Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Postive Me

My Meals On Wheels partner is 82 years old.  Age has slowed her down a bit, but she remains mobile and gentle in spirit, passing out hugs freely whether requested or not.  Two days a week she delivers meals to people as much as 20 years younger than herself.  Each time she gets back in the car after dropping off a meal she updates me on each client and let's me know how they're doing.  Today Roxy was showing a lot of signs of dementia, acting confused and disoriented.  Manuel could barely make it to the door to get his meal.

I usually have the kids with me while delivering, but the last 3 weeks for one reason or another, I've been by myself while they're off at a playdate, VBS or Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Anyhow, it's given Carmen and I a chance to talk more without the constant interruptions of the kids asking for another snack or to use my phone to play Angry Birds.  Each week we open up a little bit more to each other.  Today out of the blue I asked her "Carmen, why do you think you've been able to stay so healthy at your age?"

Without a single hesitation she answered me with this: "A positive attitude."  Not regular exercise, not healthy eating or a glass of red wine every night or even a healthy sex life, although I'm sure that helps ;)  It was simply a positive attitude.

"Crap, if that's the case then I'll be dead by 60" is what I immediately thought.  You see, I'm not the most positive person.  I am a glass half empty, cynical type of girl and it sucks, plain and simple.  I internalize a lot of my negativity because I know it's not healthy, and who wants to be around a doomsday type of gal all the time?  But some days, thank goodness not everyday, the negative thoughts and feelings can really weigh me down.

I now can see clear as day when I am putting a negative spin on things but somehow after so many years it's so hard wired into me that it's hard to stop, even when I recognize it.  I used to say I worried and fretted about things as a way to control situations and get a positive outcome, but I know now that it's a bunch of BS and a very screwy way to achieve a good end result.  My mother and father are the same way and I'm not sure if all this negativity is just a result of crappy DNA or dysfunctional childhoods.  Either way, I know it's got to stop or I will send myself to an early grave, I have no doubt. 

So right now, I pledge for myself, my family and my God that I will start to think more positively, by looking at a few situations that have been going on lately that have been getting me down.

-Soccer season commencing - Negative attitude me is dreading twice a week practices and having our Saturdays occupied with games.  Positive attitude me looks at this as a great opportunity for the kids to learn team unity, a new sport and to stay active.  Plus, we're giving them opportunities we never had when we were young.

-Lack of time lately due to summer vacation to work on my own interests and projects: Negative attitude me feels resentful of my lack of free time.  Positive attitude me feels happy that I have this time to reconnect and bond with my kids now that they are home.  But next summer, I will think about enrolling them in a couple of more camps ;)

Okay, so there we have it.  Right now this all feels very much just like talk, but hopefully if I practice spinning negative thoughts into positive thoughts, it will eventually come more natural to me.  So are you a glass is half empty or half full type of person?  Luckily I'm married to a glass is half full man, so he often helps to turn my thoughts around and shows me the positive in things.  I'd like to eventually be able to do that on my own though...wish me luck!


  1. love that you and the hubs balance each other out. that's good. that's how we are too, except i'm the glass is half full girl. you should join my side. :) it's more fun over here, even if we are slightly deluded.

  2. I'm secretly dreading soccer, too! Those Saturdays! Even worse (shame on me for thinking this) it's x2 this year because Nico is now in soccer. Ugh.

  3. I love the sign on the top left. That is for me. I am a negative thinker by nature...always have been. I have to really try to be positive and less anxious about things. And don't worry about soccer; I'm pretty sure most of us feel the same way!

  4. I tend to be this way a lot. So much so that if I find myself happy and not worrying...I panic! Crazy right? I def think it comes from my upbringing. Thank goodness my husband is pretty positive and easy going. He really helps keep me calm. We start soccer soon too! My son loves it but it is hectic and with school it's even more so!

  5. Your attitude will follow your actions. So even if they are just words, eventually you'll believe them. I had the same realization last week. Its a constant re-adjustment.

  6. Great reminder. I wish you the best of luck! Aren't older people SO smart? We have a LOT to learn along the way. XO

  7. luck! i'm a half-full kind of girl myself. not intentionally it just ends up that my glasses are generally rose colored and things are cheery. there are things that do get me down & somedays are a STRUGGLE but somehow, someway there has to be a silver lining. my gramma taught me that - its much easier to be positive than negative.
    it also helps that i majored in PR in college and basically have a degree in positive spinning.
    I'm sure in time you will turn things around and if not- at least you have a positive hubby to balance you out!

  8. oh, i've definitely been working on this lately. i've always considered myself a pretty positive person, but lately? not so much. i've got to snap out of it, because i think it really takes a toll on my relationships and my overall outlook... thanks for the reminder. :) (And i especially like the idea of turning negatives into positives... definitely a trick i'm going to try!)

  9. i'm loving this post, andrea! such a great perspective. press on with the sunny! xo



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