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.
You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable.
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.