Sometimes it takes a mountain high or valley low to shake things up and teach us a lesson.  I somehow managed to experience both in the course of just a few days. 

It was a challenging summer for me.  I was following strict doctor’s orders trying to shrink a vocal polyp I developed in March.  I was taking medications, limiting my talking, using a humidifier, and taping my mouth shut each night to get me to breathe through my nose.  (Stop laughing. It’s a real thing. Mouth Taping – Look it up.)

Unfortunately, despite my rigid regimen, things got worse.  By early August when I went back for my checkup, on a scale of 1-10, my voice was about a three.  We discussed options, but my doctor recommended staying the course.  I went home very discouraged, dwelling on all the negatives.  This showed in my attitude and behaviors.  My poor wife – she got the “worse” of me, rather than the better.

However, somehow, the following morning, I awoke to find my voice had returned – and it has remained strong (8-9 on the scale) ever since.  Hallelujah.  Of course, my attitude and behaviors are fine now that my voice is back.  It’s a shame I didn’t have that same outcome when things weren’t so great.  Perhaps that’s the key.

Things can always be better and always be worse. So, the question becomes, “On which will we choose to focus?”  When we dwell on the ways we want our situations to improve, it’s easy to become dissatisfied, frustrated and discouraged.  However, when we concentrate on the positives, remembering our situations could be worse, we move to a place of contentment and gratitude. 

My suggestion?  Focus on the gratitude and let that positively impact your attitude.  Amid all the concerns of the pandemic, work, politics and daily life, I believe this positive shift in perspective will strengthen behaviors in variety of ways – and what a great start that would be in improving things on so many levels.