I awoke this morning to what looked like another fine summer day. There was a mist coming off the lake at dawn as the warm water met air that had cooled after yesterday’s rain. And before I knew it that mist became a thick fog.
As I sat blinking away the sleep, the growing fog seemed to be pulling me backwards into sleep. And like the momentary confusion that happens when you’re in a stopped car and the one next to you starts moving, this thick and fog had me momentarily disoriented. I wasn’t sure if I were awake or asleep….or somewhere in between.
Summer can make you feel that way. Whether it’s seeing things through a mist or fog, or refracted by the shimmering sunlight, there are signs everywhere of the season: the buzzing of the insects, the wind blowing through the fields of grass, the dancing light on the water, the twinkle of fireflies, a moon shining through the clouds and then through the trees, the lapping of the water on the shoreline, and the smell of things growing in the yards and fields. These mid-summer days are filled with wild flowers blooming where just yesterday there were none, corn and blueberries and fields of hay growing in front of our eyes, and frogs and other night critters announcing their place in the eco-system. All of these were crystal clear in my mind’s eye as I stared into that fog.
And I realized that all of this sensory awareness was real as well as magnified by all the things I’d experienced in all my summer’s past. Our lives are like that: what we see and feel today is shaped by all that we’ve seen and felt before. And as I looked into that fog I could almost see and feel all the people, places and things from all those years gone by. I blinked a few times and refocused on today’s fog – and knew that past memories are always just below the surface and shaping all of my senses and experiences today.
My message this week is about using all of our knowledge and experience to be what we want to be:
“We choose what attitudes we have right now. And it’s a continuing choice.” John C. Maxwell
Do you have an attitude? A question like this most often refers to a negative attitude, but it doesn’t have to. Your attitude is a composite of all that you are, and based all you’ve learned and experienced in your life. You can use all of that to choose the attitude that others will see: positive and upbeat – the kind others like to be around; challenging and contentious – the kind others like to avoid; neutral and passive – the kind others have a hard time understanding; loud and boisterous – the kind that ends up grating on others’ nerves; or kind and understanding – the kind others want more of. Each of these, and so many others, are all available for choosing – you just have to think what’s best for you, and then focus on showing the attitude you want others to see. Remember: you get to make that choice every day, so take the opportunity to choose what’s best for making you be seen as the person you really want to be!