Monday, January 31, 2011

Relationships - work, church, clubs and the neighborhood

I'm still contemplating relationships in my life.  Today I'm thinking about relationships on a much more transient level.  These relationships include co-workers, neighbors, church friends, relationships formed by being in clubs together, and social networking.

This is such a surprising revelation for me, but, from experience, I know it's true.  These relationships are completely transient.  Now, I know that there is the occasional real friendship that can be formed in these relationships, but usually not.

I've had the experience of having a job for many years.  I've been close with co-workers.  I've shared personal situations.  I've spent a sizable portion of my life with these people.  However, when the time comes that I'm no longer working there or even when I go home in the evening, I'm done with them.  I've had the experience of being the only person at the hospital when one of my co-workers was having emergency surgery and bringing him or her meals and running errands for her, but I know when I am no longer working with him, we are done.  We most likely will not keep in touch.  Now this doesn't mean that I don't like these people.  It just means that our relationship is not a close, long lasting relationship.

I think the most surprising area that I have found this to be true is church.  I have had the experience of leaving a church and going to a different church without moving out of the area.  Even though I still lived in the same neighborhood with church "friends", they were done with me.  No calls, no lunches, nothing.  These were women and men that had shared VERY INTIMATE information.  These were women and men that were instrumental in supporting me during difficult times in my marriage .  These were men and women I have shared personal shortcomings I have only otherwise shared with God.  These are men and women, I thought, were brothers and sisters in Christ.  Brothers and sisters.  Family.

The folks I've met as neighbors, in clubs, and "friends" on facebook are certainly transient.  It's fun to have friendships with these people while we are living near each other or in the club, but, again, these are not necessarily long lasting relationships.

As I look back over what I've written about this level of relationship I see how I have contributed to the demise of these friendships.  I'm a more introverted person.  It is difficult for me to be outgoing or to initiate friendships.  I need to examine how this is working for me.  I don't see how I can bemoan my lack of close girlfriends and not be a person willing to put myself out there.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Relationships - family

I'm thinking about the relationships in my life and the effect they have on my happiness journey.  Today I'm examining the relationships in my life that are the closest.

I have an amazing husband.  I can't possibly tell all there is to tell about him, but I can tell you that he loves me and I feel SO loved by this man.  I am able to share anything with him.  I am so glad for this trait of his.  At this time of my life I don't have very many girlfriends.  Now, I have a couple close friends, and I appreciate them so much.  But, they are busy people.  Most people at this stage of life are busy, hard-working people.  We don't have small children giving us the opportunity for play-dates or school activities.  It seems that I have been drawn to people that have jobs that send them on travel and aren't home all the time.  I'm not a big fan of talking on the phone and different time zones make it difficult.  Wow, I've digressed.  I was supposed to be talking about my husband.  I'm so blessed that my husband no longer has a job that involves travel.  You would think that means he is home a lot.  Well, he is home every night, but he it not home a lot.  You see, I am a dissertation widow.  My husband is working on his PhD.  I am a bit lonely, but I understand.  He usually gets home from the office about 9:00 p.m. and usually spends one day of the weekend writing.  I am so proud of him.  When he is home, he is there for me.  Today he is totally OK with me staying in jammies and chillin'.  It was a very rough week at the office, but I'm not going to talk about that.  He lets me talk to him about my insensitive boss, crazy church ladies, and any "out there" thing I need to talk about.  He allows me to decompress.  He encourages me in my eBay endeavors.  He tells me I'm a GREAT cook.  He loves the choices I've made in decorating our home.  He encourages me to go away with a girlfriend when the opportunity arises.  Sometimes I worry that he makes it all about me, but I know that is not true.  I'm blessed to be married 28 years.  (Ha, I just had to ask him how long we've been married, and he knew.)  One thing about appreciating him is that when he asks me for something, I'm so glad.  I like to be able to help him out.  (He has stopped asking for THAT, 'cause it's just NOT going to happen, ha.)  I know this kind of relationship is not something everyone has, and there were times earlier in my marriage that I didn't think I would have it, but I DO.  And I thank God every day.

