As we sit here, chatting or sharing a cup of tea, I do wonder why we cannot be positive 100 per cent of the time. At our age, we can start the day off creaking and groaning, but glad of a good night’s sleep. We woke up. Yeah! We can look at wrinkles in the mirror as badges of honour, and think, “The assassins have failed again!”
We are blessed with another day on Earth. That’s a 100 per cent positive thought, but negative thinking can intrude, especially for older women. Maybe that is because many women ruminate and overthink more than men. I know I do, I have a degree in overthinking!
What can cause this less than 100 per cent thought pattern? By nature, some people are more emotionally sunny, optimistic and can sense good in most people or situations. They can be happy with their own company or when mingling with others.
Overall, the world can provide us with assorted negative experiences. The media news is mostly bad news, which can affect us emotionally. Sometimes, viewing too much television can be negative as well. Some television shows and movies dwell too much on the darker side of human nature, or we can compare our lives unfavourably with celluloid, saccharine, happy endings.
Social media can make such comparisons even more prevalent. The ‘Church of Everyone Else’ always appears so radiant, happy and fulfilled. But is it really? We can overlook our positives in our lifestyles and waste thoughts on ‘if only’. If only I had met the right man, if only I had not missed chances, if only I had travelled overseas, if only I had better luck in life, if only, if only, if only… This mentality can detract from a positive disposition.
Quite naturally, the grass is always greener is an old and often-quoted proverb. Emotions are one of the basic primal human instincts. Of course, any person, whether optimist or pessimist, can have setbacks. Each individual, along life’s long track, needs to develop resilience to handle and cope with adversity. Some situations are dreadful and can add to the baggage we survive, thus diminishing a positive attitude.
As we pass 60 years of age, anyone’s baggage can include divorce, death of a spouse or our parents, losing friends along the way, issues with adult children, or caring for grandchildren. Wait! This is all making up our life. We can still wake up with a near 100 per cent positive thought process and determine to handle each day on its merits. Take each day as it comes, seeking practical solutions for as much as we can. Sometimes it may be helpful to consult a third party or professional for impartial advice.
All these potentially negative factors are in our world today. Personally, I start off positive and optimistic on a daily morning basis, but the days can wear on listening to others’ grumbles and complaints. It is good to develop quality friendships, to encourage each other. At the end of the day, reading for half an hour before sleeping can clear the brain of overthinking and restore a positive attitude. It is also a good idea to write a to-do list before bedtime then put it aside for the next day and aim to have a good night’s sleep. The sun shall rise anyway, the universe has not collapsed, and any concern does look better in the morning.
That is why none of us Baby Boomers are 100 per cent positive thinkers all the time. However, some people do inspire us to ‘keep on smiling’. Rise and smile.