Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Finding My Inner Pollyanna

Just in case anyone isn't familiar with Pollyanna:

  • From wikipedia: Pollyanna is a best-selling 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter that is now considered a classic of children's literature, with the title character's name becoming a popular term for someone with the same optimistic outlook.
  • and: The title character is named Pollyanna Whittier, a young orphan who goes to live in Beldingsville, Vermont, with her wealthy but stern Aunt Polly. Pollyanna's philosophy of life centers on what she calls "The Glad Game", an optimistic attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation. It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna's father taught her to look at the good side of things—in this case, to be glad about the crutches because "we didn't need to use them!"

Disney's 1960s film based on the book was one of my favorites as a kid.

You know one thing I've found about getting older and more "experienced" is that being positive gets harder and harder and in all honesty I've never found being positive to be all that easy to begin with. It's so much easier to be cynical and negative. But I've decided this is something I really want to change about myself. My #1 goal for however long it takes is to be a positive person.

I come from a family with a lot of negativity. Most notably is my grandmother on my Mom's side. Granted, she does have a whole heck of a lot of reasons to be negative. She's buried 8 (or 9 not sure exactly) siblings including two that died in a house fire when she was very young. She's buried 2 of her 3 children and a grandson and she's also lost two husbands both of whom were alcoholics. To say she's had a hard life would truly be an understatement. But it can be very hard to spend time with her sometimes. The negativity that surrounds her keeps her from being able to enjoy the things that are still in her life including her daughter and several grandchildren.

My Mom has told me on many occasions that I'm "not allowed to let her behave like her mother." Well, that's all well and good but what I've come to realize is that this is something you have to catch in it's earliest stages. A lifetime of negativity can and will make you a person other people won't want to be around but it's a gradual thing and I've found myself on that road dwelling way too much on the negative things in my life instead of enjoying the plethora of positives.

The fact is bad things are going to happen to all of us. I'm not saying that we won't or shouldn't ever be sad, mad, annoyed or plain ole' upset but I want my overall outlook on life to be positive. I want to enjoy the good things that I have instead of letting the bad things rule my emotions. Being negative or positive is not about your circumstances but it really does have everything to do with how you choose to react and what things you choose to dwell on. I'm hoping that sharing my goal publicly will help me to be more consientious about choosing to be positive. We'll see how it goes.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Polyanna :) I think I'm a naturally positive person, but some events in the last four or five years have slowly worn me down and I've become a much more negative person. I love my boyfriend, but he's honestly a horribly negative person as well and it's made me think about how I really don't want to be that way and how I miss how positive and optimistic I use to be. I've been working on that part of myself, too. Good luck with your goal!