One of the people who has influenced me the most in my life is my Uncle Michael. He has always been the coolest uncle. He was always laid back, never got into a tizzy about things, and he wasn't a yeller or a screamer when conversations would get heated with my grandparents and their SEVEN children!
When I was in Junior High, my oldest sister graduated from college and Michael was the only relative who came for her graduation.... so we got to spend a lot of one-on-one time together. I loved listening to the things that were important to him.... beautiful landscaping, a good solid house, and dogs who loved him no matter what. I kept feeling like I needed to add something to the conversation so I would start my talks with, "don't you hate it when....." After about 3 days of him staying with us at my parents house, he turned to me and said, "Tell me something POSITIVE." I said, "what?" (in my best tween attitude voice). He said, "everything you say starts with 'don't you hate it when' and it's just so negative. The world already has plenty of negative people in it, but not enough positive people."
Isn't it amazing how with the MILLIONS of conversations you have in your lifetime, that just a few stick with you and change your life? Michael changed my life that day but I didn't know that until I was about 23 and life was really throwing me some rotten lemons. We couldn't get pregnant, my organs were shot from years of endometriosis, Jon wasn't ready to have kids yet... and on and on and on... I could see Michael's face in my mind, just as calm and gentle as he always is.... "tell me something positive, Ann".
Fast-forward to today. I no longer beat myself up about how I look or what car I drive. I don't care if my hair isn't perfect or if I'm the only one not wearing make-up. I am CHOOSING to find the positives in life. CHOOSING to spend my time on the things that matter to me. I CHOOSE to get in the pool and do crazy things with my family. I CHOOSE to get sweaty and go on hikes with my family. I CHOOSE to spend time on the couch with my husband watching our favorite movies. I CHOOSE to spend an entire weekend with my sisters and their families. I'm choosing happiness simply by finding the positives in life.
Thanks Uncle Michael.... I love you deeply.