“Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine.”
― Gordon B. Hinckley
My parents taught us to be happy. Can you always be happy? Joyful? Paraphrase: You can always cultivate an attitude of happiness, by being optimistic, rejoicing in the beauty of God’s creation and living by design with the Divine who gives perfect joy! This makes for happy living. My mom believed in it. My father found much peace and happiness in the majesty and intricacy of God’s creation and taught us to both enjoy and appreciate it. He and my grandfather taught us how to look at the funny side of life. My cousins, we kids, taught each other to look at the whimsical. My dad helped us learn how to play. My sisters and brothers and cousins perfected it. With much laughter from my grandfather, encouragement from our mothers and the help of our collective imaginations!
Life was good for all of us, not without difficulty, but very good. Sure things went wrong, but optimism was easy to cultivate in our family and happiness too. You might think the divorce might have put a damper on our mood. Well my mom and dad were both very smart about it. That summer, the first summer we were to enjoy my dad’s company in a different place they did two things. My dad bought me a wonderful dog, our first, for my birthday and my mom got a summer girl for the summer. It’s hard to say which was better!
My dog was a delightful, a bounding white and caramel bundle of fun, a toy collie puppy! She trained easily, loved all the kids, housebroke fast and followed me everywhere on my bike. It was awesome!
Our summer girl Geri was like a big sister. She was going to Nursing College in the Fall and was from the Iron Range. She was a lot of help. She talked my mom into my first girl’s slumber party for my birthday. She did equally cool things for all the kids. She took us on long walks, bike rides, to the pool (mom came) and general helped cart the four of us around so mom could enjoy herself too! We had a blast!
Every weekend we went to my Dad’s new apartment and she stayed home with mom. And we had fun with Dad who still joked and played with us, but his spirits improved when he married Betty and they moved into a house. She was very nice to is as I’ve said. I loved her and the little sister Sara that followed a while later.
All this to say: Attitude is Everything. If you embrace the new and different in life with love, excitement and anticipation, you will be happy and not disappointed about anything.
I have a new job in my near future. Rather than be nervous, that’s how I’m going to approach it. Watch Out World! Here I Come!