As 2017 draws to a bleak and chilly close, I have cause to reflect.
After decades of seeing a glass half full, and of always looking on the black side, I made a decision.
2017 would be approached with a positive outlook. Problems would be faced head on, adversity shunned, and foul weather ignored. As I was all-too aware that I would be 65 last March, I knew that I had to do something to drag myself out of the trough of melancholy that had blighted so much of my life.
So, I determined to look for the good in everything. Even the worst things have a good side, surely?
I did my best, I assure you. Without going into detail, this past seven months have been some of the most difficult of my life. But I didn’t let on, and refused to just lie down and let it all roll over me. I looked for those elusive positives, and to a large extent, I found them. It might have taken some searching, I admit that. But they were there all the time, I just had to recognise them.
Our short holiday was plagued by bad weather. On the positive side, we managed to miss most of it, enjoying our time between the downpours. Dog-walking was often a chore. Finally tiring of the same old walk, I tried other places. But Ollie wasn’t impressed, and lusted after his routine. So, I knuckled down, stuck to the same boring trudge, and tried to find the positives. They were staring me in the face. Ollie was happy. That was the positive, and after all, dog-walking is all about the dog, not the owner.
Events in our personal lives have been less easy to reconcile. The death of a beloved aunt, and one of my dearest and oldest friends. Hard to find positives there. But at least they were no longer suffering. Their lives were remembered with love and respect, and we were all better for knowing them. That’s a positive, if I ever saw one. Other life issues had to be dealt with in much the same way. This happened, that happened. But it meant that we no longer had to put up with X, or suffer Y. Looking for the positives takes off the edge of events that might otherwise lay you low.
Christmas looms, quickly followed by the futuristic-sounding year of 2018. Whether or not I can continue with such a positive attitude next year remains to be seen. The way things are at the moment, that’s a 50-50 chance. But I will do my best, and try to make it work again.
Staying positive, until the end of 2017.