“Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” –Nathaniel Hawthorne
What do you think of when you hear the word change?
When I hear the word change, I don’t think of jingling coins in a pocket, or cringe because I want to only keep things just as they are—comfortable. No, change to me means the new normal. Change is the hallmark of our past year, moving from Cincinnati, Ohio, to an expat life in Prague, Czech Republic.
This past year has been crazy-hard. Everything is different for us. In fact, we’ve had many discussions about some of the things that have stayed the same for us, our constants in a sea of change, things we are incredibly thankful to have: family, faith, health, Snickers. Things that have changed: well, everything. Yes, even our foods have changed, drastically. Nothing is the same. Change is our new normal.
I’ve had dozens of people ask or comment in the past six months, “How can you always be so positive?” or “Why are you always looking on the bright side?” After about the twentieth comment, I’ve had to stand aside and think for a while. Why? How?
This is what I’ve come up with, like the title of one of my favorite Van Morrison songs: I choose the Bright Side of the Road.
Nothing profound. But daily, I think, it’s a choice on how we choose to see the world. For the good or for the bad. For the light or for the dark. For the blessings or for the bummers. If we don’t choose to make today great, to see the beauty in the chaos, to find the best even out of the worst, today will be … just the opposite.
Some say this mindset is a “positive” one. But I think it’s focusing on the truth. Today is a gift, created by our God who cares. And because he cares, we are freed to see the bright side of the road.
So, though things continuously don’t go as planned, it’s okay. For without the dark shadows in life, we wouldn’t have the contrast to clearly see the light. Today, I choose to walk on the bright side of the road. How about you?