We have a son.  Our son is 23 years old and he lives with us.  I love my son.  I know my son thinks I hate him, but I don't.  I'm not completely happy with where he is in his life right now, but I am not hopeless.  Our son did not continue his education after high school and does not have a full-time job, but he does work "almost" full-time.  It's certainly not a career path I would dream of for him, but it's a job.  Our son has a learning disability, so school was always difficult for him.  I think he could take college classes, but he is just not ready yet.  Right now he has taken my wet clothes to the laundromat to dry them.  Our dryer died today.  It's great that he will help out and contribute to our family.  It's not always a willing action, but it is something he will do if asked twice or three times.  I'm seeking to be a more positive person towards him.  I want him to know I believe in him.  I believe God has a plan for him.  I am so glad that he is a good man.  He is respectful to people.  He is a sober person.  Now, I HATE the video games and the whole "gaming" culture, but he loves it.  What 'cha gonna do?  btw, I am completely open to suggestions on this matter.

You know, when I see the feelings I have for my family in writing it makes me love them all the more.  As I've taken this time to write I think of the positive things about them.  When I just talk about them to others, I think I have more of a tendency to run them down and talk about their faults.  Hmmm.  I wonder why this is so?  I really don't know any of the folks who've commented or read this blog personally, so you don't even know who my husband and son are.  Yet I've stayed positive AND it makes me FEEL positively towards them RIGHT NOW.  I've heard that positive words can evoke positive feelings.  Well, let me tell does.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Schoolchild Haiku

Northeast wind blows cold

Glittery flakes are flying

Please, be a snow day

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Number 9 - De-stress

9. De-stress. You're more likely to be cranky if you're perpetually stressed out. So get away from it all and recharge.
At the beginning of the year I posted some Tips for a Happier and Healthier Frame of Mind.  Number 9 said to de-stress.  I have just returned from four days at a health spa doing just that.  It was WONDERFUL.

I began a tradition of visiting the Heartland Spa with my mother in the early part of the year about five years ago.  I'll begin by telling you this is a very nice spa.  It is a "destination spa" which is much different than a day-spa.  While you visit the Heartland you are focusing on health, restoration and de-stressing.  I don't want to be an advertisement for this spa, but rather, focus on de-stressing and focusing on health.  While I was there I exercised by doing cardio, strength training and yoga.  I've got to tell you, I am woefully out of shape.  I have got to keep a regular exercise program going and get some stamina, strength and flexibility back.  This was not my favorite part of the visit, but it was certainly the backbone of the visit.  This portion gave me the determination to keep my exercise program going now that I have returned home.

I also spent a good deal of my time being pampered while I was at the spa.  I treated myself to a scrub and warm oil aromatherapy wrap, evening massages, a facial and mani/pedi.  I booked my mom a service every time I booked myself a service.  She said to me, "you know, I don't really need all these things."  Ah, there it is.  This is the credo I have lived by most of my life.  I don't really need to treat myself in a pampered way.  While I was having a massage the first night I arrived I thought this exact thought, "I don't really need a massage.  This is me throwing money away."  I had to force myself to remember that this massage was GOOD for me.  I was having muscles worked and warmed and prepared for more exercise than I usually do each day.  I also realized I keep emotion and tension in my muscles.  I was allowing the masseuse to work this tension and release those emotions from my body.

I thought the same thing during my facial and body treatment.  "I don't NEED this."  Then I reminded myself that I never put lotion on my back, so once a year it may not be the most decadent thing to have my skin scrubbed and moisturized ALL OVER.  

I am so glad I did these things.  I'm so glad my mom let me give these things to her.  It was a blessing to be able to do this.  It was a blessing to be able to receive this.

I think there are other ways to get away from everyday life and stresses.  I think one can go on retreats or vacations.  I'm glad I can get away with my mom and go to a peaceful and pretty place and focus on health and peace.  I encourage you to find it within yourself to believe that caring for your body will help you de-stress.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Parents Haiku

Mom and Dad aging

Loving, fighting - who are they?

Lord, give me thy Grace

I'm visiting my parents in IL for the long weekend.  I'll write more about this later, but I wanted to share.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I love eBay.  I love selling my stuff on eBay.  My husband thinks it's so funny.  He says I clean out my closets by packing everything in boxes and padded envelopes and bring it to the Post Office.  

I get a rush seeing $0.99 turn into $0.99 and then, if I'm incredibly lucky, $1.00 or $2.00 or even $3.00.  What a RUSH!  I really enjoy this as much as I really HATE garage sales.  I don't like people touching my things.  I don't like it when I've taken the time to put a price tag of $0.25 on something and then the buyer has the unmitigated gaul to offer me a dime.  Anyway, I like eBay.

