When I began considering starting my own blog, I knew that I wanted it to have a positive spin. If you have read any of my blog posts thus far, it should be clear that I am by nature an optimist. In fact, the name of my blog “Pollyanna’s Path” was inspired by a former co-worker of mine, who often referred to me as “Pollyanna”. Her motivation to refer to me that way was likely a combination of sarcasm and sheer annoyance of my sunny outlook on life. I chose to see it as a compliment. That’s how I roll.
Now don’t get me wrong-my sunny outlook has it limits. It turns a bit cloudy when I read about our new “fool in chief” ( no need to name names here) tweets outrageous lies that I fear may not be called out and disproven by the press. My outlook can take a dark turn when I read stories on NPR about DACA kids going to college and now having legitimate concerns that their (oftentimes hard-working) parents may be deported back to a country they fled many years ago for the opportunities America could provide them. And stories about hate crimes targeting someone who is different from their attackers, whether it be racially, religiously, or because of their sexual orientation, make me feel less than hopeful.
However, there are lots of good things happening all around us, people. That is why I am announcing my new feature, which is called “Lifting ’em up”. Having this regular feature on my blog serves two purposes-it forces me to seek out people out there who are being brave, kind, emotionally intelligent, creative and compassionate. This helps me to maintain and nurture my optimism. Then when I write a blog post about these people and their positive impacts on the world I get the pleasure of giving them their due credit, which perhaps could inspire both me and my readers to pass on some good juju.
Seems like a good plan to me. Stay tuned!
- Communicating non-verbally with babies in public (think church, the airport, grocery stores)
- The alluring smell of Thanksgiving turkey coming out of my oven.
- Listening to Stevie Wonder songs. Literally any of them.
- Looking at funny pics of my spawn in their younger days.
- Watching news stories about faith communities helping each other out in times of trouble (think recent stories about Jews helping Muslims and vice versa after experiencing vandalism in cemeteries and fires in mosques). These stories increase my faith in humanity and in God.
- Watching quirky, uplifting movies (ex: Moonrise Kingdom, St. Vincent, Love Actually)
- Petting dogs.
- Positive adoption stories (both the two legged and four legged kind)
- Shopping at thrift stores (often it’s a win-win as many, such as Goodwill or Arc employ people with developmental disabilities and I save tons of money and reduce my impact on the environment).
- Gazing at the beautiful Colorado skies.
- Sipping a lovely glass of red wine at the end of a long day.
- Finding a great self help book and actually getting something out of it!
- Older women in public that are dressed to the nines. Reminds me of my Grandma on my dad’s side (my cousins nicknamed her “Pearl Pearl the Party Girl” but “Glamma” would have been an appropriate moniker too).
- Exploring new cities with my exceedingly amazing other half.
- Sitting with the other half in a boat on a lake in Wisconsin or Minnesota on a warm sunny day. Or on a beach in Florida on a warm sunny day.
- Volunteering (food banks, Habitat for Humanity, serving meals to the homeless)
- Redheads (not sure what that’s about to be honest)
- When I make someone laugh!
- When I see strangers doing kind things for other strangers in public (holding the door for an elderly person, people that happily allow someone that has way fewer things in their grocery cart cut ahead of them, those awesome millennial gals who were providing free hugs to those of us on our way to a rally supporting Muslims a few Saturdays ago).
- The smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning.
- Spending quality time with the other half of me, our spawn, our beautiful grandson, extended family near and far, and all those friends we’ve collected along the way.
My sincere hope for anyone reading this is that you are able to, despite all your personal day to day stressors and the fear inspired noise going on in the world today, remain in touch with those things that make your heart smile too. Your heart and soul will be so much better for it. Trust me.