The Spawn & Johnny Pocket playing with Roo-Bee (old, grouchy cat–A.K.A. Dust-Ruffle Troll) under the door.
My father loved to spin yarns and tell jokes, and one of my favorite jokes of his was the one about the twins. One was a pessimist and the other was an optimist. As my father told it…
Scientists were conducting an experiment to study the difference between pessimists and optimists. So, they searched far and wide for parents with twins—-one an optimist and one a pessimist. Finally, they found a pair of boys, and, after all the waivers were signed, the experiment could begin. There were two rooms, both were waist-deep in horse manure. The scientists watched from behind the two-way mirror to see what would happen.
One boy (the pessimist) cried and moaned, “I just knew it. This stuff always happens to me. I should have known that something bad was going to happen. Why can’t I ever get a break?”
The other boy, though, was slogging happily around the room and laughing as he flung horse manure into the air, each time with a healthy giggle. Baffled, the scientists had to enter the room of the optimistic twin and ask, “What on earth are you so happy about? Don’t you realize you’re waist-deep in animal feces?”
The boy replied, “Are you kidding me? Why wouldn’t I be happy? With all this horse sh&$ there has GOT to be a pony in here somewhere!”
The last couple of months have been crazy. In October, as many of you know, my great aunt fell into a coma and passed away. Then, I have had more computer problems in the last two months than in the past ten years. I was just about getting caught up when I started suffering horrible pain in my elbows–apparently I have tennis elbow from writing. Then, I had the nice little dirt bike wreck and this past week? We were gone over the weekend and had a water leak.
Water seeped from the laundry room into my master closet soaking the carpet and ruining much of what was on the floor. I had to work in stinking mildewed carpet for almost all of Tuesday. While I was in cleaning up the water damage, the Spawn (my kiddo) infiltrated my office, hit a bunch of buttons on my computer and now my main work computer is currently crippled with a virus. But that’s not all. I awoke on Wednesday sick from working in the mildewed conditions and yesterday…no Internet. AT&T “forgot” that we had signed up for auto-debit. Yay.
But you know what?
I don’t believe it is any great test of character to be happy when everything is going our way. Anyone can do that. The real mark of a person is how he or she behaves when the world seems to be caving in. Can we be peaceful, calm, happy, and look for the good….no matter what?
We train our minds much like we train our bodies. We need to exercise them and discipline our habits. We have a choice how we react and a lot of this is influenced by our expectations. What are we expecting to happen? Are we looking for the good? Or looking for how we will be somehow wronged?
I know that I was born an optimist. I think that is why my father used to rib me with that joke. But, there was a span of about 15 years that I allowed other negative people to convince me that I was a fool, an idiot, an unrealistic Pollyanna. I started expecting the worst, and I wouldn’t allow myself to hope for anything, because if I didn’t expect good things then I couldn’t be disappointed. I became a grouch, a complainer and a seed of discontent…and no one wanted to be around me. My life was full of junk, and why wouldn’t it have been? I didn’t expect good things, so I couldn’t even see them when they sat right in front of my face.
Eventually, I got sick and tired of being sick and tired, so I started being very careful about my thought life. Our mind doesn’t have to be a garbage dump. We are in control of our thoughts, and we don’t need to dwell on every thought that drifts into our brains. Focus on good things, and it is amazing how quickly the tough times will fly by.
Yes, the view from the mountain’s summit is breathtaking, but nothing grows there. The most growth happens in the valleys. Film is developed in the dark and so is character. When hurt, pain, loss, disappointment, frustration come our way we have a choice in how we view the situation. All of us have rough spots, and those setbacks, hurts and trials are the spiritual sandpaper that will shape us into a more excellent version of ourselves.
I know that life is about seasons. There are seasons of joy and abundance and it seems that everything is going my way. In turn, that isn’t all of life. Gotta have the bitter, or the sweet isn’t as sweet. And, if I have to endure the bitter, I choose to do it with a smile, with great expectation of the better Kristen those trials will make me.
With all this horse sh*& there has GOT to be a pony in here somewhere :D!
What do you guys think? What are your opinions? Thoughts? Ideas? I love hearing from you guys!
And to prove it and show my love, for the month of December, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of December I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!
I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are ON SALE for $4.99!!!! And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in th biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books!
