Monday, June 9, 2008

Pattie over at Attitude Changes Everything has issued a challenge to type up a post on how attitude makes a difference in living a healthy lifestyle. Here is my two cents:

I have a hard time with keeping a good attitude in everything I do. It is a struggle. I don't know when or how it happened but I had become a pessimist with negative attitudes. This has affected my life in every aspect, my relationships with my husband and children, parents and sisters. In my relationship with my husband it has caused some strained situations, to say the least. My husband is very patient and understanding but it was hard on him. My children have grown up learning a lot of my bad habits caused from my negative attitude. I see how it affects their life and how they now struggle. I'm sorry for that.
This lifestyle has also caused many of my habits to be unhealthy, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritual. A few years ago, I decided that it was time to change. I was not sure this could be accomplished but I wanted to try. I was unhappy and sometimes miserable.
My Mom was very sick with lung cancer, four years ago, during this beginning time of change and many things I had to deal with during her illness were a blessing in disguise. I literally became the parent and she the child. Just this alone, can change your attitude. I was faced with having to do things I had never done before. Driving her to some of her doctor visits was difficult. You have to understand that I usually drove only in our neighborhood or on certain streets that I felt comfortable. I would worry about going to a place I had never been before or driving on a street and getting lost. This worry was due to my negative thoughts, I always worried about everything. Not driving many places was not usually a problem because I knew my husband or my mother would always take me where I didn't drive, but now my mother was sick and could not. My husband worked and it was too much to ask for him to take off of work to do this for me. So, I had to learn and do it. My attitude began to change and I realized this was something I could do. It is still a work in progress. I have to tell myself not to worry and get it done if I have to drive somewhere I have never been.
Speaking up for myself or my mother was another thing I had to learn. I usually kept to myself. Didn't speak to people I didn't know unless spoken to and even then, kept it short. I didn't know how to carry on a conversation. In my opinion I figured that no one else was interested in my business because I was not usually interested in theirs. Bad attitude, I know. This had to change. My mother was seeing doctor after doctor with new medicines and I was hearing medical terms I had never heard of before. I had to find out about these things for her sake. I had to talk. Sometimes stand up for her if I thought there was something bad for her or making her feel bad. That was so hard for me. That is just a couple of things that changed during that very hard time in my life.
I had also discovered quilting a few years before my Mom got sick. If I wanted to do quilting things like meetings and classes I had to get out of the house and drive there. Talk to strangers (who soon became friends). After Mom passed away I threw myself even more into quilting. I realized also at this time that life is short and I was wasting mine away. I needed to live life to the fullest, to enjoy it more. This all came about and started to change my attitude.
I now try to think positive. I try to enjoy every minute of everyday. I said I try because I don't always accomplish this, it is not easy. My old self wants to slip back in occasionally but I feel I have come a long way. My new friends have a hard time believing me when I tell them how I used to be even just five years ago because they say I'm not like that person I describe. They say I talk, am helpful, and have patience (this one I find funny). I'm not sure about all that but I am trying to get better at being all those things. I have discovered that I like to teach and I'm now teaching quilting to others. That is a big step for me.
I'm reading my bible on a daily basis now and have seen a positive change in my spiritual life as well. I have begun eating healthy and trying to lose weight (even though I have a long way to go). I eat better now than I ever did before. I feel better. I hope that the way I live now can be an example to my children of how attitude can make a difference and a person can change to be more positive and happy.

I'm not sure I met Pattie's challenge and it is probably way more than any of you wanted to know about me but it is me from my heart and how I feel about my attitude.

If you enjoyed reading about my attitude changes then go one over to Pattie's site and read about how you can join in this challenge.


Pattie said...

Wow, Terry - you met the challenge, and then some! I am SO impressed by all the challneges you willingly took on, and how your life has been blessed because of it. You're amazing – truly.

You epitomize my motto, Attitude Changes Everything! :-)

Elaine Adair said...

Wow Girl - you have been doing some thinking! I take my hat off to you.

I am at the other end of the spectrum (practicaly NEVER worry, even when I SHOULD) and sometimes just cannot comprehend a worrisome personality - you have helped me learn a little. Thank you.

Needled Mom said...

Great post, Terry. One can certainly be inspired by your change. I wish you all the best with such a drastic attitude change as you deserve it.

Deborah said...

Great post!! You've come a long way baby!!

Keep up the good work!!