"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 everyday 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% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you ...we are in charge of our attitudes." ~ Charles Swindoll
There are so many beautiful, uplifting and inspiring quotes that it was difficult to chose just one for this week's Sunday Scribbles. Although for me, there is a connection between this quote and the quote inspiring this week's challenge by Diane Ackerman: "I don't want to be a passenger in my own life"
Being a passenger in life is so much easier than being the driver; there aren't as many risks involved. And if something goes wrong, well you can always just blame the driver. Yet as a passenger sometimes your desires & requests are ignored. You may even become a Back Seat Driver... a bit annoying but with good intentions. When you're the driver you have control at least control of your own actions and I like that. Sometimes the roads you navigate will be challenging or so terrifying that you may want to turn around. But you're the driver... it's your decision. You're the one in control.
Deciding to move to Belgium was our choice. Like all of our moves, we chose the location. Some moves were more complicated and presented more challenges like our most recent move to Belgium. But the results of these challenges has a lot to do with attitude. When we lived in Germany several years ago, I encountered many depressed wives who missed their homes so much it completely blinded them to the wonderful opportunities that living overseas can provide.
When we first learned we were moving to Belgium, I was in contact with a few wives who were currently living in the country. It amazed me how their views and experiences varied and I believe it had a lot to do with attitude. Their attitude about the country just poured out in their statements. One of the wives I felt I connected with most said, "If you have a boring day, it will only be because you chose to."
If I have a bad day or miss my family terribly, I remind myself of the wonderful things I love about living in Europe... traditional Christmas markets, the relaxed pace, travel opportunities, 3+ hour dinners, meeting new people and so much more. Most of all I need to remind myself that my situation is temporary and I must make the most out of our time.
This year we won't be celebrating Thanksgiving with our family or friends. In fact, Europeans don't recognize the holiday that has such a special place in my heart. I find holidays difficult but I need to remember that I want to be the driver in my life and this driver has a positive attitude! ;) So maybe we won't be eating turkey this year but a traditional Paella or a traditional 5 course Italian meal sounds just as delicious!