Saturday, April 23, 2011

Finding the Positive

Ace and I are trying to focus on things we can be thankful for and things that are positive about our current situation. Sometimes it's a struggle, as we seem to be the sane people in this house.

We keep catching ourselves complaining about various injustices or venting frustrations. And while it's better that we aren't just letting all this anger and annoyance grow unabated, it's not good to only focus on the negatives. That way leads to depression and bad things emotionally.

Of course, my in-laws don't always make it easy to focus on the positives. They feel a need to "helpfully" remind us of things that are fairly negative or they choose the worst possible moment to demand that their "needs" are met (the amount they help us or that their needs are truly important seems to be directly inverse to how much stress they cause or how bad the timing is for us). It's hard to be thankful for the bed you sleep in or the food you eat when the people responsible for them don't seem to care about anything but themselves.

But we do have a fairly comfortable, temperature controlled environment to live in. We do get food provided for us (even if it isn't what we would normally choose). Our car had a heater for the worst part of this past winter (since it was fixed, the heater is not working again, but the solution is hopefully the same one as last time and should be simple to fix when we get it fixed again) and our blinkers are still working fine. We have the ability to get our clothes clean without having to pay for anything. We get taken out to meals we don't have to pay for twice a week most weeks. Because we don't have as many expenses, we have been able to replace both our computers within a fairly short time frame.

We are blessed. I know there are people out there who would love to have even a fraction of the blessings we have (food, shelter, over-all good health). I know this. It doesn't always make it easier to focus on the positives. It's easier to see the negatives, especially when living with people who focus on the negatives most of the time.

It's easy to let the frustrations overwhelm the positives. It's easy to imagine ranting at my brother-in-law for leaving the toilet seat up or tossing all my mother-in-law's "precious" junk. It's easy complain that my mother-in-law is living just this side of a Hoarders episode. It's easy to rail at the idea that Ace and I have to explain where we are going every time we leave but my in-laws can go out to dinner and don't feel the need to let us know we have to fend for ourselves. It's easy to let all these little (and not so little) things pile up until we can't see the blessings.

It's time for a change. We need to focus on the positives in our lives. And I think I'll start by reminding Ace that we need to find 5 things a day to be thankful for (even if it's just that we're alive for another day). I think it will make the rest of the time we are living here (however long that will be) a little less negative.

Today, I am thankful for:

1. Ace: He wants us to focus on the positives as much as I do.
2. God: He's here for me, even when I'm in the middle of a rant that should be cut short.
3. The library: How else would I get a chance to read so many books? And for free!
4. The car: It may not be my dream car, but it gets me where I want/need to go.
5. My new laptop: Even with all my games, I still have 3 times as much free space as I used to!
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