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Column: A thankful outlook

My uncle Benny used to have a saying that I have shamelessly stolen and used over the years.
Airdrie opinion
My uncle Benny used to have a saying that I have shamelessly stolen and used over the years. When folks asked how he was doing, he’d reply, “I checked the obituaries this morning and I wasn’t in there, so it’s going to be a great day." It was his way of showing folks he intended to have a positive outlook that day, no matter the challenges. It was also his way of showing he was grateful for another day.  

Although I do my best to set out with a positive attitude every morning, I must confess there are days I would like to hide from. There are challenges I would like to avoid and obstacles I’d like to detour around. But life doesn’t give us an option most days. When I have a day ahead of me that I know will be stressful or uncomfortable, I must force myself to look for the positives. 

Looking for the positives is easier said than done. Despite having so much to be grateful for, it is much easier to loath the inconveniences or discomforts we face. I don’t know if it’s just human nature, or if we as a society have forgotten how to embrace what we have.

With the year most of us are enduring, it seems like everyone is waiting for the next piece of bad news. We have become focused on uncertainty instead of hope. Instead of planning for success, we’ve become fearful of what the future will bring. Perhaps saddest of all, we’ve grown to resent the world around us rather than embracing all it has to offer.

This is a dangerous rut to get stuck in. If ever there was a time where hope, courage and a positive outlook were needed, it’s now. We need to have hope for our children, courage to travel paths untraveled and gratitude for a world that offers us the ability to innovate and overcome. 

Losing a job is devastating, but you can wallow in despair or you can view it as an opportunity to re-evaluate your career path or maybe even go into business for yourself. Financial hardship is stressful, but you can cave to the stress and give in to depression or you can use inner strength to identify new income streams you would have never considered in the past. Businesses are suffering, but we can either offer heartfelt apologies for their impending end or we can support and encourage them towards overcoming tough times. 

We need to awaken each day with a commitment to positivity. If the car won’t start, embrace the opportunity to go for a nice walk. If your boss dumps on you, embrace the fact that you have a job. If your spouse growls at you, embrace the fact you are not alone. If the kids are driving you nuts, embrace the presence of family. If the dog made a mess in the living room, embrace your pet's unconditional love. You may have to take a deep breath and count to ten to do so, but be grateful there is a deep breath to take.  

The Thanksgiving long weekend may be an opportune time to truly reflect and acknowledge all we truly have to be thankful for. Perhaps now is the time to commit to resetting our attitudes and truly appreciating all we’ve accomplished, as well as all we have been blessed with. Don’t lament what we don’t have; say a silent thank you for all we do have. 

I’ll start. I’m thankful for the businesses that support our newspaper, and our readers for providing an engaged audience. Have a happy Thanksgiving, folks.