This One’s For You, Larry…

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In response to my thoughts on happiness, a friend (that’s you Larry) shared with me that he once heard a priest ask his congregation why people so often focus on the “why me” when bad things occur but not when good things occur. We never hear people say, “Why did –fill in the blank good thing- happen to me?” and “Why am I so lucky?” We tend to question why we are the victim but not necessarily why we are the fortunate. Is it that we feel when something bad happens that we are being punished but when something good happens, well, that is just the way it should be? Perhaps we should all honor our “good stuff” as much as we do our “bad stuff.”

Unhappy people tend to focus on the bad more than they do the good. Not sure which came first, the chicken or the egg, but I am determined to use preventative measures to avoid complete and utter sorrow. So, in my quest for this elusive happiness – this new practice I am trying to undertake — I am going to focus on the good today.

I was quick to want to dismiss 2012 because, as this same friend said, “2012 has been kind a jerk.” As hard as it is for me not to write about the bad stuff and curse its very existence, I won’t even mention it and instead will provide my list of the good stuff I have been able to salvage:

1. We found an answer to my daughter’s health problems, and she is on the road to better health.
2. I became closer to my brother and sister and realized what an amazing team we are.
3. The 2012 election season was rewarding and encouraging with same-sex marriages being voted legal in my state. Kindness is prevailing.
4. The air in my house is now warm, more humid, and purified thanks to being able to afford a new and state-of-the-art HVAC system. Thank you dad for helping me to keep my family warm at night. I didn’t want to be able to afford it this way, but I am glad to smile whenever I think that it is you keeping us warm.
5. My credit card bills are paid off after years of struggling despite our hard work. Thank you again dad.
6. My husband was promoted at work and his hard work is finally being rewarded.
7. And, most importantly, I had a beautiful, amazing healthy baby boy who has made my family complete and whose smile lights up a room.

My Beautiful "Good Stuff"

My Beautiful “Good Stuff”

That was more than I thought I could come up with. Perhaps all of us who are quick to dismiss a day, a month, a year should take the time to find those small and big things that actually prove us wrong – maybe that time wasn’t “a jerk” and maybe it was that we are letting that powerful jerkiness cloud the beautiful things that actually occurred.

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7 thoughts on “This One’s For You, Larry…

  1. Beautiful! And I love that picture. My New Year’s resolution is also to focus on the positive. I started my jar of positive things (every time something good happens to someone in my family, I’ll write it down and put it in a jar, and we will read all of them on New Year’s Eve this year). It only has one thing in it so far, but the year is only 4 days old πŸ™‚

  2. A very nice list. From bad comes good sometimes. I like your idea of focusing on the good, not simply expecting it, and trying to downplay the bad.

    Oh, and you baby boy – what a cutie! Good stuff, indeed. πŸ™‚

  3. I so related to your comment. Your dad lived on the sunny side of life and mine was the world’s greatest optimist.
    PS. Bottle that ‘Good Stuff’ and save it for a rainy day. Before you know it, they’re asking for the keys to the car. πŸ™‚

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