I like that story. It’s very cute. Keep your chin up, and I hope things get a little bit easier for you. Have a great day, and thank you so much for the uplifting post!
You’re an inspiration, Kristen. Your positive outlook is so refreshing. Here’s wishing you all good things and much success this season. (and always)
Gads, Kristen, you’ve accomplished the impossible, you’ve made my life look sane! And suddenly I’m feeling more…optimistic. 😉 Seriously, good advice I will try to follow.
Girl, if it weren’t for bad luck, you’d have none at all. Wow, Kristen, there has to be a book in there somewhere. You are right, if it was easy anybody could do it. The gods save the tough stuff for tough people. I am sure that, like the phoenix, you will rise again, stronger, wiser, happier, and more beautiful than ever. Remember, all the WANA folks are rooting for you.
See, and I think I had pretty good luck. When I fell off the dirt bike, I could have broken something….okay, A LOT of things. I have tennis elbow that can be treated with rest and ice. Not carpal-tunnel that requires surgery. Sure, the water flooded my closet, but it could have been the entire house! And yes, I got sick from working in the mildew, but thank God I work from home and I don’t have to rely on “sick days” to get better. My Internet was down, but that gave me a peaceful morning to catch up on reading and play with the Spawn.
It is all in perspective ;).
It’s like how many people think the Christian life is easy, that God is a genie in a bottle who will grant all our wishes. But we don’t learn faith when things are going well. We don’t learn mercy, compassion, and love when everything is going our way. Even though it’s hard, we get so much more out of our trials than we do complacency.
I wish there was a “Like” button so that I could like this comment, but since there isn’t, I’ll just say “well put.”
How the heck did that happen? I TOLD you the machines have been after me! Sigh. Off to figure out where the heck my “Like” button went.
I feel like someone has to add “that’s what she said here.” That is all. 🙂
Hehe, thanks Marcy.
Whenever I read your words, I feel as though I’m hearing from a kindred spirit. I belong to the California Writers Club and am recommending We Are Not Alone to everyone. When I self-publish my manuscript next spring, it will be my “writing bible.” I’ve also talked about the book on my blog several times. Thank you, Kristen, for your writing advice and loving spirit. Libby Grandy
I remember hearing Beverly Sills interviewed–the fantastic opera star who struggled with lots of issues including a daughter who couldn’t hear. Wow…to have your life BE about music yet your child can’t share that joy?
She said, “God doesn’t give us a burden we’re not able to carry. I just wish God didn’t have such a high opinion of me.”
May you find your pony sooner rather than later, my friend!
I like the optimist way of thinking. It doesn’t always linger in my thoughts, but I think I’m more of an optimist. Love the story.
Being an optimist when you were raised a pessimist isn’t always easy. BUT it can be done! The sneak of negativity bites my rear every now and then but I’ve vowed to surround myself with good people. Thus, the reason I read your blog!
This is great… I went through the same period of “junk thinking” about a year ago, and started writing so I could vent. But I found people’s responses to my story telling were positive and amazing. I soon tried to focus again on the positives and am now finding amazing opportunities coming my way. Thanks for your blogging, it always challenges me to pay attention and focus!
With everything you have gone through and still remained optimistic is a great test of character. I’m not only sure you will find the pony but I’m sure you will enjoy riding it this weekend!
I couldn’t agree more that you have to gaurd your thoughts and activly seek optimism, but at the same time I’m willing to bet about the time you woke up sick on Weds your smile must have been through partially gritted teeth. Hope you are feeling much better.
Oh, I wish I naturally took everything with ease and a smile. You are correct. I was in tears, exhausted, sick and half ragged and had to WILL myself to be positive. I keep telling myself, “Attitude is a choice. I can choose to smile despite my feelings.”
Thanks for the comment and the blog luv *hugs*.
