Do you ever catch yourself focusing on what is going wrong instead of what is going right? Dwelling on the negatives instead of finding the positives? Yeah, me too – more than I’d like to admit!
I consider myself an optimistic person, but too often, I find ways to go the opposite direction with my thoughts.
For example, this weekend at my son’s annual lacrosse tournament. It’s one of our favorite weekends of the year. Tons of people in town, a lively atmosphere, great games and competition, time spent enjoying it all together. It’s a blast.
Enter a massive thunderstorm. That’s what happened just before 1 p.m. Saturday, just as Logan’s team was about to take the field for their first game.
Rain, like I’ve not seen in a long time, pounding everything in sight. Canopy tents being blown apart. People scrambling to cover up their belongings or run to their cars. Small lakes forming in drainage ditches.
Where did my mind go? The first thought: Oh no, they might have to cancel the tournament. It’s so wet, the fields are going to be under water, people have already started scattering and leaving the fields. Bummer!
Part of being bummed was because I look forward to this event every year and hated the thought of it getting wiped out by the weather. But a big part of being bummed was because I felt so bad for Logan and his teammates and how much they had been looking forward to playing and hopefully competing for the championship this time around. Bummer, bummer, bummer.
Fast forward to less than 15 minutes later when (after we grown-ups had retreated to the dryness of my car) I noticed Logan and some of his teammates out in the rain, taking turns running and sliding through one of those newly formed drainage ditch lakes. Logan had his shirt off, not a care in the world on his face, and was splashing around in a way that clearly showed he was having a total blast.
Making the most of things. That’s the lesson I learned in that moment. Finding the positives instead of dwelling on the negatives. All it took was a thunderstorm, a drainage ditch, and a kid with the right perspective to do it.