This beach scene can be taken several ways. My first reaction and I think that which is true of most first reactions, is one of sadness and melancholy. It looks like the end of summer has come. The clouds are thickening and graying as the wind picks up. The oh-SO-hot days of summer ‘10 are passed and I’m back home in good ol’ Lawrence, Kansas as if only to count the days until the sun and I meet again. Sounds like a long, dreary season ahead, right?
The other reaction to this picture, which came to me after some reflecting, is also one of sadness but not regret. It’s true the vacation and sunshine season is ending but oh, what memories we’ll carry. The beach-towel picnics, the seashell collecting, the smell of warm, salty ocean water wafting with the fragrances of Coppertone Lotion and Off Repellant, the sound of the gulls overhead, the buzzing drone of speedboat motors in the distance, the shrieks from the kids as the water washes up their legs as they first enter the waves. On and on come the memories. On and on those memories will stay with us.
I paint this visual image because I believe the seasons of our lives are also like this picture. Everyday is the ending of a familiar known quantity. For that I may feel sadness and nervously anxious about what tomorrow holds for me. If I let that anxiety take me down, which can happen all too easily, tomorrow will certainly be the disappointment I’ve dreaded.
So, as National Positive Thinking Day approaches this Monday, September 13, (which is aptly followed on Monday, September 27 with National Thank You Day!) choose your attitude. Is your glass half empty or half full? To close I quote British novelist and screenwriter David Ambrose, “If you have the will to win, you have achieved half your success; if you don’t, you have achieved half your failure.” Choose to succeed!
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