Yup, it happened again. I lost my yellow hat. While life has been rolling along fairly smoothly as of late, but I’ve been finding myself getting bogged down with bouts of pessimism. Ugh!

I find that it is much too easy to latch onto negative thoughts and let them fester, all the while knowing in the back of my mind that the pessimism is unhealthy for me and my family. When I started growling at the kids for no good reason it made me stop to re-frame things and get me back on track to finding that beloved yellow hat!

This week I started playing a little mind game with myself:

When I’m ankle, knee, shoulder . . . or even eyeball deep in frustration, I take a breath and find the silver lining in the situation.

Allow me illustrate:

Frustration: I just walked my daughter back to her bed for literally the 20th time tonight. This is probably the 20th night of this ritual in the past month or so.

Silver Lining: I’m using the experience as a practice in self-discipline and as time to “just breathe”. It also worked out timing-wise for writing a guest post at the Positivity Blog. If you haven’t yet checked out that blog, you should.

Now. Just go. I’ll still be here when you get back.

See? It’s great, isn’t it? Well worth the trip, right?

Now . . . back to what I was saying.

Frustration: School was cancelled today in anticipation of big, snowy storms. Funny thing, though – not a single snowflake fell until 5PM. Since Mr. Music was home most of last week, I was really looking forward to having him at school!!

Silver Lining: I invited my mom to come over and decorate our Christmas tree with us (as a surprise for my Grinchy husband who would rather not decorate – and he WAS thrilled to come home to a house all decorated and cleaned because that meant HE didn’t have to do any of it). We also got in much needed trips to the Chiropractor, the post office and to our church to make a donation to the food pantry.

Frustration: My daughter’s attention span while I’m on the treadmill is about 20 minutes. Not so good for much of a run.

Silver Lining: It is better than not running AND I’m setting a good example for her by taking care of myself. I’m more likely to get on the treadmill more frequently each week now that I know she CAN last 20 minutes. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to lengthen the time and that it will help with her adjustment to being in the Child Watch at the YMCA when I take classes. It is also motivating me to keep up with my strength training, since my stronger core is enabling me to run faster!

With our Christmas tree right next to my work space, I’ll likely find the silver lining easy to discover for the remainder of the year. I hope that regular posts on this topic will help me continue on my path of optimism. I’m also finding that my patience extends longer when I can find the positive in a negative situation. Patience is a priceless (and essential for sanity) when your kids are 4 and nearly 2!

Like the Smurfs sang all those years ago, “Goodness makes the badness go away! When there’s goodness in your heart, the badness just can’t start. Goodness makes the badness go away!”

As for YOU, what silver lining you can find in your life this week? What words of wisdom have stuck with you from the cartoons of your youth?