I remember the day I become a positive person. I was about 7, and snuggled up on the back dashboard of my parents yellow and white Studebaker. Looking for animals shapes in the clouds as we rumbled through the hills of Mt. Shasta , returning from our yearly trek to Seattle.
My jokester Dad was at the wheel.
"Ya ever hear the one about the twins who both wanted a pony? "
"No, Dad.. tell it".
"Both twins wanted a pony in the worst way. Yearned for one. Would do anything just to get one. Once day they were brought to a barn door, chockful of horse puckey. (I'm sure he said shit, but Iet's pretend he didn't swear in front of a 7 year old.) The first twin started bawling. "Why that's nothin but a bunch of puckey.... WWHAAAAA I wanted a pony... WWhhAAAAAAA.....
"The second twin grabbed a shovel and started shoveling for all she was worth. Between huffs and puffs she gasped out 'With all this horse puckey, there's GOT to be a pony in there SOMEWHERE!!!!'.
"And that's the difference between an optimist and a pessimist", he said. "It's all in how you see things. You got a choice"
My little 7 year old brain latched onto that one. Hmmm, I'ld rather believe there a pony in there. You can choose how to look at things. The glass can be half full, or half empty.... Hmmm. I like that.
I thought of my Mom on our yearly trips to Seattle during the broiling valley heat. Wet dishrags tucked into the windows to mimic the air conditioning we didn't have. She'd say "It could be worse. Aren't we lucky we brought dish rags?"
Driving through the flammable fields of dry dead grass on either side of the road..."Don't you just love the shimmering golden hills of California? We're so lucky. Look how the breeze billows patterns into those fields. It's art, I tell you." Hmm... never noticed. Before.
Now I can't see a dry field without thinking of my Mom's viewpoint. And marveling at the beauty. It may have been a child's decision to make my Dad happy. It may have been a way to make teachers like me. Or to be like my Mom. Who cares. I made the choice. And it's stuck with me my whole life.
Now, every time I hear someone whine about the market, and how it sucks, and how much equity we have lost, I think of horse puckey... "Yeah, but think of the buyers who are being offered the golden ticket". Complaints of interest going above 5%??? "You gotta be kidding.... it could be 8%.... 5's a gift."
It's all in how you look at it.
There's a silver lining to every cloud.
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
And ya can't teach old dogs new tricks..... Now I'm stuck with it.
Life is good.
Photo credits to Jason-Morrison and VisualPanic of flickr.com