Accentuate the positive

Standing in line tonight, waiting with our daughter for my turn to cast my vote in the presidential primary, I was surprised to hear someone behind me describe the short wait for our precinct as a “nightmare.”

Surprised, because I had just been telling our daughter how excited I was to see so many of our neighbors taking time to participate in our democratic process. It was in that moment I was also reminded about how easy it is to complain, rather than to focus on the positive.

Believe me when I say, I get it – for nearly 10 years I made a career out of complaining. And there is nothing like a good bitch session with a girlfriend and a bottle of wine to relieve stress and blow off steam.

But most of the time, complaining isn’t that helpful or productive.

The power of staying positive has been on my mind since this weekend when our son and I went out for a ride in our local state forest. Starting off, I knew there was something going on with my bike, but in my haste I didn’t stop to check out the situation.

This, and the fact I didn’t bring a bike tool with me, was a mistake.

A few miles into our ride, and away from our house, my chain snapped. You know what doesn’t work very well without a chain?

A bike.

This was the moment I had a choice – throw my bike and complain, or show our son how to stay positive even when things go sideways.

So that’s what we did – heading for home, I pushed and glided on my bike “Wilma Flintstone-style” while my son provided encouragement (and carried the dirty chain). Instead of focusing on the fact that our ride was cut short, we discussed the best route to get home, laughed at my efforts to keep the bike rolling, and celebrated our success when we made it back in time before my daughter’s playdate was dropped off!

As always, there were many lessons learned on the bike – check your equipment, be prepared, and accentuate the positive.


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