I'm clearing my clutter.  I'm getting rid of projects I'm no longer interested in pursuing.  I'm freeing myself of clothes I will never wear again.  I'm creating empty shelf space.  I'm opening up room to breath.  I'm clearing space in my home for open space.


Oh, and I made $10.98 last week.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I'm going to open up with an area of my life that has really been keeping me from Being Happy.  Church. 

I was raised in the Church.  I was baptized when I was an infant in a Dutch Reformed church that became a Reformed Church of America church.  Long story short, this is a church that follows the theological system of John Calvin.  Now, I had no choice in this portion of my life and education.  I followed what my parents believed and believed it myself.  Of course, I grew up and made my own choices and learned about different belief systems and other Christian denominations.  This wasn't an easy time for me.  This is often a time when kids stop believing what their parents tried to teach them.  College and my desire to rebel against EVERYTHING my parents believed was my GOAL.  Then I decided to grow up a little bit and make a well thought-out decision.  There are portions of Christianity that are harsh.  The road to God in the Christian belief system is very narrow.  It's Jesus or nothing.  Other religions are equally harsh in denying paradise until enough boxes are checked.  I made a decision for Jesus.

Again, long story short, I'm a follower of Jesus.  As far-fetched as portions of the story of redemption through Jesus is, it is the most plausible to me.  I believe that is because the Holy Spirit has revealed this truth to me.  I have loved studying the bible and learning about God's love for me through the stories in the bible.  I have loved church and the fellowship with other believers and support I got there.  Now, church has become a hard place for me to go.

Why, you may ask, has it become hard for me to go to church?

There are a couple reasons.  You have the super-duper condensed history of why I go to church.  Here's my struggle.  We moved to our home here in Maryland and found a church we liked alot.  We joined it and attended regularly and were very active in the events the church had.  We, my husband and son, were happy with the vision and direction of this particular church.  I was active in Sunday school and bible study and vacation bible school.  I was an active mom.  When my son came of an age for a high school youth group, this church let the youth group leader go and had no desire to hire anyone new.  Our family felt we had to leave this church and find another church WITH an active youth group for our son.  We just thought this was important.  In hindsight this was a very good decision.  This particular church had a difficult time making the decision for a full-time youth program and more than four years would have past before they had a youth program going strong.  You know, sometimes you just can't be part of the solution.  Sometimes you have to do what you need to do for your family.  Anyway, in the small town we live in, leaving a church caused some hard feelings.  I really never understood this, but I was hurt by some of the "church ladies". 

We started going to a church with an active youth group at this time.  This church was a church that followed the theological system of John Wesley.  This was a challenge for me, but my husband and son were happy.  My son liked the youth group and Sunday school and my husband was good with the service and most of the people there.  I made a strong attempt to become involved.  I helped with the youth group.  I sang in the praise band.  I tried.  I never really felt "at home", but I made an effort.  There was a strong push for social justice that I was never all that comfortable with.  When our son graduated from high school and became his own person, my husband and I felt we could look for a church that lined up with what we believed.  We started looking for a new church.  This time when we left the church I continued my involvement in a bible study with some of the "church ladies" from this church.  I thought it would be ok.

I was wrong.  As I continued in the bible study it was obvious my belief in the protestant work ethic and the idea of helping the "truly needy" and not social justice for all made me different from these women.  Also, I learned a lot about social networking and commenting on blogs.  One of the women in the bible study has a blog.  She would post things I thought were contrary to what we were studying and what, I thought, were contrary to what Jesus would want us to do.  I commented.  I thought we would be able to talk about these disagreements.  I was wrong.  She wouldn't talk to me.  She avoided talking TO me, but talked ABOUT me to anyone who would listen.  ouch.  One woman in the study decided to take the horns of this disagreement into her own hands by forcing the blogger to talk with me.  There was to be a meeting.  I agreed to join this meeting.  I'm happy to clear the air.  I wanted to have a conversation and remind her that we are both daughters of the King.  We can disagree and still be believers. 