I LOVE that story. Have heard it before, but it’s always worth hearing, and being reminded. You’re right-it’s hard to be a grouch, pessimist, although we sometimes play in that pool. Hope your pony turns up soon. I think I like that, when things are bad I’ll just say, “I’m looking for my pony.” 🙂 Quilted blessings, Nita
Reblogged this on laney mcmann and commented:
I wanted to share this post with you all today. I have the flu and it helped to pick me up. The amazing and hilarious Kristen Lamb…
I’m a born optimist, so much so that my university roommate used to say it was annoying and that if life gave me rotten lemons that I couldn’t even make lemonade out of, I’d shrug, cut off the peel, and make candy zest. Sometimes, though, it takes a lot more work than at other times 🙂
I am going to remember that joke for a long time. You always give me a smile on Fridays. Thanks! 🙂
What an awesome post–sorry about all the stuff happening to you.
I’m a tried and true pessimist. I try hard to not let things get me down because I honestly like being happy, LOL. And I know the power of the mind is a great thing, but sometimes when s&#* keeps piling up, I say those same old words: Why does crap always have to happen to me???
LOL, I know it happens to everybody.
My New Year’s resolution is going to be: Change from a pessimist to an optimist!
You’re right…choosing to be happy is better than choosing to be grouchy. It’s a concious choice–most people forget that part. It’s good to learn that early in life, like you did. Too many live most of their lives never revelling in all the good stuff to be experienced. I learned this lesson at age 18, but that’s a story for a future blog post.
Whoa. Our posts are rather in tune today.
I tend to look on the bright side – I am not genetically predisposed to do so, but I’ve found life is so much better when you put forth the effort to see the good in every situation.
And if you can’t see it right away, wave something shiny in front of yourself to distract you from the bad until you can see the good again.
(Sorry you’ve had a rough couple of months. I feel ya.)
Wow! What a post! Thanks Kristen 🙂
I can usually keep myself bouncy, I know all that optimistic stuff, that we have choices, that we need to – as my grandmother used to say – count our blessings, even the tiniest ones because they all add up.
Yet after a year of my husband being seriously ill, and getting better but still far from well, and friends who didn’t want to know, and constantly rethinking things so the negativity didn’t floor me, I got ill last week and suddenly there I was, on the floor.
Sometimes it isn’t enough to hear oneself say something. Sometimes hearing someone else say it counts for more.
So thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’ll remember that joke about the horse sh&t 🙂
Pick one or more of these…
Without the sense of disappointment, we wouldn’t be able to recognize what is truly important.
The fire tests our metal not only to strengthen us but also so we can feel for others and lend support.
Negative occurrences sometimes act as guides from one dream to another.
I’m impressed with your resilience and positive outlok on life, Kristen! I wish I had this perspective sometimes.
I like how you can see that things could’ve been even worse. Once a reckless driver totaled the family’s new-and-not-quite-insured car and ran away. Neighbors were sympathetic but didn’t understand why my mom was smiling while examining the wreckage. She told them she was very happy that the accident hadn’t had taken place 10 minutes before, when she was parking the car with me (a 10 y.o. at the time) in the car.
Think of the character you developed from dealing with a certain unnamed deceased writer in an unnamed previous writer’s group. We both persevered, and we’re both stronger for it – you especially. God truly does bring all things together for good to them who love Him. . . .
It seems the planets have been messing with all of us, with a death in the family, having to find a care home for my mom, sleep deprivation on top of all that — I feel your pain. But what is really interesting for me, is that it is such a great wake up call for my writing. I’m usually all in my head and I “think” my feelings away. But when I started working on my re-write, I realized what is missing is emotion. And I had all those emotions — rage, frustration, despair, disappointment — all running through me, so I gave it all to my protagonist and made her life hell. I meant that’s our job, right.
Thanks so much for sharing your turmoils with us, and we are all in this together. Muchas smooches from out here in the pacific.
I just found your blog and love it! My favorite saying (with my adaptation) is ‘when the excrement hits the rotary oscillator, it’s time to plant a garden’. I just have to make sure I’m shoveling, raking and planting fast. When the stuff it flying, I’m the most creative.
Thanks for the great post.
I absolutely agree with you. I grew up with a pessimist but my life was one that was quite blessed so when the hard times hit, I wasn’t prepared. It has been, and continues to be, work to shake the negativity and turn it into positive energy. I want to learn the lessons and be excited about the growth. After all I know good things happen. There is something to be grateful for every day, even if it is just the arms comforting you during your times of struggle.
Perspective. Some people gots it and some peoples dont. I know what you mean about hitting that point where I stopped being the optimist and letting everything be as bad as it could. And I know what you mean about never wanting to go back to that. Great thoughts my friend.
