Recently I was asked, "How do you stay so positive?" My first response to that is to giggle to myself. You see I am my own best friend so I know that I absolutely don't stay positive. I grumble, complain and vent with the best of them, but, I daresay I do it more privately than others. I have a few close people who get the vents. Because I don't want negativity to be what I put out into the world.
My answer at the time was that I think about every day being my last day. It seems morbid I know, but I don't wake up and say "OH GOD today I might die." On the contrary I wake up and say thanks to God for a list of people and events in my life. The top of the list always involves my family and friends, my health, my job....and then works down from there. I fight with my family like the best of 'em but I am now old enough to recognize that is life and even with fighting we can appreciate. I have days I don't want to go into work (sometimes weeks) and yet my gratitude wins out in the long run. I get depressed, down and in funks, but I was raised to know my funk is not your problem and basically in the long run I know I am able to fake it til I make it.
I often feel like people are searching for a happiness that is just beyond their reach. Perhaps a new job, a relationship, a different home. When I feel that way, I ask myself, "is this possible?" And if it is, I go for it. That is how I adopted Krista. That is how I became a teacher. That is how I started this blog. That is how I went to my niece's graduation. I wanted to. It was possible. I did it.
I never saw the movie about the bucket list but it became the next big thing. What is on your bucket list people ask? Loving with all my soul. Being Kind (I have to work at this and get better at it everyday) Being an amazing teacher who touches lives. (I have years to go before I get there if I ever do) Being the best mom, wife and friend I can be.
Don't get me wrong. Next on my list of goals is another 5k and then a 10k. I am working on making a job change that will bring me in a new direction. I am hoping to write a whole book. But these aren't on my bucket list. Because if I died today, I died knowing that I always was the best kind of person I could be. Even when people didn't like that person, I was always giving my all to life.
Stephen Covey really has it right when he reminds us of our center of control. We can spend a long time worried, depressed, freaked out about things that are outside of our control. If it is outside of our control we are pretty much wasting our time. I think when my mom got sick was when I realized you really can't fix what is out of your control. I remember her saying she tried to make a deal with Jesus. Jesus and our priest both told her it was out of her control. Isn't that wild? She told Krista that. I was there. She said "I asked Jesus if I could stay longer and he said he can't make those kind of deals. He would see." This was 2 days before she died. I remember Krista dancing out of the room making us giggle breaking into the song "I am the Lord of the dance said He." Hers and moms fav church song when they were together. I remember looking at my mom and her face and being aware that she KNEW that was the last time she would see Krista. She was drinking her in.
I remember mom telling us she was packing but it all felt too heavy. She was looking at the different IV machines around her. I told her she didn't need to take all that only the love and she nodded knowingly. And so, there goes the bucket list theory for me. Mom wasn't thinking about all she didn't get to do. She only wanted to stay longer to enjoy her family more.
Why am I so positive? There is a stronger, better answer now. Because I think in the long run the only thing that matters is living your life appreciating what and who is around you. I may run a marathon. I may not. But now, and also when I die, it just isn't important. What is important to you?