This was not to be.  The blogger cried and cried and cried and cried.  She was never able to articulate her feelings or beliefs or issues.  Just tears and sobs.  This made me feel very uncomfortable.  I've mentioned that I am not much of a "feeler".  Anyway, crying gains sympathy and stoicism does not.  I didn't feel I could be part of this group anymore.

Why is it hard for me to go to church?  I'm afraid to get involved with anymore of these kind of people.  I don't want to be judged.  I'm afraid.

Good news!  I went to a church today.  I'm going to take it slowly.  I'll sit in the back.  I'll keep to myself.  I'm going to take this very slowly.  I'm scared.  If you are the praying type, please pray for me.  I want to be part of the body of Christ again.

Friday, January 14, 2011


This blogging is a tough job.  I need to figure out what to write about every day, or every other day, whatever.  This is why I've never been great at journaling.  I really don't think I've got much of anything interesting to say.  I need to stretch myself.  Or, I need to become a better writer.  I know that good writers can make anything interesting.  I would like to read more, as well.  Reading is way to improve writing.  And, I love to read.  I'm just so tired.  I start reading and then I fall asleep after a couple pages.  It takes me FOREVER to finish a book.

Good News.  I got a Kindle.  At least now I don't get as tired when I read because the Kindle is WAY lighter to hold than a book.  Also, I really don't know how far along I am in the book anymore.  When I read hard copy books I would read faster, or hurry up in my reading to finish the book.  I think I read more carefully with the Kindle.  I'm enjoying the way different authors use words.  I'm lovin' it.

Back to my point; how do I think of topics to write about.  I'm open to suggestions.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January Haiku 2

Interrupted love

Retreat to separate corners

Please, don thy icy feet

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I went to the gym at lunch today.  I remembered the combination on my locker.  Oh yeah, I'm hurting.

I can't believe I've put this off so long.  I need to get moving again.  I know exercise changes your body and I know it changes how you think about yourself.  I think I'm a stronger person, mentally when my body feels stronger.  I feel braver.  I feel more powerful.  I AM WOMAN!!!  (yeah, I'm A woman, but not THAT kind of woman).

Here's a little information for any young women reading my blog. (first of all, I really really really hope you are reading)  When you get to be an older woman, your body starts to let you down.  I really need to write a blog on menopause.  I've survived it, and let me tell you, it makes periods look like a walk in the park.  My body now wants to hold on to every pound it gains.  My body CRAVES sweets.  I think it wants me to be fat and lazy.  I need to fight my natural urges and MOVE.

I have a next-door neighbor who is a BEAUTIFUL woman.  She is my age.  Every morning I get up for work and when I look out my window I see the light is on in the room containing her treadmill.  I know she is on it every morning at six A.M.  She is dedicated to keeping her body in shape and it shows.  I need to take that as inspiration.  I WANT to be inspired and not be jealous.  This body of hers didn't JUST HAPPEN.  She works for it.  Inspiration is a positive feeling and thought.  Jealousy is a negative feeling and thought.  I'm going to choose the positive.

Now, does that mean I can get up early and use a treadmill?  I don't know.  But I can go to the gym at lunch.  I have a work-out buddy and she's VERY encouraging.  My friend is a POSITIVE person.  I think I've mentioned, for a happy healthy frame of mind one should hang around positive people.  That is what I'm going to do.

And, I'm going back to the gym.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What's up with the Happy Thoughts tab?

If you've opened the Happy Thoughts tab, you've probably wondered, What the heck?  Let me explain.

One of the ways I've been working on myself in the pursuit of Being Happy is to change negative thoughts into positive thoughts.  I'm sure this is not an issue for most people, but for me it is a difficult thing to do.  I can't tell you why I have a tendency to focus on the negative.  Or, why the glass is usually half empty for me, but it is.  I haven't always seen this trait of mine as a negative.  I used to think this trait helped me find all the mistakes or flaws in a person, situation, or myself and gave me the opportunity to fix them.  Over the years I've found this tendency of mine to find the flaws or to be suspicious of the intentions people have is hurting me and reinforcing a negative view of the world. This negative view of the world and the people in it makes Being Happy harder than it needs to be.  I want to change this about myself.  I want to see the positive in people.  I want to see the positive in situations.  I want to Be A More Positive Person.

How is this accomplished?

