Utterly Brilliant Thoughts: Attitude

I have a bit of a crush on James Blake. I first became aware of him during his spectacular match against Andre Agassi in the 2005 U.S. Open, but I really didn't know much about him until I saw him on Oprah. (Sadly, Oprah & the internet are my only sources of information.) First, I just have to mention: he is fine. Fiiiiine. Like People's "Sexiest Athlete of the Year" fine. I think my television was sweating. Or drooling.

But more importantly, he has such a marvelous attitude. Two years ago, he broke his neck & was nearly paralyzed. During his recuperation, he found out his father was dying of cancer. Just a few days after his father's death, Blake was diagnosed with an excruciating case of shingles that caused his face to become paralyzed & his vision to blur. In spite of all this, he says he tried to keep a positive outlook:
After [Arthur] Ashe found out he was stricken by the HIV virus, he said, "I'm not going to sit here and say, 'Why me?' because I wasn't saying 'Why me?' when I was holding up the Wimbledon trophy." I had so many things go right in my life up until last year that I'm bound for a little bit of rain amongst the sunshine.
I don't know about you, but I've had years where one bad thing after another happens & it seems like you just cannot catch your breath, let alone a break. And I can GUARANTEE that I did not deal with it with Blake's apparent composure. Illness, death, family situations, financial problems, job worries - no matter how large or small the problem is, I know that there are thousands of people that have far more serious problems than I do, but that doesn't stop a small (& sometimes not so small) part of me from thinking "Why meeee?" So my question is, how do some people (i.e., not me) keep such a positive attitude? Is it just a part of your genetic make up? (In which case, I am probably screwed.) Or can it be cultivated? In that hope, here is my "With All This to Be Thankful For, You Should Just Stop Your Whining & Watch Oprah & Be Happy" list:

  • I have an amazing husband who I love & who loves me & who is honestly the best part of my day, every day.
  • I have a wonderful, loving family that has taught me about loyalty, generosity, tenacity, strength, grace under pressure & the importance of a good sale!
  • Through marriage, I have been given a second family that is just as incredible as the one I was born with.
  • I have brilliant & beautiful friends that help me keep (what's left of) my sanity.
  • I have a job that allows me to pay my bills and afford some "necessary luxuries" like champagne, Aveda, Origins Ginger products, yet another pair of shoes, Mon Aimee chocolate truffles & the occasional Coach bag.
  • I have enough to eat & drink, moderately good health & a roof over my head (we won't linger too long over that last bit!).
And, honestly, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Now, will someone please remind me of all this when I get back to my normal, snarky self & am bitching about the real estate market / my job / life in general in a few days??



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