Well......it's August ........it's hot....and I'm adjusting to life in my new digs on the Musconetcong river. Y'know, I'm no better looking, wealthier or brighter than I was three, five, ten years ago but..... to use a term I can't hear without making a wisecrack or rolling my eyes.....I'm in a pretty "good place ." Again it comes back to attitude. Not the same kind of attitude I'd written about in an earlier entry.... the face you put out to the world. But your inner attitude. What you have to live with all day every day. How many times have you heard "stay positive, "or "look on the bright side," or the one about the"glass half full ?" Dont bring up the one about life "giving you lemons,".......that still makes me cringe. I like to keep at least one foot in the real world.
The fact is adversity is a way of life. And it's all relative. As I write this, Israeli, Iraqi and Lebanese homes have been blown apart and family members killed or maimed. American soldiers are checking into Walter Reed hospital preparing to receive artificial limbs....or.....not checking in at all. Makes that egg McMuffin that came out cold or the backup on the Garden State Parkway not seem so earth shattering.
Maybe it's that I'm getting older and all of a sudden the "light at the end of the tunnel" doesn't seem as far off as it once did, but I'll be dipped in #%&%* if I'm gonna walk around negative and depressed. Y' know people like that? Everything's someone else's fault. The world's against them. WAAAAAAAAA!!!! Who's fault is it that I'm not living in a million dollar home or driving a jag. I don't know...let me see...... uh....hmmmm.....ME!!!!!!! Not that I even crave those things...honest. Right now I'm living in a six hundred dollar a month apartment and driving a Saturn and I'm probably more content than I've ever been. It's a great pad and there's water about fifty yards away!!!!!!!
I love those positive sayings you run into. They're all true. If we could only do it. It's like losing weight. We all know how. Don't eat so much and get some exercise. Cut down on junk and bring up the fruits and vegetables. Wow...what a revelation. That'll be forty five dollars. Didn't say I could do it...but I know....we all know what to do.
I get daily life wisdom's sent to my e mail from a guy named Joel Osteen. I've mentioned him before. He's one of those Sunday preachers without the bible thumping. I'm as cynical as it gets when it comes to these guys but he's always driving home the message, stay positive, this'll be a good day ahead, let the other guy cut in front of you (I'm paraphrasing) and....say it out loud...uh....but not when anyone's around. I kind of stumbled on this philosophy a few years back and danged if it doesn't work. It doesn't have anything to do with religion but you can certainly throw that in if you'd like. When you get in your car and take off for work, or even on your way to the bathroom, just put a positive spin on what's ahead and where you are. And here's the secret. Do it everyday and do it no matter how you're feeling. Yeah....lie to yourself if you have to. Eventually a sense of calm will settle over you. It's ok to still get depressed. When I feel the blues coming on I like to relish it, wrap it around me, really feel sorry for myself...and then....let it go!!! Or try to. Not always easy. But you CAN change your attitude.......if you're aware of it. And exercise really helps. If you're a little down, take a walk for fifteen minutes, jump on a bike or stand up and do fifty jumping jacks. Ahhhh...... the endorphine rush.
Hey man, life's alway gonna try to beat you down. A year and a half ago life gave me a good ol' kick in the butt. For about two weeks I was as depressed as I've ever been. Poor, poor pitiful me. (I still have the hots for Linda Ronstadt) Then one day I just had enough, shook it of and carried on. What're you gonna do?!?! My mom had a long degenerative illness that eventually killed her. And took two of her legs in the process. She'd always laugh when people would come up to her when she was in her wheelchair and tell her how brave she was. She'd say, "Hey, what choice do I have ?" She had her depressed moments, but for the most part (I can't believe I'm gonna write this)....she made lemonade. OUCH!!!!!!
Alright, so what'd we learn here? JUST TRY IT. No matter how you're feeling tomorrow...when you're on your way to.... wherever...and before you hear the news on the radio...just just tell yourself...out loud......... how lucky you are for____________, what a good day this is gonna be, how youre're gonna cut the other guy some slack and..... keep smiling. The shrinks are saying that just the act of a smile sends a positive signal to your brain. Or maybe I made that up. I don't remember. But y'know what... it's contagious. Try this everyday for a month. At least people might think you're really weird. And that alone is worth the price of admission.
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