This is a random photo post. I was out today and enjoying seeing how beautiful things are here right now, even with all of our ridiculous cold, wet weather.
Of course, I was also feeling a little troubled. I am basically a positive person, and I’m happy with my life, but that doesn’t mean everything is idyllic. I think I’m pretty good at making it LOOK sort of idyllic on the blog, but what you can’t see from my pictures is that there’s a noisy lumber mill across the street operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There’s a woman on the corner who screams at her foster children all day when the weather is nice. And our neighbors on the other side don’t take care of their dog, and it constantly comes on to our property and chases our chickens; the police have even been involved, but this week it killed two of the feathered ladies. We’ve done everything we can, for over a year now, and nothing is changing. It’s incredibly frustrating.
But. I have this idea that you decide what your life is. There are forces in the world I have no power over. I can’t control who lives next door. I can’t change the weather. I can’t make the lumber mill go away. And there are days when I let these things, and a million other things, frustrate me and upset me. I walk around under a dark cloud, muttering to myself and obsessing over the things I can’t control. I imagine I’m not the only one who engages in this kind of behavior.
But I decided a few years ago that I’m not going to live there. I believe that the quality of my life is determined largely by my attitude and emphasis. I can live a life of rude neighbors, noisy industry, tight finances, marauding dogs. That’s one perspective of my life, and it’s a true one. But there’s also the hubster, who brings me tea in bed almost every morning, so we can visit before he goes to work. There’s an acre full of vegetables, herbs and flowers that never cease to feel like a miracle to me–that I could put those roots, those seeds in the soil, and add water, and see them grow. There’s time to write–something I’ve wanted all of my life, and finally have, and it’s every bit as delightful as I hoped it would be. There are neighbors Ted and Josie, who have a llama named Charlie and this awesome goat with a white patch on it’s forehead that makes it look like a cyclops from a distance. I can emphasize either sets of facts, and not be lying to myself; it’s the same life, no matter how I look at it, but one point of view is definitely more enjoyable than the other.
I’m writing this post to remind myself. I’ve had a cranky week and done a lot of complaining, and I want to stop. I have better things to do than feel sorry for myself. Like pull the weeds from between the peas, thin the carrots, plant some rosemary bushes, and work on my novels.
I think that my own key to personal happiness is sort of a combination of “accentuate the positive” and “stay too busy to mope”. Of course, I DO mope sometimes; but I think I do best if I allow myself a certain amount of time to wallow in it, then decide it’s time to find something better to do.
What about you? What do you do when you have a bad week where it all seems to go wrong? I’m a total voyeur when it comes to other people’s coping skills.