The silver lining, the good in even the toughest situations, can sometimes be hard to find. But it is worth searching for. Obviously life can be rough and sometimes there simply is nothing good in an event, but most daily setbacks can be conquered through the twist of an attitude.
I like to think of myself as an optimist, striving for a positive outlook on matters whenever possible. It’s not always easy. My personal story hasn’t been all that glorious these past years, but there has still been so much good in so many things, that it would simply be unjust to say that my life sucks. Good things do not make bad things disappear, but they make life a lot more worthwhile. I have amazing kids and we’re all healthy, a business that I love, a house I call home and incredible friends and family.
Everyone’s story is different
We have a tendency of constantly comparing ourselves to others. Reading about someone’s good fortune can make us feel small, and then again, seeing someone’s mishap may put our own life to perspective. Or you could simply choose to be happy for those doing well and empathetic towards those who struggle. The truth is, your success has nothing to do with mine. My success has nothing to do with yours. Because our stories are different. Our situations are different. We are different. So try not to compare, so much easier said than done. Instead, focus on what’s good in your life, the beautiful silver lining.
If you know me personally, you might have heard that my car broke down recently, during an insanely hectic first week of school and daycare. There I was, suddenly with no car, three kids to coordinate plus my own errands to run, basically stuck in the middle of nowhere. At first it infuriated me, got me slightly panicking and honestly brought me to tears and desperation – now what!?
Tell me, what good were my tears? How would they help me get the twins to daycare? Run my errands? They didn’t. Letting a setback, this minor in the end, get to me, was a natural reaction, but it didn’t solve my problem. I could’ve yet again curled up in a little ball, let myself get lost in self-pity (by the way, one of my most brutally honest posts from the past) or I could do something about it.
Choose a positive attitude
What happened when I became car-less was in the end a good wake up call for me. I overweighed my options, made several phone calls, gratefully accepted help from my dear friends and family and chose not to dwell in misery. I haven’t worked out in months, possibly even closer to a year now that I really think about it. I’ve been stressed and overwhelmed, with my mind racing 24/7. Juggling a million things at the same time; parenting, struggling with an unsavable relationship, running the household, building my business.
Not having a car to take the twins to daycare gave me two choices: figure out a way to get them there or keep them at home until further notice and forget about getting work done. The latter did not seem like a good option considering my work load after having had all three kids at home on a 10 week summer holiday. Hence, we opted for the bus. A simple resolution and first aid to the problem. I geared up in my training clothes, took my eldest to her school bus and got the twins and myself on another bus. An adventure for the twins (win!) as they’ve never really been on a bus. We were early at daycare, instead of rushing in barely on time for breakfast muttering apologies for coming in late – another win.
And then I got some extremely valuable me time.
A brisk 30 minute walk to clear my head. And by the way, I live in an incredibly beautiful place. I’m surrounded by nature, and the fields and forest are stunning, glittering with morning dew and a light mist. Things I never see, because I’m always in a hurry or preoccupied with something else. I had time to really think, not stress-think or worry, but think in a good way.
Cut yourself some slack
That’s a statement I feel I keep playing like a broken record. Practice as you preach? Perhaps the reason to why I repeat it so often; to convince myself to go easy. We’re probably the harshest and most critical when it comes to our own selves and our actions. I’m a deep thinker and I like to make lists, overweigh matters, look at the pros and cons. Though I try to accept imperfections, I don’t like doing things in a haste or without being prepared. I prefer being thorough.
I have another intense week in front of me without a car of my own, but that’s okay. Instead I’ve booked in hours of exercise and mental wellbeing in my calendar. I haven’t rushed out to buy a new car, I want to put some time into finding a true reliable gem that suits our needs. Because I now realize, that though a necessity, it’s nothing to cry over.
Which is what we should really focus on in life in general. Stop rushing, worrying about the little things, cut yourself some slack. Figure out another way to address matters. Get rid of extra stress, its impact on the quality of life is immense. Things always have a way of working out in one way or another. I want to enjoy my silver lining. Rain or shine, this setback is good for me. It puts my life into perspective. Gives me a moment to pause, to breath.
Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.
So go on, the next time you’re faced with one of life’s hiccups, take a step back and look at the situation: is it really all bad, or is there perhaps a hidden silver lining just waiting for you to grab a hold of.
Have a wonderful beginning of the week!