There were several Facebook posts during the last few weeks with a picture of my kids having a fantastically fun time, and a post that includes “with Brooke.” To be clear, in many of these pictures I am not, in fact, actually with my kids at said fun experience or event. In reality, I am sitting alone in my cubicle at work, trying to keep my focus and get my work done, but often staring sadly out the window and wishing I was having fun with the family too.
Don’t get me wrong. Friends and family who post these pictures – please don’t stop! I love that I get tagged in these pictures! I want to see them, and I want the world to see how absolutely adorable my kids are!
On New Years Eve, I left my husband and the kids at my in-laws, and came home by myself so I could get a little sleep and come into work early on New Years Day. The next morning my husband shared on Facebook that he had received very little sleep because the kids were bed hogs and woke up far too early! I commented that I was fortunate to have a solid night sleep in my own bed, and my sister recognized this as an “accountant mom perk.” An exhibit of the positive side of an unpleasant situation!
I have to work a lot of overtime the next 2 months, which is not fun and easy to complain about. But this means I have a secure job where my work is valued. It is cold and dreary outside now, but that makes the warm, sunny days that much more joyful! My two-year-old can be sassy and conniving, but this means she has an independent spirit and is not afraid to let her voice be heard.
You can find the positive in anything! I recognize it is far more difficult with the severe hardships we inevitably encounter in this life. But I think that if we train ourselves to seek the positive in our everyday life experiences, it will be easier to keep a positive perspective when we face real, life-changing problems.
I will fully admit that I need more training in this ‘positive attitude’ approach than others. My husband is quick to point out those moments when I fall into the ‘glass half empty’ category. I anticipate the worst; expect things to fail. It is so easy to throw myself a pity party when I work long hours while everyone else has fun. It is SO easy to dwell in the negative!
Meanwhile, there are people in this world with unbelievable challenges who are able to maintain a positive spirit and exhibit compassion and love to all around them! We need to seek this positive spirit not only because it makes our human life more pleasant, but because God called us to live this way:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear…. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:29,31-32
God knows that it is better for us to live life with a positive attitude. God knows that it brings internal peace and can change the way we interact with other people. But we need reminders – and I personally need A LOT of reminders. So I must say it daily – or sometimes hourly or every other minute if necessary! Rejoice!!