There's Always a Bright Side

by Bill Love

Here’s a statement that I’m sure that you can relate to your life: "I had a rough fill in the blank (day week etc)." We tend to dwell on negative things. I think it’s because so much of life is dealing with problems. Life has been a lot harder since March, and when additional obstacles and pressures come your way, they can seem insurmountable. 

I don’t mind telling you that for me, it’s been a tough year, financially speaking. I’m going to make less money this year than I have in many years. That is in addition to all the pressures that the pandemic has brought. It’s a pain wearing a mask in stores, remembering to have a mask to wear, and figuring out which direction to walk down isles. Then on top of everything, it seems as if the whole country is in a meltdown. These pressures on top of the normal things we normally have can seem overwhelming. Then, there is concern for the future. What will the next few months bring? Almost anything that you can imagine now seems possible. 

Last week I received a sweet little note from the SC Dept. of Revenue. When Cindi told me who had sent it, I knew it couldn’t be good. Of course it wasn’t. Apparently some numbers were entered on the wrong line of our tax return, and we owed a chunk of change. Everything is relative, but for me, it was a good bit. It must be paid by early September or penalties and interest will accrue. That was Wednesday. Friday, Cindi called and said that our neighbor had contacted her saying that our yard was full of water. It had overrun our property and was flowing down the street. He came over and turned it off. As it turned out, a large root from a tree had broken the water line causing the meter to run like the second hand on a watch, only faster. As it turned out, a landscaper had planted a tree directly over the water line so that it couldn’t be patched, and it had to be replaced. That work couldn’t be done until someone from the county could come and spray paint lines on the ground. It was getting late Friday, so we were looking at the possibility of no water until Monday afternoon. I told Cindi that we had three clean toilets and to use them carefully. 

A friend told me that she really felt sorry for me, then it hit me. I think I had an epiphany. I’m not positive because I’m not exactly sure what an epiphany is, but I realized that things could be a lot worse. The day before, Hurricane Laura had hit Louisiana.  I recalled seeing images of total devastation. There were a lot of people that would gladly trade their problems for mine. As it turned out, my water was back on later that night. I was getting ready to climb into a comfortable bed, with clean sheets, in a climate controlled home. We had plenty of food in the refrigerator and pantry. I had clean clothes and reliable transportation. 

My whole mindset changed. Since then I have tried to consciously appreciate the things that I have, and for most of us that is a lot. I am no psychologist but that really seem to be a key to happiness, appreciation for what we have, as opposed to a few things that aren’t perfect in our lives. 

If you have family, running water, electricity, food and good health, you have more than most people in this world will ever have. Appreciate it!

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