What an encouraging post today! I almost feel like I’m sitting in a little country Baptist church! I love that ‘spiritual sandpaper’. WOW! I think I’ve experienced some of that lately, too! But, I will keep thinking positive thoughts, counting my blessings. It is all about focus and how you look at things most of the time.
Oh, and let me add one more thing. I’m really lousy at this twitter, facebook stuff but your posts have taught me a lot and helped me each pitiful step of the way. LOL It’s one of the areas about writing that I don’t like and that I dread. So thanks for all of the positive motivation! I am getting better…I think 🙂
Very inspiring post. I always have loved that pony story. I would always be looking for the pony. Not so much because I’m an optimist, but because I love horses.
It took a long time, but I finally matured enough emotionally to stop playing all those negative tapes in my head. They sure can be a nuisance and really do affect how productive we can be. One of my new mantras is “Movin’ On”, trying to put things behind me and embrace each new day as a new opportunity. Works pretty well when I remember to focus on that. LOL
Oh Kristen! I love this so much. My husband is a pessimist and I am the ultimate optimist. It can be frustrating to feel like a kite tethered to a rock on some days. But then I’m grateful I have my rock or I might flu away and smash into a tree. I hope you are up and running again soon.
Oh. My. Gosh, Renee! We have the same pessimist/optimist marital dynamics. It took me a long time to embrace the wisdom of “he owns his mood, and I own mine.”
God did NOT die and put me in charge of making it a good day/thought/mood for him. So long a I do no harm–as in “push his buttons”–I’m free to have my happy days.
The stories I could tell…
Oh geeze, there’s gotta be a buttload of happy times waiting around the corner for you, yikes. I wish I had more optimists in my life like you. I’m just working on having no attachment to any outcome. Just breathing and living. 🙂
I used to be a Debbie Downer. Now I use humor to mask my complaining. You create so much of your experience in this life.
Okay, no complaints from me this week. You win! LOL! My heart goes out to you. Two years ago I had a laundry room leak, as well. Ruined parts of the subfloor! Had to replace all but two rooms. Arg! You are handling it much more cheerfully than I did. 🙂
The good news? This too will pass. Cyber hugs to you, and you can always go to the library to write. (Er, as long as someone’s watching the little one, I guess. 😉
Your optimism is one reason you’re so successful, helpful to all of us beyond measure and funny to boot. I believe that while genetics play an important role, we can make choices daily to ensure that our glasses are half-full (or that the search for horse*#$I carries on… LOL).
When I feel overloaded by negativity—tragic news stories, etc.—I remind myself that there’s far more good in the world than bad and that at the end of the day, positivity prevails. (If that weren’t the case, we’d have all killed each other by now… Oops, sounded negative. ;))
I heard a speaker say, “You never know what kind of tea bag you are until you’re in hot water.” You’re the best kind! Get ready for a whole fleet of horses… 😉
Kristen. I’ve always been a “glass is half full” kind of person. Still am. When “bad things” happen I may feel hurt and disappointment and sadness but I don’t feel like a victim. I usually know–even though I don’t want to admit it–that there are lessons to be learned. Not the ones I would choose maybe but important ones.
Sounds like you’ve been spending a lot of time in school lately.:)
This is the third best thing I’ve heard this week: “With all this horse sh*& there has GOT to be a pony in here somewhere !”
#2 Live life and sin a lot, or Jesus died for nothing. (Felt trepidation copying this. Mention religion and someone is going to get their panties in a wad.)
#3 My glass is always full, part of it is just full of air. I like air. It’s what I breathe!
Seems this time of year people want to see the brighter things in life.
As always, great post! I’m jealous – my spawn hasn’t been that small in a very long time =(
God gave us a rainbow after the flood as a sign of good faith and to show us no matter how deep the do-do gets there’s a way out. Problems are tossed our way to build our spirit. Granted, sometimes there’s more stuff than we think we can handle. We never get more BS than we can handle. Keep smiling, everything will work out.
Amen! Awesome post, one we all need to hear at least twice a year!
