Seeing the bright side in the unexpected

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Nothing has gone quite as our son and his wife have expected recently. They are in the process of a move and it seems like everything that could go wrong, has. Late yesterday afternoon they were on their way to the Lower Mainland with their truck loaded and towing a trailer with our vintage Jeep. On a busy section of Hwy #1 one of the trailer tires blew. They managed to safely navigate across three lanes of traffic and pull onto the shoulder to change the tire. It was hot and they were exhausted but there wasn’t much they could do but get the job done and move on.

What do they remember most? The kindness of a tow truck driver who had been travelling in the opposite direction and noticed their situation, came back to park strategically behind them to shelter them, while offering a bit of assistance for which he refused any payment.

Earlier yesterday I was doing some beta reading for a friend. Some mornings I would be out on the deck, but this time I chose to sit in the family room, just inside our open patio door. The fresh morning air had been pleasant, but the day was beginning to heat up. My hubby checked the temperatures inside and out and decided it was time to shut the door.

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Less than three minutes after closing it, a shadow caught my eye and I discovered a rather large black bear just outside the door! It’s not the first time bears have made their way onto the upper deck — last spring three of them decided to empty the birdfeeder that hung in the corner — but there was no such attraction this time. Fortunately he didn’t stay. I yelled and he left, although he wasn’t in any hurry. I caught this photo through the kitchen window as he ambled past the garden, down to the creek and across to the neighbour’s property.

My hands trembled for quite a while afterwards but I was extremely thankful that my hubby had closed that door, and  I hadn’t been left with only the screen between us. Just three minutes earlier….

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Yesterday on Facebook Jessica Morrell quoted Guy Finley, a Zen humanist: “Your feelings about the world you see, with all of its confusing colors and schemes, are all reflections of your own internal life. You meet and see only yourself wherever you go. Nothing else. And that’s such an important lesson.”  Jessica had mixed feelings about it  and during the discussion I replied, “I don’t think people mirror our inner selves, but I do think most people respond to us in a manner that reflects our attitudes and expectations.” 

Our son could have complained about his bad luck. I could have ranted about the boldness of a local bear. Would it have helped? It wouldn’t have changed anything other than perhaps to make us more miserable and unpleasant to be around.

I follow several literary agents’ blogs and am always surprised at the attitudes some people display in their comments. No one likes to have their writing submissions rejected, or their requests for representation denied, but shifting the blame onto people in the publishing industry isn’t going to help get them what they want. As someone said, “Just suck it up and move on!”

Maybe it’s a “glass half full versus glass half empty” thing, but much of life is about attitudes and expectations. Then again, someone else said, “Whether your glass is half full or half empty isn’t the question. It’s obvious the glass wasn’t full in the first place, so pour yourself some more!” Now that’s a positive approach. 😀

Have you checked your “glass” lately? How’s it looking?

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“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”

Proverbs 15:13 

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8 thoughts on “Seeing the bright side in the unexpected

  1. S. Etole says:

    This is so good, Carol. Thank you.

  2. LisaAnn says:

    A friend and I were literally just saying that you get in life what you project out into life, and I think your post certainly encapsulates this. Your life is what you make it, and if you want to be a victim or martyr and blame the world on all your bad luck, you will probably always find a reason to be unhappy. If, on the other hand, you make an effort to be responsible for the positive energy you bring into the world, positive energy will usually be returned to you. 🙂

  3. Carol says:

    Thanks for taking the time to stop here, read and comment, Susan and Lisa. I always appreciate the feedback I get. 🙂

  4. Beth says:

    I’ve generally decided that the amount in the glass is unimportant, it’s the fact that I have a glass to start with that is important.

  5. I have to say that bear would have scared me to death! So glad you had gone inside. I love your deck, BTW–so peaceful and restful looking. I would sit out there an write and write. Love your attitude and i bet your son is the same way!

  6. Darlene says:

    Attitude is everything! It seems your family looks at the positive side to everything. I am so pleased your bear visitor was on the other side of that door.

  7. Hi Carol – I’m glad everyone is okay. My niece is fond of saying, “We’re making a memory.” Blessings, Susan

  8. Carol says:

    I think Beth has the right attitude!! And Susan, I like the idea that “we’re making a memory.” I’m going to remember that next time the unexpected happens. 🙂

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