Sunday, February 8, 2015

Attitude is Everything

January 24, 2015

I got this email from my boss this week. He shared it with us all because it seems as if there are a lot of us in the office dealing with loved ones in poor health. I rarely share messages received through email... but this one hit home for me.
Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate.

He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say:  When someone would ask him How he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "How do you  do it?"Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.  I just choose to be in a good mood.

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I just choose to learn from it.

Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I just choose the positive side of life.

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested. "Yes, it is," Michael said.  "Life is all about choices.  When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice.  You choose how you react to situations.  You choose how people affect your mood.  You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line:  It's your choice how you live life."

I reflected on what Michael said.  Soon thereafter, I left the tower Industry to start my own business.  We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied.

"If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took  place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon to be born daughter, "Michael replied.  "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices:  I could choose to live or I could choose to die.  I just chose to  live."

"Weren't you scared?  Did you lose consciousness?"  I asked. Michael continued, "...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared.  In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man."  I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?"  I asked. "Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,"  said Michael.  "She asked if I was allergic to anything.  "Yes," I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, "Gravity."

Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead." Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude.  I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

I realize its not "easy" to look at the bright side. Believe me, I am so NOT an optimist. I am not going to sit here and try to pretend that I am always positive and I make the correct choice right off the bat when given any situation. However, what I will say is that I agree 100% that the way you approach the situation. That you have a choice as to how you are going to face a day, a task, a problem. 

Here I am 37 weeks pregnant. I am constantly asked, literally on a daily basis, "how are you feeling?" I answer honestly with an "I feel great." This is not a lie or an exaggeration. I feel great, I have felt great my entire pregnancy. I get a lot of "your lucky" as a response to this. Sometimes from women who have been pregnant and might have been sick through their pregnancies... or even from men who think they can speak on behalf of the women they know who may have had a baby...  You know what. I agree. I am lucky. Thats why I feel so great. 

I am lucky that I was able to get pregnant and carry my baby when I know there are so many women who cant or have had problematic pregnancies. I am lucky that I was not sick through the start of my pregnancy. I am lucky that I have been able to get to the gym every morning and continue to work out and release those endorphins every day. I am lucky to hear that heart beat at every appointment. I am lucky that my baby is growing and getting stronger every day. I am lucky that I have friends and family who support and love me and this unborn baby. I am lucky I have a husband who would do anything in the world for me... Luck, yes... but also attitude.

I realize that all of those things listed above allow me to make the choice every single day to focus on the positive. That even with the shit that goes on in daily life... the sickness, the fear, the pain and the loss... that there is something absolutely amazing about what is happening. That this is life. That every day I get to think about the future and as freaking scary as that is... not know what the future brings... its coming. 

Why face it with fear.  

This week I continued to go-with-it at the gym. Monday I was about to scale TTB when I was faced with the "challenge" not to... since I can technically still get my toes up there, I went with it. The rounds for my metcon were slow, but I did complete more than 40 TTB. Nope, not the fastest, not the most efficient, but I did it and I was happy at the end that I did.  Tuesday was a great day with wall balls and deadlifts... can you say "favorites" and Wednesday I again scaled some chest to bars with regular pullups. Friday was a day of burpee pullups and rather than suffer through that I just took the same amount of time and rowed. Figured that would be "best" for the little one.

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