I so agree with how negativity attracts crap. Years ago, my husband was killed, my mom died, a friend was shot, my business took a nose dive, my duaghter fell pregnant and the father couldn’t be seen for dust as he headed for the horizon. Finally I got shingles. Banging my head was less painful than my life. At least I could stop banging my head.
If people asked how I was it was always, “Oh, I’m okay.” Sniff, shoulders sag, face a picture of abject misery. It gets you lots of sympathy, but we all know what most sympathy is. It’s something one gives in exchange for information.:-D
One day I got fed up with hearing the same crap spewing from my mouth day after week after month after year. I decided to change my life and the first step was to stop talking negative. When people asj how I am–I am great, life is good. That simple confession became more of a reality everytime I said it. There is a scripture in the Bible that says: As you think, so you are.
You’ve been through a lot lately and I really admire your guts for going on with a smile on your face. I hope you have a surprising streak of luck ahead of you. But of course good things happen to people who help themselves and others – which you’re doing every day. Kudos!
I do my best to be positive too and my kids are my best teachers. It’s amazing how fast their cry turns into laughter and how full of energy they are all the time.
You found a upbeat post in the midst of all the horse pooh, Kristen!
I say The Serenity Prayer when I need a reminder that Life Happens. It jerks me right back into a good Zen Zone. When I realized I recited it by rote because of familiarity, I started to say it in Spanish. Hmm. Still deciding which language is up next.
Condolences on all that you’ve dealt. KUDOS on the reality check and fighting your way back to the sane side.
I ordered your books in hard copy.
I’m an optimist, but I don’t control whether Santa listened to my blatant hints about getting a Kindle, Nook or iPad for Christmas. Besides, I like the “visiting a good friend” sensory reaction to books I know I’ll reference and reread. Joining WWBC in January, thanks to a nudge from David. Can NOT wait.
Once again, Kristen, you have written something that goes straight to the heart. The “pony story” is one of my favorites. When times are tough I tell people “I’m looking for the pony.” Most people look at me like I’m nuts. I love the ones who smile because they know the story…. and probably live it, too.
I think I am more of a realist than either an optimist or a pessimist (though my husband the pessimist makes me look like a real ball of sunshine at times!!) One thing is true though : when the going gets tough (like this entire year) it’s all in your perspective on things.
Ugh! You are having a rough month. I’m sorry to hear about all that you’ve been through, even if it is building character. It’s amazing how bad things seem to happen in batches. Two months ago I had my wedding rings stolen, then got two parking tickets, then fell sick – all the same week. But I figured that was mild compared to what so many people go through, and I was thankful just to be able to have afforded a wedding ring at all when so many people in this world don’t even have enough to eat.
I love the line about the view from the mountain top being beautiful, but nothing growing there! So true and so profound. That was totally an aha moment for me! All the things that are not going great are great because they are helping me to grow. I also love your dad’s story. I think that is going to be my motto now when things look down. I’ll just say, “With all this shit, there must be a pony in here somewhere.” Awesome!
In the year since I’ve been in this house, I have had to replace every single appliance, had a flood which destroyed five rooms, repacked boxes which had already been unpacked from the move and then unpacked them all over again. My mom broke her hip and spent four months in a rehab hospital, then moved into AL. But, the upside? Because of the four months of reconstruction, I learned that living in two rooms and living with less ‘stuff’ can be a blessing. I focused on getting the website done and reworked my novel. Mom loves being with gals her age.
The pony was there all along. It took me some time to find it, but I did. Terrific post, Kristen!
What a great attitude! I’m a born pessimist, but I try very hard to see the good all around me and the half-full glass. I was also thinking how manure is a great fertilizer. That crap in our life can help us grow. The question is whether we let it yield weeds or fruit. Great stuff, Kristen!
An excellent post and one that everyone should read. Even when things are at their worst, something good is bound to happen eventually, whether large or small.
Love your outlook! Last year was the hardest I’d ever endured. At one point, just before christmas, I saw a kitschy little magnet with a cowboy and a horse’s backside. The phrase was, “When Life gives you a pile, just say, ‘WaHoo! Fertilizer!'” I bought it with three dollars I shouldn’t have been spending and put it on my fridge. It helped me remember my natural optimism.
A year later and things are better. Some things are still tough, but not nearly as bad as they were. It’s all about perspective. When you are able to step back, you certainly can see the good, the hopeful and the opportunity in the awfulness of life.
