I was talking to a friend the other day and she said that as a single mother money was always tight, so she didn’t get to travel. Even though she didn’t really consider it a major regret, that kind of made me feel guilty because I’ve been to 22 countries. It’s been a while since I was able to afford to even buy a plane ticket, but I want to get back to that point eventually. I live in hope.
I never had kids. I’ve never even had cable TV or a smart phone, so it’s all about priorities. If you want something badly enough, you’ll make sacrifices and you’ll work toward it. You may or may not be successful in reaching your goals, but you’ll make the effort. Child rearing was not an effort I was willing to make, but I admire anyone who happily takes on that responsibility.
Another friend said she didn’t regret not being able to travel because she got just as much pleasure from sitting on the couch with her daughter, eating a bowl of popcorn and watching a movie. I think that’s a wonderful attitude. You should make the most of what you have, and have a clear sense of what makes you happy.
Make plans, sure, but make your popcorn wherever you happen to be sitting in life. Don’t wait. Because when all is said and done, you shouldn’t deprive yourself of those popcorn moments. They count for a lot.
I used to know someone who was so pessimistic that it was draining to be in his presence. I’m not exactly Little Mary Sunshine myself, but I do have a fundamental philosophical difference with that guy that we were never able to resolve. I believe your attitude can dictate your mood. He believes that you have no control over your mood whatsoever. He used to say, “I’m not going to paint a plastic smile on my face.” It made me want to slap the white off his teeth.
I really felt sorry for him. He constantly gave away his power. It was as if he was this helpless creature to whom happiness or sadness was bestowed, and he had no choice in the matter. It kind of makes you understand why some people make sacrifices to their higher power. If you have no control, the only thing you can do is cajole, flatter and beg. How exhausting.
In fairness, it must be much easier to keep your head firmly planted in your hind end like that. Then you don’t have to take any responsibility for the way your life turns out. But on the other hand, if you raise your head and look about you, you have the opportunity to see your situation in comparison with others who are worse off than you are. You have a chance to shift your focus. You learn how to solve problems, and most of all, you see the abundance that is spread before you.
This Thanksgiving, if at no other time, raise your head. Be grateful. Appreciate your unique life. Smile often. Who knows? It just might become a habit.