I’ve been a proponent of positive thinking for many years. Somewhere along the road to maturity I realized that positive thoughts made the day better regardless of what else was happening. I realized that my reaction to events had as much as or more effect on the day than the actual events. I read The Secret when it came out and I’m familiar with The Power of Positive Thinking and You Can Heal Your Life. Last night we watched The Sound of Music and I was pleased to realize that the power of positive thinking is even espoused in that movie made forty years ago. The song, My Favorite Things is all about positive thinking. When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad; I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t perfectly practice positive thinking, but I do try. I try to be aware of what’s happening around me. I try to mentally pull myself out of a bad situation in order to take stock and readjust my thinking – most of the time.
Our oldest daughter turns sixteen in a couple of weeks and, as she approaches the birthday that for her is momentous, she becomes more and more irritating to me. It’s not just her behavior that’s irritating, it’s also my reaction to her behavior. I’m not always pulling myself back and readjusting my attitude. Sometimes, I choose to just let it go and to let the situation unravel. Sometimes I choose to not show the maturity that an almost-50-year-old should show. Then I wonder if my impending birthday has something to do with this. Perhaps I let myself mirror that 16-year-old immaturity in order to offset the realization of the 50-year-old expected maturity.
I’m hopeful that three weeks from now, when my daughter has turned sixteen and has her coveted driver’s license, I’ll find myself feeling more like myself, more like the person who does believe in the power of a positive thought, the person who does believe in PMA (positive mental attitude), but for now, I’m just trying to maintain some level of dignity while I wallow in this my-daughter’s-driving-me-crazy self-pity.