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Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com

Perspective is everything

Friday, June 28, 2019

Imagine youíre driving to work on Monday morning and you are not a morning person. Youíre just chugging along, dreaming of the cup of coffee youíll soon consume. Oh, coffee ĖĖ a beacon of hope when you can barely keep your eyes open because you stayed up late binge-watching Riverdale. Then you see debris in the middle of the road, but itís too late to swerve. You hear clanging beneath your car ĖĖ†certainly not the good kind, if there is such a thing.

When you pull over to check things out, itís just as you feared. The back left tire is hemorrhaging air. Can you make it to a mechanic before itís totally flat? Thereís no time to answer that question; you hope back in your car and go, hoping you donít stall out in the middle of traffic. Somehow you make it to the auto shop, even though the tire is completely flat now. You drop off your keys and call a coworker to pick you up. What a way to start the day, huh?

That was my experience this Monday, and it wasnít fun. Standing in the parking lot waiting for my boss to pick me up, I realized I had a choice to make. I could dwell on my misfortune and call the whole day off, or I could take care of the situation and move forward with a positive attitude. For those of you who are well-adjusted, the decision is simple. But I have a hard time going with the flow.

If this had happened a year ago, I would have spent the whole day stressing over that one flat tire. Iíd think of how it ruined everything, totally oblivious to the effect a bad attitude has on an unfortunate situation. Thankfully, Iíve been growing and learning. I hope Iím always doing that. Understanding how my attitude affects my mood has put so much in perspective. Itís easy to stress over an unexpected expense, but is it worth it? Does it help any situation to focus on how much everything sucks, even if everything does truly suck?

I donít think it does. In fact, I know it doesnít. Focusing on negativity means you will only think negative thoughts, and your actions reflect that. I canít tell you guys how many times I have worried and worried about something†ĖĖ to the point it made me sick ĖĖ†that ended up working out in the long run. What if I had spent all that time putting positive energy into the world? What if I had focused on the things I can change or make better? How would my life be different today? How would the world be different?

Especially this past year, I have been working to replace anxiety with gratitude. That exercise has helped me see the good in decidedly bad situations, and itís applicable to pretty much everything. Sure, I got a flat tire on my way to work Monday morning. But I made it to the mechanic in time, my boss kindly picked me up and I had the money to cover a new tire if thatís what it came down to. Luckily, it cost only $10 to patch up the tire. Yes, I said ďluckily.Ē

Despite my misfortune, I feel lucky to have the support and means to take on a stressful situation. The way we see the world is how it is. This week, I see a world where good friends come through when you need them to. I see a world where everything works out in the end, if you can just get there.

Iím grateful to live in that world. Thereís something about thankfulness that just makes you so happy to be alive. Iím certainly feeling that, and I hope it rubs off on some of you!