After much conversation with professionals in the mental health biz I have learned that positive thinking is a choice.  This is so surprising to me.  I did not realize we can choose our thoughts.  I just thought thoughts happened.  I have learned to notice when I have a negative thought, I can take that thought and turn it into a positive thought.

Now, this is not going to be as easy as it sounds.  In my pursuit of Happy Thoughts I decided to jot down the positive thought that is the opposite of any negative thought I may have while I was working on my blog.  Hey, it's a start.  This, I hope, will help you understand the randomness of the Happy Thoughts.

This is a brand new concept for me, so you will have to cut me some slack in this area.  I've been Debbie Downer for 53 years.  Change isn't going to happen overnight.  But, let me tell you something that happened to me the other day.  I had a brief chat with a woman that works in my building about a conversation I had just had with a new VP in my building.  My take on the convo was to be suspicious.  This VP had just asked me what I did over my Christmas break.  Did I have family come to visit?  Where did my family live?  Am I close with them?  My brain was spinning.  What did that person want from me?  What was she trying to get from me?  what what what?  When I spoke to my friend, she said the
Most Amazing Thing.
She said the convo about my personal life was most likely an opportunity to get to know me better.  Most likely because we had gotten off on the wrong foot when she first started working in our building.  I was shocked.  This thought had not and would not in a million years have occurred to me.  This woman was just trying to be friendly.  What a concept.

Being friendly...Seeing the positive in a situation...Turning my negative thoughts about people and situations into positive thoughts.  I Can Do This.

I hope this explains the Happy Thoughts tab.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Yeah, I'm feeling a lot better about the whole thing

I found this video on YouTube.  If Jessica can affirm herself in the mirror in the morning.  So CAN I.

Watch this

The bottom line is I'm GREAT!  I LOVE my hair.  My house is GREAT!  I do everything GOOD.
Just let my boss tell me anything different.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Put it on paper

I've heard it said "Take the pressure off you and put it on paper."  I think this is a statement that needs some investigating.  I'm going to use this space to investigate this saying.  The following is my story.

Yesterday a rumor circulated around my place of business quicker than s**t through a goose (my dad used to say that).  Here's the rumor... Three long-time employees were let go.  No reason given.  No two-week notice.  Nothing.  Don't let the door hit you on the way out.  Btw, this rumor ended up being true.  These 3 guys are gone.  The only rumor part is WHAT the reason for the dismissal is.

Now, I don't know about you.  In fact, I'm really not sure if anyone will see this.  But, this is scary stuff in these "tough economic times."

There are details about this situation that I won't subject the casual reader to.  However, one tiny thing is the fact that my boss is the AVP of the department these ex-employees worked under.  Now, I know I'm not informed of all business "goings on" in this business, but, occasionally, one "hears" something.  In this case, nothing.  Scary stuff.

To add insult to injury, my boss (the AVP) decides to correct me on two infractions I have committed this fine day, at the end of the day.  These infractions were small.  No long lasting problems have or will occur, but they were mistakes non-the-less.  Boy, his timing was PERFECT.  My response had a lot to be desired.  Sure I said I was sorry and would not be making those two mistakes again.  But, in my typical ISTJ manner, I had to add "Are you building a case to fire me, as well?"  Super!  Why couldn't I say sorry and leave it at that.  I've been sick to my stomach all day.  I think you can guess that this detracts from Being Happy.

What do I do?

Ok, how does one remain happy in their place of employment during this type of pressure.

It's the weekend now and I'm blogging this hoping to get this pressure off me and on to this blog.  Also, a little constructive advice would be nice, too.  Also, I talked to my husband about this issue.  He told me a management story about Type X and Type Y employees and coordinating management styles.  It is interesting to think that some managers believe that keeping their employees fearful of their employment longevity is a way to get them to work better.  I don't get my work ethic externally.  I love to do a good job and feel part of a team.  I am surprised that others don't have this motivation and only work well when watched or threatened.  But, they've done the studies, so I know it's true.  So, my guess is the managers believe all of us UN-Fired employees will start working harder so we don't become FIRED.

I'm going to go into the office on Monday, do my job, go home Monday night, and repeat this action for the rest of the week.  If Monday is my last day...  I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

And, I will pray.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Haiku for January

Back to the salt mines

Old radiator rumbles

Mid-day nap a mem'ry

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Did I fail?

