This post was originally called : look for the silver linings or Pollyanna moments but I changed my mind. As I was driving to work this morning, I was thinking about what to write my next post about. I was singing along to a song on the radio, when I thought how much I actually enjoy my commute to work. Well that probably sounds a bit weird considering I just have to drive about six or so miles, but getting stuck in traffic – which I usually do – means I spend about three quarters of an hour listening to ‘Heart Breakfast with Jamie and Emma,’ getting to listen to some brilliant songs and being able to sing along to my hearts content! My windows are firmly shut and I figure I’m unlikely to see anyone I know so I’m well away! This really sets me up for the morning and makes a drive, which would otherwise be boring and tiresome into quite a relaxing, entertaining experience! As I’m quite often only doing a couple of miles an hour I’ll often also look around and notice the scenery, especially during a couple of parts of the journey, when I am quite high up and can see for miles. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in the beautiful Lake District or the Highlands of Scotland, I’m just in leafy Surrey, but even so…
You’re probably still wondering about the point of this rambling, although there is a bit of a clue in the title, what I’m trying to demonstrate is that it is beneficial to look for something good, in what would otherwise be something bad. I’m talking about that well known saying: every cloud has a silver lining, or thinking about ‘Pollyanna’ moments.
I really love the film Pollyanna. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s about a cheerful, positive orphan who is sent to live with her rich aunt, she is desperate for her aunt to show her some love and affection. Polyanna is always optimistic and sees the good in everyone she meets and everything she sees. Because of her chirpy demeanour, she makes friends with quite a few unexpected people and everybody is happy to be around her. She cheers others up and talks about the Glad Game that her father taught her. This is a game where they have to try and think of something to be glad about, even when the situation wouldn’t normally encourage positive feelings. One example she gives is when she wanted a second hand doll and she was sent a pair of crutches by the people of the village instead. She said she was glad because she didn’t need to use them. The maids at her rich aunt’s house were all complaining and saying they hated Sundays so Pollyanna told them they should all be glad because it is six whole days until the next Sunday! The film is based on a book, written in 1913, by American author, Eleanor H Porter – I bet she was a lovely lady to have written such a feel-good book. I haven’t actually read it myself but I think I’d like to, judging by the film.
Note: I’ve just deleted a whole load of text because I went on to say what happened in the rest of the film, but then I had a thought – if you haven’t seen the film, then I would have completely spoilt it for you, so I shall leave it there!
I have been thinking about other occasions when it is possible to think of reasons to be glad, when you might not necessarily. One is when it rains – we all hate being caught in the rain don’t we? However, positive things are (the obvious) it’s good for the garden, but also – you can wear your new raincoat or try out your flashy new umbrella! If you have a fall, yes it might hurt you and cause you problems, but, chances are, it could have been a whole lot worse. If you are at work and it’s boring and monotonous, feel glad that you actually have a job. There are many people who would be truly grateful to have the job that you are doing. You might be carrying shopping around in bags that are really cutting into your hands, but – yes you guessed it – be thankful that you have the money to go shopping in the first place. There are many, many more examples, can you think of any?
In the autumn we took our lovely springer spaniel to a National Trust house and garden. It was a miserable day – as you can see from the photo – but we walked for miles and Duke had a wonderful time. He loves nothing more than a run through the woods and couldn’t care less if the sky is blue or grey! He also isn’t too fussed about a bit of rain. We made the most of our day out and enjoyed the walk around the gardens and the glorious views. I’m not normally a person who would particularly choose to go for a walk when it’s raining but, despite the weather, we had a fantastic day, created memories, gathered ideas for the garden, got exercise and made the most of our time off work.
I don’t walk round wearing rose-tinted glasses, I know there are lots of bad things that happen in the world. I know that some people have to live in dreadful conditions and some live through harrowing, traumatic times. BUT thankfully most of us don’t, so I just think we should try and look on the bright side when we can and have a positive outlook where possible. Let us try and join those whose glass is half full, not half empty!