“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.― Dale Carnegie
Isn’t that the truth?!?! My thoughts determine my actions, my attitudes, my moods …my life’s direction!! When I finally realized this, my life changed for the better. It is a daily choice, however. Some days, it’s a moment by moment decision. Will I choose joy or despair, frustration, and tears?
Spoiler alert: I don’t always make the right choice.
Friday was a bad day. Have you read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? If not, check it out! Life lessons…. My Friday read like that classic tale. I woke up just before 1:00, worrying about school stuff, so I operated on about 3 hours of sleep. Not awesome. My kiddos were off all day. Was it fatigue? Was it the weather or a full moon? Were they secretly aliens in disguise? Who knows! I had a migraine. Ugh! I was frantically trying to complete some mandatory testing when I had a walkthrough (think mini-appraisal) with my new principal. Not ideal. (Where was she when we had amazing lessons and discussions all week?!) Mighty groan. My husband is on strike, so we are dealing with no paycheck and no health care. My migraine medicine is $1,000/month without coverage. Sigh. As I ate a very quick lunch with a coworker, a BIG spider dropped down on a dragline in between us. My room, my table, my problem. So, guess who killed it? Eek! It was a Friday before a holiday, so we were allowed to leave early. Guess who couldn’t leave? Pout, pout.
Yeah, some days are just like that.
Here’s the flip side. I didn’t get enough sleep, but it was Friday. I went to bed a little early and slept a little later than usual. It’s amazing what a great night’s sleep does for you! Yay for sleep! I’ve taught long enough to know that some days the kids are just off. It happens. Move on. Migraines? I’m thankful I have oils and medicines that help me. Big smile. Walkthrough? I have no idea what it will look like when written up this time, but I know she will be back and see some major awesomeness then. Yay for second and third chances. The strike? Well, we knew it was coming. We saved and planned. We are fine and God is good. Health care? We are going to get some short-term coverage. I was able to buy my migraine meds just before we lost coverage. Thank you, Lord!! As for the spider…I don’t know why this spider didn’t get the warning I sent to all spider kind a month or two ago, but he paid for this with his life! Beware, all spiders! As for work, it was actually okay to grade those last papers in a very quiet, peaceful classroom. And I brought home the work I can easily do this weekend. All is well.
The truth is…I need to maintain a good sense of perspective. I have friends battling cancer and loved ones mourning the loss of a spouse. Nothing I’m facing is that big of a deal.
And the bigger truth is, as long as I have my Jesus, I’m fine. I cannot control the economy, other people, my government….but I can cling to the Ruler of the Earth, the Alpha and Omega, my Savior, my Hope, my Healer, my Daddy! If I have HIM, I’m fine. So, I deliberately, intentionally, stubbornly choose joy. I will continue to choose joy.
“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalm 55:22 NIV
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 NIV
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7 NIV
Takeaway: It’s all good.
I’d love to hear how you maintain perspective and keep a good attitude. As always, I wish you MUCH joy!
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