would have been easy to become a whiner when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. My boys were only 3 & 5 years old and I was only 31 years old. It would have been so easy to complain and gripe, to bitch and moan, but where would that have gotten me? Would I have infected my sons with my negative attitude and altered who they would become? I had been blessed with an amazing and supportive husband and family who loved me, no matter what my abilities or limitations. If these were blessings, couldn’t I also turn this diagnosis into a blessing?
As weird as it may sound, my MS has indeed been a blessing to me. Because of my MS, I was forced to leave the work force but I was given the gift of time to raise my children and be a stay-at-home mom. Focusing on what I’m unable to do is unproductive… I choose to see what I am able to do and be grateful for every day. God made me… and He deserves nothing less than my praise, thanks, and gratitude for THIS life he’s given me.
So, yeah, I’ll be the “Pollyanna” any day. I’ll look on the bright side…. focus on the positive… see the good in everyone… and plan to take pictures in the rain. Don’t tell me that being compared to a dog is a bad thing… I’ll always be grateful to have a “happy yellow lab” personality. This outlook in life has gotten me pretty far and I count it as one of my greatest blessings and strengths.