Prayers and good thoughts winging your way! 🙂
Sounds like you’ve been having too much fun Kristen! LOL!! Uh, not funny, I know.
I so agree that when you go through the tough stuff, it builds character. But why does it all have to happen at once is what I want to know.
Okay, I can’t help but say this, please be careful of mold. Sorry, but my husband has done mold remediation so I know about this stuff.
I’m sending you wishes for a better incoming week and may I thank you for all of your social media wisdom you’ve taught us in our wana class. May the force be with you Kristen! 🙂
Well, to say you’ve had a bad week is an understatement. Just remember, as someone famous (I can’t remember who!) said, “That which doesn’t kill us only make us stronger!” You are such an inspiration to me and so many others… even in the midst of all this junk, you still have the right kind of attitude! 😀 Here’s to a cured computer, cured tennis elbows (I share that ailment with you), banishment of mold and the sickness that it caused and to a much better week!
Seems everyone is a ‘glass half full’ OR a ‘glass half empty’ person. There is however another option. That of the engineer, who says ‘That glass is twice as big as it needs to be.’
I take life as it comes and just keep trying to figure it out.
I tried to insert my picture, but failed and somehow clicked something and no longer get your blogs. I don’t want follow up on comments, just the blog. Well done on a great blog site.
Wow, Good thoughts. I needed the reminder. My dad told me that story when I was a teenager and it’s a great story with a lot of mileage. He sometimes told people that his oldest son (after one of my many accidents) would be an optimist but he didn’t think it would work. I still struggle with that today but it’s made me an overcomer with good friends, God’s help, and and plenty of accidents and trials to pratice on.
Thanks for modeling the optimist attitude. You hang in there well!
You know, I am REALLY starting to like this blog. Becoming addictive. Positive thought… this is a keeper. Thanks, and keep it coming. It IS helping!
Awesome and I am so happy the posts help!
I love that joke. Heard it years ago, and it’s a good one, and I love how you based this post on it. (Those are the kind of jokes my dad used to tell me, too!) Well, you sure have had one hell of a rough patch lately, and I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with all that. I hope you’re taking one baby aspirin a day, just to be safe. You’re right about the crap in our valleys shaping us into better people if we let it, but I seem to have to blow a little steam before I’m able to see the positive side of things. I’ve discovered that sometimes when things seem to be terrible and turn my world upside-down, they’re actually a blessing in disguise, in the long run. It seems that joy and sorrow go hand in hand, and I’m learning that I can still be joyful despite times of sorrow.
Well, I’m a little late to the party, but dang I’m glad I came! I love that line, ‘film is developed in the dark and so is character’. Well said and well done, Kristen. You totally could have curled up into a little ball of goo and cried the day away, but you hitched up your boots and got to work. Not everyone can do that and those that can are amazing people. I’m sorry so many crappy things happened last week, truly I am. When you find your pony, are you going to name him ‘Sparkles’?
In the special brand of craziness that is December, I had this post “starred” and saved for that moment when I’d have a chance to read it. And boy oh boy am I ever glad that I did–and then read it again. I neither flatter nor exaggerate when I say this has to be the best post I’ve ever read anytime, anywhere. Really, truly, it is a perfect summary of what’s real and meaningful and what seems to be, but actually isn’t. As much as I love this post, even as I’m reading it, nodding my head in agreement, and feeling all bright and shiny inside, I’m thinking of all the people in my life that absolutely NEED to read this in the hope it will knock them clear out of their pessimistic orbit. Thank you, thank you, Kristen, this is quite a gift you’ve given us here.
It’s so nice to hear someone being unrepentantly optimistic. I’ve always been an optimist (“You mean there’s a glass?!? How cool is that! AND it has stuff in it?!? Sweet!”- That’s me.) I’m realistic, but I know that optimism has everything to do with how you see the world. Me, I believe everything happens for a reason and good will come if you look for it. I believe in the physics of the universe; for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It’s balance. But so often people don’t stop and put that into perspective. They don’t look at how bad it COULD have been, or how much worse someone else has it. That saddens (and sometimes frustrates) me. Its one of the reasons I travel as much as I do. It helps me keep things in perspective. Kudos to you, for keeping things in perspective too!