I am often amazed at how much negativity that a person can encounter on a daily basis.
Even other parents I know seem to just have this attitude that the world sucks, people are horrible and the future is bleak for their children.
Every day, there are things that make you angry, frustrated or even envious:
- I wish I didn’t have to work.
- Paying so much on my mortgage is ridiculous.
- I wish I could afford to go on vacation like all my friends on Facebook.
- I hate that guy that just cut me off.
- I hate that woman who didn’t hold the door for me.
- The line at the bank was too long.
- There’s that person that annoys you.
- There’s that guy that seems to have such a perfect life. I hate him.
- So-and-so has a boyfriend, why do I have to be single?
- Why can’t I have this?
- Why am I stuck here?
- I hate this weather.
It’s soooo easy to be mad at everybody and everything. It’s so easy to focus on what you don’t have instead of what you do have.
But I’m trying to work on positivity. It’s really hard. I’ve discovered that it’s so much easier to complain than to rise above.
But it’s not about me anymore.
I think to make a positive impact with your life, you need to be someone who can rise about the negativity. No matter what you face.
Now, I have these two beautiful little lives that I am responsible for in terms of developing manners, morals, feelings of self-worth, civic responsibility, respect, working hard and, most of all, how to be happy.
Happy. I want my boys to be happy.
How on earth do I accomplish that?
I know people who are beyond bubbly and optimistic. Those are people who become motivational speakers or kindergarten teachers. That’s not really my personality.
But I’ve seen so many people rise above incredible tragedy and heartache. I am inspired by them and then also equally intrigued by those who need encouragement to get over something that may seem small to the rest of the world.
I happen to be someone who has seen family tragedy and depression. I know this isn’t a simple “turn your smile upside down” joke. This is hard. And much harder for some than others. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, it’s just that sometimes, it takes therapy and sometimes you might need a little Zoloft.
But I think that as parents, we have an obligation to try to give our kids a chance to embrace and strive for a positive outlook.
My challenge for everyone is to do a “happy thing” at least once (or 2x or 20x) a week with your kids.
Find what makes you happy, what puts a smile on your face and spend more time on it every week.
If it’s walking in the woods, going to the park, biking, painting, bowling, fishing, reading, kayaking, dancing, singing, building homes for Habitat for Humanity, working at a soup kitchen, jumping in the leaves, playing in the puddles, whatever.
Go do it.
And bring your kids.
Let them see you smile, laugh, and enjoy what it is that brings you happiness.