A Defeatist Attitude
by Irwin Lengel
Conversation with myself on Tuesday January 7, 2014:
Actually I woke up this morning in the same mood I have been for the past couple of days (down and somewhat depressed) which is a heck of a way to start a new year. After reading a few of the many newsletters I read on a daily basis, all of a sudden I realized that the reason for my mood was me! I had allowed my wife’s recent bout with a cold or flu and thoughts of health problems I am experiencing (my ankles have been swelling each day), to dampen my spirits and cause me to think that “OK, you have passed 73 and she 75, so you are now considered old and your aches, pains, and sicknesses are now going to be a way of life. We will not be able to do all we have been doing in the past and have to slow down and just exist.” In essence, I found myself giving up.
Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!!! Attitude can do a lot to a person in so many ways. A defeatist attitude – which is the only way to describe the feelings I was having – can slowly cause one to become depressed, moody, and other not so nice things. During that process, one tends to look at things in a negative light without even a hint of sunshine shining through or stated another way one might get the feeling that there is no longer “a light at the end of the tunnel!”
How to handle this dilemma? While sitting there enjoying my cup of coffee and allowing my mind to wander, it was as though someone turned a “light bulb” on in my head. I got to thinking about the routine we usually follow once breakfast is over. You know – simple things like tidying up the house from the night before, washing the dishes or loading them into the dishwasher, and so forth and so on. It is amazing how, sometimes, even the little things we do can bring us so much pleasure and feeling of accomplishment. Actually, leastways in our household, once these chores are attended to, we are ready to move on to whatever else may be on our “to do” list. Today for an instance, we had a line dancing class to teach which always brightens both our spirits, especially if one or even both of us are feeling down. I knew my wife had two projects she has been involved with that were coming up (one due tomorrow – the 8th) and having been sick put her behind. So, helping her with the daily routine of things would also help me. What can I say – simple things make me happy!
And then another thought flashed through my head – I said : “Hey, whatsamatta for you?” Think about all that you have – OK, so your wife had the cold or flu, but she seen the doctor and is on the mend and is feeling much better than she was a few days ago and true you may have a minor health problem at the moment (my ankles and feet) – but you have made a doctor’s appointment to see what is causing it. You cannot do anything about it until he sees you and tells you what the problem might be and then together you will address it. So what else is keeping you down? In a word, “Nothing!” So, get off your butt and do the things that make you happy.
Leaving the conversation I had with myself let me just briefly discuss what I learned from it. This might sound stupid or confusing but sometimes we need to get out of our heads to get into our heads. By concentrating on those things that we do and that make us feel better once they are done, we don’t or shouldn’t have time to concentrate on any negatives. One of the things we keep reading and telling ourselves is that the older we get the more we should live in the moment because life is short. Each day should be a day of fun things especially when we are healthy and not laid up in a sick bed as some people might be.
Bottom line is the fact that we, not others, are the true masters of our destiny. We can wake up each morning saying and thinking to ourselves nothing but “gloom and doom type things” which not only bring ourselves down but also bring those near and dear to us down as well, or, we can wake up and say to ourselves that we are going to make this day as great a day as it can be possibly be and “live for the moment!”
I am happy to say that after having this discussion with myself, and I am glad that I did, I chose the latter, meaning that I intend to “live for the moment!”
With that being said, I will end this (my infrequent blog posting) with my usual ending and that is
"Be happy and keep on dancing!"