Thursday, January 20, 2011


Do you see that handsome man up there snuggling with my children? That is my big brother, Jim.

He has always been a wonderful big brother to me. (Actually, I am blessed with two of those.) He has literally picked me up off the floor and held me in his arms. On several occasions. Once was due to heartbreak long ago, and a more recent time was due to vestibular neuritis. (He shouldered that burden--literally--with my husband.) But I digress. The point is, my brother has always been there for me.

So when Jim came to visit this weekend, in the midst of managing his own difficult time, I was amazed to see how resilient, how strong, how there he STILL is. I am not even sure how to describe this. Have you ever known someone who, even in the midst of personal challenge, makes people admire him for his incredible attitude? That's it. It's attitude.

So much of facing what life throws at us is attitude. Sometimes, if you are feeling overwhelmed, you just have to get out of the fray and let your attitude adjust itself. Once your attitude is set, well then back into the fray you go, and better prepared to boot. This is something I really need to practice: the stepping back, the settling into a healthier attitude, and then the jumping in.

I first heard the following quotation in my Yesterday + Today class from my instructor Ali. I think she said her mom had this framed on the wall in their bathroom when she was growing up. I have done the same for myself. I've been reading it every morning and it has really been helping me set my attitude and intentions for the day.

Here's to you, big brother!

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. 
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.
It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. 
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you... We are in charge of our attitudes.
Charles Swindoll (b. 1934)


Mom said...

Thank you, Margaret. You are wonderful daughter and a super sister. I'll read this many times.

Lynn Hutchinson said...

I love this, "I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it." That is so true and it doesn't matter how old you are. Thanks, Margaret, for the reinforcement. Now just to engrain this into my kids, particularly my daughter right now.