By Jennifer Joyner
My mother recently read me something she saw on Facebook. I believe it's worth sharing here in its entirety:
“Don't we all want a joy-filled life? Then let's get it. Life is too short not to, my friends. Strengthen up those struggle muscles (yes, we all have them) and get an emotional makeover. It is time to start clearing out the junk and stop tolerating the funk. You have done all you can do as long as you can, and it's time to give it all to God.
“How? Stand up … Kick the dirt … Breathe in … Pray …
“Don't lower your standards and don't saddle a high horse either. Let's live every day as if it is our last. One day, it will be.
“Put on your rose-colored glasses and look for magical moments. They do not require special circumstances. They just require a willing participant.
“It is time to start fresh. Let today be the day. Let's roll!
“To quote 1 John 4:4: 'Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.'”
It's cliché to say we choose to be happy and that it's important to see the glass as half-full. But the above advice struck me differently. I have often tried to look on the bright side of bad situations, but this always meant something negative had to happen first.
This passage opened up something I had never really considered. You can take a proactive approach to your viewpoint on life. You can start each day in the frame of mind that you've got your rose-colored glasses on and can handle/get a leg up on whatever comes your way.
Blind optimism doesn't necessarily make you a fool. Sometimes, it just makes it easier to be happy.
It doesn't matter how you think other people judge you, because you can't control that. But you can choose how you look at things in your world.
I have always struggled with letting go of what others think. And yet, it seems like I am a magnet for situations in which my actions or intentions are horribly misinterpreted because of some unfortunate coincidence or string of coincidences.
My mother has the same luck, if not worse. We often joke about the absurdity of the situations we find ourselves in, saying they sound like a plot in a sitcom.
For example, my grandparents tell a story from when my mother was young. You see, the family used to pick corn to eat from my great-grandfather's farm, and they sometimes found worms in it.
One night during supper, my mother, who was about 3 years old, told her parents there was a worm in her corn. They laughed and immediately dismissed the idea, explaining that they were eating canned corn, so there couldn't possibly be a worm.
My mother kept protesting, but they didn't believe her. They kept eating, until my grandfather eventually looked down and confirmed that there was, indeed, a worm in her corn.
What are the odds? This is the kind of thing I'm talking about.
Another example happened shortly after my little sister was born. Now, my mom is one who occasionally indulges in a Lifetime made-for-TV movie, and during her stay at the hospital following her c-section, she had plenty of time to catch up on them.
She was particularly engrossed in a film with a common theme in the genre. It was one of those switched at birth, "give me back my baby” movies. The night it was on, the nurses who came in and out commented it, sometimes stopping to watch.
What happened a couple of days later would only happen to my mom.
The family was gathered in her room that afternoon, when a nurse walked in with a blond-haired, blue-eyed baby in her arms. She bore no resemblance to the infant we had all met a few days before.
My mother took one look at her and said, “That's not my baby.”
To this, the nurse laughed. "Don't be silly, honey, of course it is," she said.
"No it's not," my mother insisted.
"Sweetie, you are just exhausted, and you have been watching too many of those Lifetime movies," the nurse said.
A second nurse chimed in, reassuring my mother that everything was OK, that this was her baby.
My mom was firm, but the nurse staff continued to try to convince her she was confused.
Within minutes, they realized the mistake. Someone had put this little girl's ID anklet on my sister and vice versa.
Nobody had believed mom because she had just been watching the kidnapping movie.
Stuff like this happens on a smaller scale regularly to both of us.
I used to think we were just unlucky, but now I believe these misfortunes happen to us not in spite of but because of the fact that we are worried about others' opinions. I think we are being challenged so that we will finally learn just to let it go. So, I'm going to try my best follow the signal that fate seems to be sending me and wear my rose-colored glasses.
Jennifer is a reporter for The Saline Courier. Her columns appear each Tuesday. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org View more articles in: