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How's Your Life?

Story ID:1561
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Dallas TX USA
Year:2004
Person:Alexis
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How's Your Life?

How’s Your Life?

"Out of the mouths of babes ofttimes come gems." That old quote came to mind after I read an email from my eight-year-old granddaughter. Alexis wrote to tell me about school, some new friends, and a cheerleading class she "loved." She chattered about each one and then made this statement: "I'm doing just great in my life. How about yours?"

Her words brought a smile to my face. Alexis will do all right in this world if she already recognizes that her life is a good one. Most eight-year-olds consider the positive things in life as something to be expected. I suspect she will grow up to look at a glass as half full rather than half empty.

I reflected further on her words the next few days. Was I, like Alexis, doing great in my life? I'm still happily married to the man I wed more than 40 years ago. I have two children who are independent and settled, as well as three grandchildren who light up my life more often than not. I count my many friends as a special blessing. I have reasonably good health for my age. Yes, I'm doing great in my life, and I hope I'll stay aware of that as the years march on. Don't I ever have problems? You bet I do, but I choose to dwell on the good things rather than the sad. Because I do that, my happiness quotient is a lot higher than my misery measure.

One way to keep your life a good one is to have a positive outlook. Many years ago, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale wrote a book titled The Power Of Positive Thinking. It became a bestseller, read by thousands, long before Oprah's Book Club created reader selections. The title alone offered all the advice found within the covers of the book. It obviously made an impact on me, as I retained that piece of advice and put it in practice most of the time.

Negative views create imaginary black clouds that hover above the person who carries them like heavy baggage. The more negative the outlook, the heavier that baggage becomes. Always finding the down side of life can become a habit. The "Poor Me" syndrome gains attention. This type of personality may elicit sympathy from others, but these people also risk losing friends When you host a Pity Party for yourself, you could end up being the only guest. We all prefer happy stories rather than tales of woe.

Take a look at two women and how they react to the same situation. Both Susan and Jane have been appointed to a committee to find volunteers to staff a health fair in their community.

Susan grumbles to herself all the way home from the meeting. Why should I have to do the president's job? Let her find her own volunteers! What's in it for me? I'll have to give up precious time, and I probably won't find anyone who'll say yes. I'll end up having to work three shifts at the health fair myself. By the time Susan walks into her kitchen, she's scowling and throws her purse on the table in disgust.

Jane spends her drive home from the meeting making a mental list of possible prospects. She plans to make calls right after dinner. She thinks it will be nice to have time to chat with some of these longtime acquaintances. She considers filling one of the shifts with her own name. She has been president of the organization and knows how much she appreciated willing workers, so Jane is happy to serve.

These two examples may seem like extremes, but you can reach the happy medium. No one is happy and upbeat 100% of the time, but if you strive to have that positive outlook, you'll like your life more often than not. Like my granddaughter, my life's doing great. How's yours?

Note: This essay has been published three times including MedHunters Journal, InspirEmail.com, and JustForMom.com

It was inspired by the words of my granddaughter, Alexis, who was eight at the time. She is now almost 11 and pictured above.