By making resolutions we attempt to make ourselves feel we are in control, and can decide how we will live our lives. But this week I am not feeling like I’m in the driver’s seat as a flurry of sickness and death has overshadowed the holidays.
The past week has been brutal. I’m not including my irritation at Washington over their inability to meet a deadline. As Obama said, we all have to meet deadlines in our lives and jobs, so why does Congress not honor them? I’m all for goal setting and deadlines too–that stuff we can manage, and we should do our best but….
I’m talking about health issues. I’m talking about friends and family. Has anyone noticed that bad stuff comes in waves? Once I get a piece of bad news I start bracing myself for the next two pieces of news that are sure to follow– imminently.
Shiva #1 launched my week. A friend died of a lung disease after a two-year struggle (he never smoked). As I drove home I got a call that another friend’s 94-year-old dad passed peacefully. That seemed “normal–he will be missed but it was his time. Later that week another friend’s 94-year-old father died as well. Sad to be sure, but I put that in the “normal” column as well.
Next, two people very close to me received odd blood tests and learned they have diseases, which will need to be managed (closely). Meaning of life and bucket list conversations ensued. Ok, so was that three for the week or would there be more?
My father used to say when I was full of worry, don’t bother with the small stuff–soon enough there will be something to really worry about. And that phone call came midweek.
One of my dearest friends who I had ridden the Pan Mass Challenge bike event with for the past 20 years contracted an infection on a trip to Costa Rica. (They think that’s where he got it.) Within three days after his return he was admitted to the hospital and began to go downhill from there. Five days later he died, unable to fight the infection.
I am done counting out the bad news of the week. (Like I have a choice.) I wanted to write about resolutions and what I plan for the year ahead but I am humbled and am left with the very little I can control.
I like to believe that I have control over my happiness. Shit happens and that I can’t do anything about.
But, as 2013 rolls in I am standing firm on something I can control: My Attitude!
How I receive and share, live my days and in my community is my choice. That is something I can control.
So, I created a little poster to put on my wall to remind me about what I can do for 2013.
ATTITUDE: I’M IN CHARGE OF MY HAPPINESS
Attitude is a choice. I choose to be happy and will work at finding the positive in my days.
Take a big breath before reacting/responding—put some space between myself and the issue at hand.
Think a thought that turns the corners of my mouth up not down, to lift my mood.
I think therefore I am. (Thank you Descartes.) Attitude is power.
Talk is good but word choice is key. My language choices are powerful and can alter outcomes.
Undo conflict. Find a resolution inside to make peace and forgive because it’s exhausting to carry anger.
Decide to be happy. It’s a state of mind and must be committed to daily.
Enjoy the moment right NOW. It’s what we can count on.