Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Friday, July 5, 2019

Time to look Up rather than Down

Why is it that looking "Down" is so much easier than looking "Up?" 

Is it a matter of habit or is it just human nature?  I find its too easy to look 'Down' into the daily frustrations of the current political scene, into the daily challenges of caregiving (for the third time in my life), into the realization that the plans I had for my own retirement are far from the life I live now.

It is crazy thinking to look Down when Up is so much better.  I am SO really blessed at this stage of life.  Time to make a list and post it somewhere (oh, yes ...  that's right - I have a blog!!) where I can page back and remind myself of one simple constant truth:

My blessings are someone else's strongest desire!

So here goes my Up - (in no particular order.)

  • I am 72!  Yes, I am grateful for that.  The other option doesn't appeal!
  • I am retired!  That condition is not a given for everyone.  I would enjoy being completely retired (retired from cooking, house cleaning, laundry - opps - look up, up up!  Looking up ... I don't work!)
  • I am comfortable in retirement.  No need to baby sit every penny or eat hotdogs instead of steak.  (Of course I prefer chicken and fish ... but you get the idea.)
  • I have a close immediate family that is a regular part of my life - not geographically or emotionally distant.
  • I wear the title of Grandmother proudly!!  An Alpine-level size Up.  
  • A husband.  A life partner - of 52 years duration.  While he adds to my stress at times (like all spouses can do) he is in relatively good health and still standing by my side.
  • I am healthy.  God knows ... No serious life threatening illnesses.  For my age and my "on-again off-again" focus on health - it is remarkable that the expiration date on something in this body hasn't come due.  (Excuse me while I find some wood to knock on.)
  • I have friends of long and short duration.  I must not be too much a drag on them - as they keep coming back!! 😀
  • Hobbies and interests abound.  I'd be lost without knitting and reading. Thank God for my hands and my eyes. 
  • My blog ... where I can dump thoughts that rattle in my brain and then pop out like a "Jack in the Box" explosion of angst (like my Democratic Debate Post - opps - looking down again - look up, look up!) 
  • Death and loss has been a rare visitor in my life.  
  • My husband's disability has prepared me to stand independently if I should be left widowed.  No excuses like 'my spouse handled that.'  (How's that for making lemonade out of lemons.)
  • Downsizing a life is in my rear view mirror!  My condo doesn't require a large expenditure of cash or life energy to maintain.
  • Finally, I have my brain ... a major plus, having watched my mom's brain slowly and painfully disintegrate into nothingness ... until it finally snuffed out her life.  Dementia runs in my family.  That is a genetic pre-disposition bullet I hope to miss.
Sure, I fret about not being able to travel, or participate as a couple in some activities we used to take joy in, or even go to the movies without feeling guilt about my husband left at home.  But would I change any of the above pluses for yearly vacations, broadway shows,  beach trips or hiking adventures?  No ... I really do have more than my fair way share of good things. 

AND I am ever so grateful that while looking 'Down,' in the past ... nothing on my 'Up' list disappeared yet.  I know that at my age, big changes can naturally be expected on that list ... but for today ... which is all any of us have ... it is all good!

Do you ever do that?  
Look Down too much rather than Up.  
Or am I the only one who has to make a list and post it somewhere
 so that my aging brain doesn't get stuck
 in Down mode rather than Up mode?


Cynthia said...

It’s good to take inventory now and then, especially when the down side of the scale is feeling a bit heavy. This is an excellent list!

Leigh said...

What an excellent post! It is all too easy to get stuck in down mode. We so need to be reminded to daily (several times a day) take a few moments to look up. Thanks for that reminder.

Marie Smith said...

In a particularly dark time in my life, I started a gratitude journal, listing the things I was grateful for every day. It changed my life and I’ve never looked back. It is a great way to live and though there are setbacks, living with gratitude can get me grounded again.

happyone said...

I have been blessed with a happy attitude and I am so thankful for that blessing. I think down once in a while but it never lasts more that a few minutes, because right away I think of all my blessings of which there are many. God has been so good!!!! Even through hard times He has gotten me through!! : )

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Love your positive attitude.

Breathing Life said...

Great post. I too have to remember to look up lately. I think it has to do with the aches and pains of getting older. I too am retired and a knitter (and sometimes crocheter). I am grateful to live in Canada, to have a close relationship with my children and my husband of 43 years. I too have good friends near and far. I too have my health really despite the pain of a rotator cuff injury. I have good food and beautiful surroundings of nature and birds. I am blessed. It sounds like you are too.

Angela said...

It is true we have so much to be thankful for if exam our lives carefully. Indeed you do have lots of things to look up and not down. I pray for good health all the time because that is the best treasure. I am hopeful and count on things getting better even politically. Take care!

Susan said...

I would say that I do an equal amount of ups and downs. Mostly, I tend to recognize that I'm looking down and yoink myself up. Whatever works, right? I think it's an excellent idea to list one's 'ups' on a regular basis. I am a firm believer that there is always an upside to the downside.

Paula said...

I have been doing a lot of looking down these last number of years. I really need an attitude adjustment. My son tells me I need to turn off the news and stop worrying so much about what Trump is doing. Ha! I think it is important to know what that idiot is up to. But I need to think of some reasons to look up.

Sandy said...

Interesting, I do look down and this current political thing has really affected me. It's affected my sleep. Never before trump would I have said that. You like some politicians and not others; but I've never felt the administration was acting in the best interest of another country. But, I do feel that now......strongly. But, I also look up. I can't say I've made a list, and I have had a bit too much of death and related things; but I am by nature an optimist. So looking up...sometimes it's the balance that's the tough part. Trying to be realistic without feeling hopeless. Enjoyed reading your post.

Needles and Wool said...

This is a great list Elaine! My parents are both retired recently and it is a new chapter in their lives. I like that you made a positives list and it is true we tend to look down a lot more than up! We have so much to be grateful for and there are always blessings for each chapter we enter in our lives. I am getting married next year and think to the next step after that very often of having children and starting our lives as parents. It is so exciting and wonderful to take part in this ride of life and you are so blessed to be a grandmother and married after all this time. Thank you for sharing and hope that I can remember to look up rather than down more often!

Bohemian said...

No, you're not the only one that has to remind yourself to Look Up rather than Down. I NEEDED this Post Today in fact, glad to have discovered your delightful Blog, will now add it to my sidebar on mine so I can visit more often.

Wendy said...

I think many of us are guilty of looking down too much. This is a great list and reminder to those of us that also need to look up!