Embrace the Positive in Place of Victim-Think (DE Wave)

Well, it’s just around the corner. Though most of us full-timers secretly look forward to it, we still grumble, “I’m sick of the traffic! What? More construction? Things aren’t what they used to be! Who are all these people!?” But you can manage that stress by thinking differently. Consider what the downtown Bethany construction will do for the area. Without improvements like that that help draw vacationers, you might not own your own home or have a nice place to stay when you visit.

The crowds are an indicator that the area where you live is popular. That’s a good thing! It means property values go up (eventually…), and, if you were to move, maybe you can make a profit.

Another plus for me is that I like to see people having fun. I always wanted to live in a resort area. It lightens my spirits. I can enjoy it when the crowds are here, and then, with the change of seasons, welcome different pleasures during the quiet months. Seeing so many people here at the beach reminds me that it’s a nice place to be. People don’t usually flock to ugly or undesirable locations (you didn’t!). So, as I stop-and-go down Garfield Parkway, I can at least tell myself, “I live in a nice place. How fortunate I am.” OK, on a Saturday afternoon it might bear repeating, but it does work.

So many people tell me they moved to the beach for the scenery and the ocean, but after a while they say, “I never see the water or go fishing any more.” Or, “I never do the things I used to do when I came here on vacation.” To which I reply, “No excuse!” We all have choices. You can CHOOSE to spend more time doing the things that motivated you to move here. I love to walk on the beach and I strictly block out time to do it. If I don’t do it, then it’s nobody’s fault but my own.

It all boils down to this: You’re in the driver’s seat of your life. All you have to do is choose to believe it and then act on it. Make the time to do what’s important to you. If you don’t, you’ll be unhappy, and you’ll feel like a victim. But nobody’s victimizing you but you.

Everyone talks about depression. But (contrary to the drug companies’ TV ads), most depression is easy to prevent if you deal with your mini-frustrations before they get worse. Just for fun, try this: Once a day, do something only for yourself. That’s right, I said for yourself. Most of us are taught to never be “selfish,” but, the reality is that if we don’t care for ourselves first, we’re not much good to anybody, including ourselves.

Sometimes we need to refuel. How to refuel is up to you. Living at the beach provides a number of unusual opportunities for refueling. It’s just a matter of making the time to do it.

If you’re a parent, you’re certainly strapped for time. But what about being a role model for your kids? They need to grow up seeing a parent who not only works hard, but also knows how to relax and have fun. Kids need parents who take care of them AND who take care of themselves.

If you work in a demanding business, your free time is in equally short supply. But how effective can you be if you’re not happy? Even the busiest people have to take time out to sleep and eat for their physical health. Doesn’t it make just as much sense to take time out to refuel your mental health? Just an hour a day, plus one weekend day, can’t be too much to ask for your emotional fitness.

So the next time you’re in traffic, or upset by anything else, try not to think of yourself as the victim. Instead, make yourself the solution. Change your schedule just a bit so you can enjoy this special place and feel happier as you do it.

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