Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Our attitude determines so much!

Good morning. I don’t think there could be more appropriate words for me today than those expressed on that clip art, “A bad attitude is like a flat tire; you can’t go anywhere until you change it.”  My day got off to a rough start today, but for really no particular reason. I woke up very early (2:45 a.m.) as usual to a nice cool breeze blowing through the window. I was actually feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. The coffee was already made and I sat down in the lazy boy for some quiet time.  However, it seemed like things went downhill from there, and one irritation after another threatened to ruin my day. The little, dumb things, you know….like the internet going out; the cellphone not getting a signal so I couldn’t listen to the voicemail that came in; the cat bugging me and causing me to lose some information that I had typed; and so forth. Try as I may, these little annoyances kept creeping in and little by little, I found my peaceful and joyful spirit slowly turning into one of irritation. It continued on for the next two hours….the sink wouldn’t drain; I dropped a carton of yogurt on my foot causing it so splatter all over the rug AND my leg; I couldn’t find something I needed; and then I went out to get the garbage from the garage and I noticed that there was water running over the side of the pool, apparently because of the heavy rain last night and yet another leak somewhere in the top ring.  Sigh….I guess it’s going to be “one of those days”…….or is it?

I am a firm believer that our ATTITUDE and our thoughts can determine the outcome of our day.  How we THINK determines how we ACT and BEHAVE, which in turn, determines the results.  I knew right then and there that the day was off to a bad start and something needed to change or the entire day would be a struggle, and that certainly wasn’t in my plans for the day. I have a speaking engagement this afternoon and an icky attitude is contagious and I surely don’t want to spread my irritability with my co-workers, friends, or anyone I come in contact with this day.  And so…. I recognized that…and did what always works for me: I prayed and I began to give thanks: Thanks to God that the weather last night didn’t damage anything more serious than to play havoc on the internet and cellphone signal; Thanks that I have water in the first place when so many in this world do not  and that I was able to unplug the sink simply by pulling the spoon out of the drain that had accidentally fallen down there; Thanks that I discovered the Strawberry Cheesecake yogurt that I really like and only has 80 calories and that it hit my bare leg and NOT my favorite blue shoes; thanks that I discovered the pool issue before the ENTIRE pool caved in AND that the heavy rain means I don’t have to water my gardens tonight giving me an hour to take a bike ride; and mostly, Thanks that God gives us chances to START ALL OVER each day….multiple times each day….even several hours into the day! 

And you know what????? It wasn’t very long before I could feel my tension lift; my irritability turn to peacefulness; and the drained, stressed expression on my face replaced with a smile. It’s all about our attitude……not only in the day-to-day things that we must do….but in our efforts to change our life. If we approach our journey with a bad attitude… of defeat (I’m just going to gain it all back anyway….I’ve only EVER been able to go 3 days without a cigarette….I’ll never be able to stick to it); deprivation (Why am I the only one NOT eating birthday cake….Just one Margarita won’t hurt….It’s not fair that I got the FAT genes);  fear (What if I can’t do it…..what if I fail AGAIN….what if I NEVER reach my goal) or doubt (I can’t possibly lose 50 pounds; it’s too much….I’ve tried over and over and I never could stick to it….I know I’ll just give up in a few weeks so why don’t I just eat that cheeseburger and forget about it?) we will NEVER succeed.

 Perhaps….a better approach would be, “Thank you, God….for loving me in spite of my weaknesses and flaws, for winning this battle already on the cross so that I may be free from all that weighs me down, for assuring me that YOU are with me always and that I don’t have to do this alone, for being strong when I am weak, and mostly, for forgiving me when I fail to recognize how abundantly blessed I am and give in to the annoyances that threaten my joy.”   It works for me every time!  Hopefully, your day started out better than mine, but if it didn’t, “It’s not too late to turn it around. That goes for eating a donut or cookies for breakfast too. Start over….right now!!!!”  MAKE it a good day today!