Friday, June 28, 2013

Why attitude is everything

It really is. Trust me. Looking back on my life, I see where my attitude made me and broke me. I also see where it almost cost me my family. 
Think about my marriage issues. (For those who are keeping up with my blog) We married very young. We have children. We moved around too much. We struggled financially. We lived with both sets of parents at different times. I had problems holding down jobs. The good jobs didn't last, or didn't pay well. The bad jobs wore me out. We couldn't afford nicer things. We worked our butts off for the things we had. We gave up too much. Our kids went without too much. We had to ask for help too much. We lived in places we didn't want to be. We dreamed about things we couldn't have. That's just life. 
None of that is what broke down my marriage. My attitude did that. The way I responded to all that stuff broke the marriage. My wife is an amazing person. Everything about her is incredible. She has always been out of my league. She is tough and lovable. She is virtually perfect. She can adapt and thrive in almost any situation. She grew up in tough conditions with a single mom who went through hell. She survived a tough life and still had a great attitude. She was fully willing and able to survive and thrive in whatever situations we lived in. She could handle anything. Except living with a husband who had a horrible attitude. 
We started off great. Best friends. Did stuff together. Had fun. Enjoyed life. All that stuff that makes for a good marriage. But somewhere along the way, my attitude deteriorated. I got ambitious. I was looking for ways to achieve more, become somebody. I wanted better for my family. More money. Nicer things. Work that mattered. Feeling like I was somebody important. Something that made me feel like my life wasn't a waste. I started looking for something more important than my family. I took on a career to support my family, then expected my family to support the career. They just didn't understand why it was important. They couldn't understand what it felt like to carry the weight of the family. They didn't know how much I stressed about providing for them. They didn't appreciate me. Nobody did. Blah blah blah. But that's the thought process. That's where it started. Then it got worse. I got angry at all the people who didn't pull their weight. People who made promises they didn't keep. People who owed me things and didn't come through when I needed them. People who used me and people who lied to me. Again. That's life. Welcome to the real world. 
We have minimal control over the world around us. We have no control over the people around us.  We have some control of our circumstances, but we are at the mercy of life. We can't control the weather, the stock market, traffic, mechanical failure, human failures, the price of oil or when the cat throws up on the carpet. The only thing we have absolute control over is our attitude. We decide how we respond to the stuff around us. We are completely free to decide to enjoy life and make the best of it, or just freak out and be miserable. Really. Your choice. 
So, short and sweet here. You can be like me. Let everything in life get to you, get angry about everything and make your family miserable. Or. You can be like my wife. Learn to appreciate little things. Look for the good stuff. Enjoy life. Laugh as often as possible. Ignore the people who think bad about you. Keep moving forward. Spend your time with the people you love doing things you love. Choose to be happy. Choose to defy the crap that is being thrown at you and find your smile. I choose to be like her. That's what is making it possible to be with her. 
I heard someone joke, years ago about his marriage. He told his wife, "if you ever leave me, I'm going with you." Do that. If you have become that guy with the bad attitude that his wife wants to get away from, leave him. Become the guy she needs. Become the guy she wants. Don't look for someone else. Someone who understands. Your wife understands perfectly. Try listening to her. Your ticket to the good life is wrapped up in her.

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