To paraphrase Sidney Carton in a Tale of Two Cities, “It is the best of times. It is the worst of times.” That’s the story of my summer so far this year. Let’s begin with the worst. There were more changes in a short period of time than one would think possible. There’s no point to itemize. Just know they were changes that impacted my life on a daily basis. You know you have to accept and flow with what is. Most days you go along with the new normal, adapting as best you can. Other times there is a longing for ‘the good old days’, which, by the way were not that old. Many things were more manageable the way it was. Longing or not, there’s no going back. You find a way to navigate the new landscape.
There was one aggravation that necessitates some venting. I am convinced there is a conspiracy amongst all air conditioning units. I am also convinced there is an nefarious Grand Master who controls all AC’s. This GM activates a mechanism that determines which and how many of his charges will cease to function during the hottest and most humid days of the summer. Unfortunately, mine was on this year’s list. The very day the heat and humidity reached unbearable levels my AC quit. This began July 1 and continued until July 18 when the situation was remedied. Suffice it to say I would hope never to experience a repeat of a single one of those 18 days. I am now very grateful to have a new AC which I am led to believe is not under the clutches of that iniquitous GM.
That conveniently segways to the best of times. What I learned is that any time can be the best of times. It is all about the lens through which we view things. It is also about our choice of lenses. Do we want to see misery, self pity, worst case scenario, etc. Full disclosure, I have occasionally chosen that lens. That view is mighty ugly and appears to have no way out.
The other lens that I believe is the antidote to all things negative is viewing through gratitude. The thing to remember is as Brother David Steindl-Rast has said, that we can’t be grateful for everything, but in any moment we can be grateful for something. If we can just stop for a single moment and acknowledge something to be grateful for, it opens us to optimism and hope. Anything that can give us even a modicum of hope in today’s world is a blessing. Not to mention gratitude is known to lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, reduce stress.