One of the things that is a struggle for me is optimism.  While I often try to look on the bright side of situations and ‘know’ everything is going to work out, it is not a thing that comes naturally.  More often than not I want to be left alone to stew in my own mess of frustration, fear and stress.

But I know that is neither healthy nor productive.  So I try to be optimistic.  Like today. 

I woke up cranky and tired, after working late last night, and came in early this morning.  I got to work, only to be greeted by what I have decided was puke in front of the store that needed to be mopped up.  I worked my shift, clocked out, and checked next week’s schedule, and noticed that I had been scheduled at the worst possible time on a day I had marked off my summer schedule. 

I almost let it all get to me. 

But then, somewhere between the puke and the schedule, I found joy.  I had to get out of the stew and realize that there’s more to today than puke and sleepiness.  There was that sweet woman who bagged her own groceries.  There was Zachary, one of my favorite little kids, who came in today with his mom.  There was the fact that last night I rocked at doing something I had never done before.  As always, I got to come in to work today and work with great people.  And I’m looking forward to practice tonight-with a smaller group we’re going to have a really good time.  I have a husband who I’m bananas about, and a family and friends.  And above all, my value isn’t based on what days I work, or how much sleep I got the night before.  My value comes from God, who calls me His daughter.

These are the things I remind myself of when I can feel my smile slipping.  I’ve been blessed in so many ways, and I’m not going to waste the time I’ve been given on negativity.  So I try to be an optimist.  It’s a daily struggle, but would it mean as much if I didn’t have to make an effort?

Challenge: Write out your blessings.  Take a serious look at them.  Memorize them.  Thank God for them.  And remember them the next time you’re in the stew.