My family and I fulfilled a bucket list item on New Years Eve this year when we drove our RV out to the Grand Canyon. It was a first for all of us. Little did we know that on the way there we would run into obstacle after obstacle to delay us and challenge our spirits. First, we spent our wedding anniversary night in a Wal-Mart Parking lot, eating on cheese and crackers for dinner. Then our short 3 hr drive, from my sister's house in Arizona to the actual Grand Canyon, turned into an 8 hr white-knuckle drive through a -7 degree blizzard with an icy, uphill climb of 6000ft. Needless to say it was not the arrival we expected into this amazing National Park. We were exhausted, scared, and grumpy. We arrived to find out that this unexpected cold front had frozen all the pipes at the RV park, leaving us with no water and upon waking up the next morning, we discovered that our RV pipes had all frozen over too. This was January 1. The start of our year. I felt myself sinking into a heavy slump.
Then, I read something that made me change my perspective. My childhood friend just finished his Masters in Positive Psychology and talked about the idea of reflecting on what went right each day instead of what went wrong. Practicing this regularly actually changes our thought patterns to develop a more positive way of seeing things naturally. I often find myself fretting over all the things that went wrong and forget to celebrate the wins, no matter how small. So my family and I sat at our little RV table in the Grand Canyon later that day, after seeing the beautiful and very rare majesty of the Grand Canyon covered in snow and making snow angels in the deepest snow these Texans have ever played in, and we reflected on all the things that went right. 1. We made it there safely. 2. We were together. 3. And we got to see the Grand Canyon in such way that many people have never seen it before! And a bonus, we also woke up the next morning and watching the sunrise over the Grand Canyon. To this day, one of the most breathtaking sunrises I have ever seen.
Our trip didn't go as expected, but did we take away amazing memories and life long lessons? You bet we did! We now practice this way of thinking on your average day... but especially if I see things starting to go downhill for myself, my husband, or my kids. Even the smallest reflection on something that went right shines a little light on the day, no matter how difficult we feel it may have been.
So at the end of the day, ask yourself and your family "What went right today?"