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Three Steps to a Positive Environment

Many people struggle Christmas and holiday time, so I trolled the positive quote bin before I started writing this post to give you some guaranteed happy thoughts.

Winter in Bellavista014

I’m happy because even in the middle of a storm, I’m warm and dry inside.

You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable.
Deepak Chopra
A positive environment can mean lots of things, and I think of it with children, but it works for adults too.  We all have more life to live, and it’s better to live it happily and positively.  Here are some things I do to stay positive.

1.  Stay busy and physically active making things look better.  Vince spends most of his time making our house beautiful when he isn’t working to earn enough money to do that.  He loves the work even in the 100 degree heat of summer.  Mostly he loves what he accomplishes and how it looks.  After he mows he takes several strolls around the yard.

Vince, where are you?”

“I’m just admiring my yard.  I just love the way the lights look around the palm trees.  Don’t you?  Did you see how nice the bushes looked after I trimmed them?”

The yard is beautiful, by the way.

I mostly work on myself, and my community service work.  I spend a lot of time exercising and making sure I look as good as I can, and believe me that takes a lot of time.  My husband appreciates it, though, and I feel better about my self, too.  Oh yes, and I ask for the compliments even after he’s already given me the initial, “You look nice,” comment.

“Do you like this dress?  How do you like the color of my nails?  Do I look sexy?”

These two examples of what we work on to make things look better sort of leads to tip number two.

2.  Do the things you do for yourself for others, too.  

Vince loves to work in the yard, and I love to live in a place that looks like a park, so it’s a win win situation.  He spends a lot of time dreaming about what he wants to do in the yard, and telling me about it to get my opinion.  If I act like I’d hate it, he doesn’t do it.  When we both get enthused, he is energized, and he’s done some amazing things.

“I did this for you, Marshamallow Pie,” he tells me when he comes in tired and happy from all his effort.

I love to travel, too, so Vince decided that he could be happier traveling if we had a trailer that we could tow.  He has his own home on wheels.  We got a time share to a place he loves to go, and it is almost like home to go there, too. So now I get him to go with me sometimes.  Win win.

3.  Appreciate instead of criticize.  I grew up with an equal amount of criticism, and encouragement, so I’m a mixed up mess.  I do both with great ease.  My husband makes appreciating easy.  He asks me to appreciate, in case I might have forgotten.

“Did you see I did the dishes?”

“Yes, honey, thanks so much.”

I think I do things not expecting appreciation, but when I get it, I want to do more.  My husband loves my cooking.  I used to hate cooking, and now I enjoy doing it for him because he doesn’t just compliment it, he talks about it, and anticipates specific meals, and asks for specific dishes if I haven’t made them in a while.

Our communication has improved over the years, but, when we don’t feel appreciated, we start getting really grumpy. We have to recount the many times we’ve stopped to admire each other’s contributions.

These are simple tips, that you already knew, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded about how to turn a sour environment into a bed of roses.

TC BV 2013


12 replies »

  1. Not a big fan of Christmas .. because everyone are so stressed out .. and I love your spirit in this post. Very uplifting. We had a terrible storm 18 days ago .. it took most things along our cost line … and plenty of forest. After that we got some snow for 24 hrs. Now everything is just grey, dull and wet. No Christmas spirit here .. just now.


    • Awww Viveka. Get out of the nasty, and come here. We have a mixture of gray and sunshine, but no snow, and only a little rain so far. We actually need the rain. We have just enough cold to make it feel like Christmas to this Midwestern gal. Love you much, Marsha 🙂


      • Marsha … I hop that you Christmas was great and filled will everything that is important to you … no snow yet … and I think it will stay like this for at least another week.
        Madrid had -3 the other day .. and in the north of Lapland they only had -6 on the same time. Our world is upside down those days. *smile


        • Wow, that is crazy! We have had beautiful weather for this time of year. It got really cold for one week, but I was gone and missed most of it. We were suffering with 80 -85 degrees in Hawaii when it was 29 degrees here (at night). Now it is back up to the 60-70s in the daytime. It’s gorgeous. 🙂 My Christmas was lovely. We had friends over who are like our kids, and we did all the fun things families do. Lots of love to you Viveka. 🙂 Happy New Year.


          • Hawaii – WOW! .. never been – but I would love to go there .. looks just fantastic.80-85,a bit too hot for my personal comfort.
            So glad you had a pleasant Christmas and I wish you two only the best for 2014.


          • Same to you Viveka. It was nice to be warm. The weather in CA that week was about 20. You would like HI. Even though it is warm, it is a pleasant warm, and you can go crawl into the ocean to cool off. By evening it is quite lovely. 🙂


  2. I needed to read this today. Everyday, I am surrounded by pessimist and it’s easy to go with flow though my heart wish to be positive. Thanks for the tips. Best wishes to you and family.


    • I can’t believe that you are ever pessimistic. You are one of the most loving, positive people I know. Have a wonderful Christmas. I know you will. 🙂 Marsha 🙂


  3. Since I have been sick, hubby does all the cooking. I hate when he asks how everything was because it feels to me like he’s fishing for compliments. So, to avoid feeling aggravated by his question, I try to remember to praise him for the meal before he can ask.


    • You are so funny! V and I got into a little tiff just before Christmas over his degree of helpfulness. He said anyone would be grateful for how much help he gives me, like putting things away before I’m quite finished using them. The next day we had company, and she was helping in the kitchen. He came in and helped her, and she said, “You took my task. That hurt my feelings.” Honest to God I didn’t bribe her or even mention it to her. So funny! V is now much more careful about helping. 🙂 For today. 🙂 Lots of love M xox





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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