Small changes make big differences.

Tuesdays with MOJO / Look on the bright side

Marjorie Spitz Rento4 Comments

I've always been a glass half full kind of gal -- annoyingly so to some around me. When informed about a difficult circumstance, I instinctually gravitate toward the silver lining.  I can pretty much always pinpoint one, and find this philosophy works well for me.  I’ve also witnessed it work well for others, so I’m a believer, a true optimist!

When you can find the positives in a difficult situation, I believe you can influence its outcome, or at least the way you experience it.  I was acutely reminded of that this past Sunday.  While skiing our first run of the day, my ski got caught in the fresh, un-groomed snow and I took an awkward fall and twisted my knee.   It was a lovely sunny, unseasonably warm ski day, with 8” of fresh snow.  And there I was with Bob worriedly by my side, awaiting the arrival of ski patrol.

During that time, skiers and boarders went by, some kindly checking to see if I was ok, while others not (we forgave them as we figured they were either so joyful for the perfect ski day that they were blind to us, or too concentrated on what they were doing to be able to notice). One woman, after hearing that ski patrol was on their way, cheerfully said, “Well I guess look at the bright side, it's beautiful here.”  And off she went.  Ah a like-minded soul gliding by just when I needed her!

Yup it sure was beautiful!  Actually, the scenery was gorgeous, with fluffy fresh snowy moguls (so much so that one of my poles was buried and Bob had to dig around just to find it!), mountains in the landscape and the sun glistening against the snow. The wind was nonexistent and whereas normally my fingers and toes would be like icicles, I didn’t feel cold.  In truth, all we could really do while we waited was appreciate Mother Nature and each other. Either that or pout and turn sour about the lost day and scary notion that I hurt myself. 

When my friendly escort, Mike Finnegan, arrived, he was kind, instructive and reassuring.  He and Bob got me securely on the ski patrol sled, and he gently guided me down the moguls without sending me flying off (the inner fear running through my head).  Although my knee throbbed and my back stiff from trying to maintain my balance during the ride down, I could not help but chuckle as the snow draft from his skis hit my face like gentle waves.   If it weren’t for the injury, I would have enjoyed the experience!

So, yes I am leaning on a crutch, but I will be fine.  Through my glass-half-full, look-at-the-bright-side lens, in the past day I’ve had nice taxi drivers sympathize, open doors and say prayers for me; a kind woman offer help on the street; a waitress leave her shift to open a door; a normally cynical friend provide a stool to elevate my leg on; family and friends call/text/email/post from near and far with offers of assistance; a dear friend make me chicken soup from scratch; a friend who is a prominent physical therapist specializing in sports injuries squeeze me in first thing Monday; and a husband cater to me with love and attention -- even watching the Oscars until he couldn’t take it any more. And that’s all just since Sunday evening!

And science backs up my theory!  Recent studies have shown that optimistic attitudes lead to better health, including:

That all sounds good to me!  Plus, who wants to be around a negative Nancy who always finds the downside in things?  

So I ask you:  Is there a situation in your life where you’ve neglected to see the “bright side?”  Can you take a moment to find one, as faint a glimmer as it may seem? 

Please share how you’ve changed your perspective from looking at it as a glass half empty situation, to one half full of thirst quenching, healthy, delicious water. 

Although I will have set backs during this healing process, I know by having an optimistic attitude, my knee will get better faster and my psyche will be as much to thank as my physical treatment.  

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™