As I finished up the last couple of things that needed to be done yesterday, I stopped and thought about how fortunate I was to be doing the job I am doing. It is actually difficult for me to call what I do a “job” because I enjoy what I do so much that it doesn’t really feel like work.
I know that I am the exception to the rule, as I see people complaining every day about their jobs, their co-workers and bosses. Many of them count down the days of the week to the days when they don’t have to show up to work and can do what they like. That’s OK and people do what they have to do. It only makes me appreciate what I do each day even more and I am grateful for the position that I am in. I know I am very grateful.
I woke up this morning and a friend on Facebook had a wonderful blog which spoke of – among other things – gratitude. I love reading her blogs because they are always not only sensible, but very positive and not “preachy”. My friend has a way of looking at life through eyes of kindness, tolerance and hope and I find it to be wonderfully refreshing among the sometimes negative and complaining posts that I read on Facebook.
I realize that many of you have nothing to do with Facebook at all because of the rampant negativity, and I understand that. But I find that (as with anything) there are good parts of it as there are not so good parts. I have learned to filter out the negative people and I focus on the positive people and support that I receive from them. And because of that, my experiences there are for the most part very good.
I find that artistic people tend to be more positive. Maybe that is an incorrect assessment, but to me anyway, those who are busy creating and inspiring others seem to be too busy doing so to spread negative thoughts and preach to others. They seem to be focused on their crafts, whatever they may be, and they have a nice and healthy appreciation for their own life and things around them. It is as if they want to spend as much time as they can doing what they enjoy and don’t have time to sit around and ponder all of the things that are wrong with their life. I can tell you from experience that it is difficult to be cranky or negative when I am in the process of creating something new. For me, it is like therapy.
Yesterday I noticed that most of the people that I am in contact throughout the day are those who are creating in some way or another. I spoke with customers, a couple of different people from companies that I deal with, some of my creative friends, and even my editor from the magazine and all were positive experiences. All these people were busy, but they were all happy in what they did and the day was overall a very pleasant and productive day. I suppose that is when the connection clicked, and I figured out why things were so good. They all enjoyed what they were doing and it showed in their day to day attitude. I thought that was pretty cool.
I often say how much I love my job and my life. I expect it may annoy some people who are not happy in their own life, but I don’t try to do that. I say it often because I am truly in awe at how easy it is to be happy, and I am truly grateful that I am. Like many people, I have had my ups and downs in this life. I have made some good decisions and some really, really bad ones that I wound up paying the consequences for. And that wasn’t fun. I think once you have been through some really difficult times and have come out the other end still breathing, it does change your perspective on things and you do tend to appreciate even the small things that are good in your life. And that is a great way to feel.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not grateful for all that I have. I don’t have a lot by some people’s standards and I don’t make a lot of money (people would laugh if they knew how much!) but to me, that isn’t important at all. The only standard that I have to meet is my own. And I have enough money to live comfortably and be able to still do what I love every day. So I am happy.
I honestly think that my calling in this life is to teach and create. It has not always been easy to follow that calling. We live in a world of material things and naturally we need to make enough money doing what we do to pay for our own living. But over the years, making decisions and focusing on what I “need” rather than what I “want” made a huge difference in the outcome and quality of my life. It isn’t that I don’t give in to the “wants” now and then, but not on a daily basis. Usually, if I procrastinate about getting something, then I really didn’t want or need it in the first place. If I wait even a week or so, I find that more so than not the urge to get it recedes. This saves me a fortune. If I still am thinking about it after days or weeks, then I consider it a little more seriously. It is a good way for me to do things and keeps down the clutter and unwanted things in my life.
I apologize for going off on a tangent. But my friend Charlotte’s blog really got me thinking.
So what is on my agenda for today?
I am finishing up working on the new pattern packets for the site update, which we plan to do tomorrow. I have three new patterns that I will be adding there, and Keith has some new ones as well. Among my patterns will be the SLD430 Nativity Christmas Box:
The matching SLD431 Nativity Christmas Keys:
And the SLD432 Angel Place Card Holders:
People have been asking about them since I began showing them when I designed them this spring and I am happy that they are finally released for me to sell on the site.
We are also going to visit our friends Ellen and Bernie today at their beautiful camp on the lake. We haven’t been able to get there yet this year, as one thing has come up after another and we have all been busy. We are actually celebrating both Ellen’s and my own birthday (both which were in August!) with a nice relaxing dinner and visit. It is always nice to spend time on the lake and I look forward to it a great deal.
It is going to be a good day.
I truly feel that any day can be a good day. Even if bad things happen, there is always something good that we can find in our lives to focus on. Attitude dictates so much of how we feel and how we live. While it sometimes takes a great deal of thought and practice to have a good and positive attitude, soon it becomes a habit and we train ourselves to look for and recognize the good things that we have. And in the end we are happier people for it.
It makes me feel good when people tell me that they enjoy my positive attitude and that it inspires them. I honestly think that if I complained and griped to you all each morning, I wouldn’t have lasted over three and a half years writing this blog. I am glad when many of you tell me that you come here because of my positive outlook and I hope that I can continue to look at things in a way that makes people feel good about things. Believe me – there are times when I get down as well. But knowing that you expect me to be positive really does help me look harder for the good in even the worst situation, and it pulls me out of the hole as well. By finding these good things and writing about them, it reinforces my way of thinking positively, and makes my life better. Thank you all for that.
I wish you all a wonderful day today. I hope you stop and look at all the good things in your life and focus on them. You will be amazed at how nice it will make you feel!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"