Ok, I didn't get to the gym today.  I don't think I should let this lapse define me.  I can go to the gym tomorrow, or the next day, or both.  This year I will not define myself by my failures.  I know this is what I've done the past 53 years of my life, but this year is going to be different.  I'm sitting on the couch watching Biggest Loser while typing this blog.  I'm sitting on my butt.  This show has the fattest people I've ever seen on it.  If they can change I can change.  I am going to think positively about this.

I listed five items on ebay and four of them are selling.  This makes me so happy.  I'm clearing clutter.  I would like to have the beautiful homes I see in the blogs of women I respect.  I need to start shedding items in my home I no longer need, love, or treasure.  I can do this.  I read a post by a person on my newsfeed that said "if you have more than you need you are stealing from another."  Now, I don't think he was right about this.  Having more things, food, money, etc. than you need is not "stealing" from anyone.  It is, however, gluttony.  I think the shedding of excess things will go along with my shedding of excess weight.

Now, is this the road to happiness?  I don't know the answer to this.  What I do know is that good health and a clean orderly environment will open me to doing things that make me happy.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My voice

It's all about the tenacity and stick-to-it-tiveness, isn't it?  Ok, I'm starting off on the right foot.  I'm clearing clutter.  I'm selling my clutter on ebay. man's trash is another man's treasure.  I used to do this a couple years ago, but I had a nasty run-in with a coworker and yada, yada, yada...he was fired, but you know, these HR things can be really long and painful.  Anyway, I lost my momentum and ebay just fell off the radar.  Now, I'm back.  I want to clear clutter and hold on to what matters most to me.  This DOES make me happy.  I listed a few things and they are SELLING!  I hope to keep the momentum going.

And... I have a workout buddy ready to go on Tuesday.  She wants me to come to the gym on my lunch hour and exercise with her.  I HATE to exercise, but.. I will be there.  And I will let you, dear reader, hold me accountable (as well as the pants I can barely zip anymore).

Lastly, the thing that has made me the happiest.  I got a comment from two bloggers I LOVE.  EW from "in the hush of the moon" said hi to me and said my words touched her.  AND, then, B from "Farmgirl Paints" commented and thanked me for posting.   I just about jumped out of my skin, I was so happy.  My voice does make a sound..., and someone heard me.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tips for a Happier and Healthier Frame of Mind

My goal for 2011 is to be happier.  *yeah, still working on that same old thing* I thought these tips would help me, so I shared them on my fb page and I thought I'd share them here. I copied these tips from here, but I added the Bible verses myself.

1. Recognize negative thoughts as they take shape and bury them before they take root. If you feel your mood darkening again, put a stop to these dangerous musings before you succumb to them. Rule your emotions, don't let your emotions rule you.

Proverbs 4:23,  Above all else, guard your heart,for it is the wellspring of life.

2. Hang out with people who think positive as well. This condition can be quite infectious.

1 Thessalonians 5:11,  Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

3. Just as contagious is a negative mindset. So avoid people who tend to think negatively on a constant basis. After all, who wants to hang around naysayers all the time? 

Ephesians 4:29,  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

4. Work out and eat right. If you look good on the outside, it'll be easier to feel good on the inside, too.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20,  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

5. De-clutter. Surround yourself only with the things you love and that make you feel good--framed family photos, favorite books, potted plants, works of art, or whatever else that's meaningful to you.

Luke 12:15,  And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

6. If people tell you you can't do something, take that as a challenge and prove them wrong. Chances are, they themselves can't do it or are too afraid to try and are simply bitter about it. If you show them it can be done after all, maybe they'll even be inspired by your success. You can be a living tip for positive thinking to them.

Philippians 4:13,  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

7. Just when you're about to blow your top for all the seeming misfortunes that befall you, remind yourself of all your blessings instead. This practice can be very sobering, indeed.

Psalm 136:1,  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

8. Be a volunteer or get involved in charity work. Not only will you realize the sheer number of people who have bigger problems than you do, but there is also such an emotional and even spiritual high to be experienced in helping others.

Acts 20:35,  In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

9. De-stress. You're more likely to be cranky if you're perpetually stressed out. So get away from it all and recharge.

James 4:8,  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

10. Keep it up. Getting started is easy. It's the maintenance that's tricky. Make a habit out of thinking positively till it becomes an indelible part of who you are.

Hebrews 12:1-2,  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.