Friday I wrote about my trip to Georgia, and I realized after I posted that I had only included only what was positive during the trip. That’s what people usually want to read about, not necessarily a list of complaints about what went wrong, but it made me feel a little dishonest. The trip was excellent, and had very few bumps and bruises, but it did have a few. For example: just before we left, I got sick (with a cold) for the first time in at least two years. While I was gone, my husband had a rough week with our elderly dog and it worried me enough to consider coming home a day early. I got a cold sore part way through the trip, and Marianne got into some poison ivy that she’s still coping with. I tell you this to remind you (and myself) that few things are unadulteratedly perfect. Most experiences are a mix of good and bad, happy and sad, thrilling and annoying. It’s up to us to choose what to focus on. And when we choose to focus on the good, our memories usually, kindly, allow the bad to fade away.
Life isn’t all daffodils and donuts—sometimes it’s cold sores and poison ivy. So the next time you’re facing something that is not living up to your expectations or is more difficult or unpleasant than expected, there are a couple of ways to help yourself through. For instance, you can think about how you’ll enjoy having done whatever-it-is when you’re through (childbirth comes to mind here…) or how great the end result will be. (Again, childbirth comes to mind, but there are plenty of less extreme examples!)
The Georgia trip was filled by far with more delights than difficulties, but even if the balance had fallen the other way, I would have tried to look for the good. What good does it do to focus on the bad? That’s not what I want more of in my life. I much prefer the daffodils and donuts.
When you face difficulties, how do you focus on the positive?