Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Positively Positive

I am on a quest. A quest for positivity. I have had my troubles with depression, but even on my worst days, I find something positive to think about. Usually it's Max or the beach or the weather or the flowers outside, but I can always find a little piece of joy even on the worst of days. Finding the light in a sea of dark can be difficult, especially when those around me are crying the blues or nagging or complaining or kvetching about every little thing. I know some people absolutely revel in finding the negative, they are the black to my white, in even the best situations they can find something to moan about. Someone a couple of weeks ago suggested that I was TOO positive, though I just don't think that is possible.

I am not naive. I understand the problems of the world and society and Mexico and Cancun. I read the papers daily, I know that the world is falling apart around us, but it's been doing that for thousands of years and we must still move forward, what's the point of getting our knickers in a knot about every bad piece of news we read? Yes, at times I let it overwhelm me and I take a break, but I desperately try to not let the problems of the world/Mexico/Cancun become MY problems. I cannot understand for the life of me people who constantly complain, constantly find the negative and seem to thrive on drama and trauma. I am finding that there is a lot of bitching and moaning in the ex-pat community, this is wrong with Mexico, that is wrong with Cancun, etc, etc.. I find myself pulling away from people that are like that lest they bring me down with them. I would love to bring them all up to my little fluffy clouds of love, but those who seek the dark become heavy with it and it is difficult to convince them that smelling a flower can make a difference in their lives. Where you live doesn't determine happiness or sadness, that can only be found on the inside. You can make the best of any situation, location or event, you decide if you will feel positively or negatively about it and then you choose your behaviours. I believe that the people that are so negative here in Cancun would be just as negative wherever they may be. If they look for the ugly side, they're sure to find it, in Cancun, Paris, Toronto or Little Beaver, negative folk are just negative folk until they decide to change.

Maybe I am just easy to please. Perhaps my standards are low. Or maybe, just maybe, years of psychotherapy are coming to fruition in my castles in the sky. Is my life perfect? Hell no! Does nothing go wrong in my life? Just the opposite, I have the worst luck, everything seems to be going wrong lately, but I still sing my little Monty Python song and "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" and whistle a happy tune and tap my toes and sing in the shower and dance down the street. Life is too short to do otherwise.

So, today, stop and smell a flower, admire a statue that you usually just walk past, find shapes in the clouds, talk to the animals in the street, check out the amazing swirls of your belly button, savour the flavour of your favourite coffee instead of just swilling it down, tell your best friend how much you love them, send an ecard to yourself telling you that you love you, make a list of all your favourite things instead of the things you hate, count the days til Christmas, purr like a kitten, hug everyone and then just stop.....look around....feel the air on your skin, the earth below your feet and feel part of this amazing world.

  • “From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.”- Anais Nin

  • “Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power”- Shirley MacLaine

  • “Just can't live that negative way...make way for the positive day!”- Bob Marley

  • “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”- Herm Albright


Anonymous said...

It's funny that you posted this! Hubby and I came to the same conclusion about happiness and location years ago. We both did therapy and then marriage counseling and lots of self-work to get over stuff we had learned about attitudes from our families. We made sure that we were moving for the "right" reasons rather than with the hopes that being here would make us happy.

I have very little patience for expats who talk about how bad Mexico is or how great the US is. I always feel like telling them if it's so bad, I can give you a lift to the airport.

I started shutting off my ears when people begin a sentence with "The thing I hate about Mexicans is..." I usually just answer with, "Hmmm. I never noticed, I guess it doesn't bother me."

I've had to pick my friends carefully over the last few years. It's been a little challenging making friends here whilst avoiding the complainers, but I think it can be done.

Heather said...

Great post. I couldnt have said it better myself. We all have our days of mopping around but thats more fuel to the fire to get up and out and do something new and fun tomorrow, even if it is just you and your kids. At least you know you did what you could that day. Salud to the happy folks of the planet, lol!

Croft said...

I just can't see the downside of living in the best climate in the world amongst the friendliest people in the world! We only spent a very short five months there last winter but we came away with very positive feelings. We did tend to keep away from fellow Canadians and Americans to try to experience as much of the local culture as we could and we did find that the Americans we did meet, with a couple of notable exceptions, were more Progressive thinking that the average Canadians and American we met up north. Mexico must attract the best of people!

So keep happy and positive, there are worse places to live! Find something to laugh at every day and pass them on in the Blog which I enjoy reading up here in Campbell River, BC. We will be in your area next winter! I wish I was there now..

Anonymous said...

I think that MexPat touched on part of the reason a lot of ex-pats complain about Mexico. It's because they move here for the wrong reasons! The ex-pats here who are happiest moved here for the right reasons.

If you moved here believing this would be a better place than your last home, I think you can be happy here. If you ran away from something bad and this place is your refuge, I think it would be harder to be happy here.

Jonna said...

I agree with all of you. It's all in the attitude and that's good because your attitude is usually the only thing you can change easily.

I don't mind blogging about the beefs and turmoil and irritants of living, I think our blogs are a great release for that. Sometimes just writing it all down and putting it out in the universe is all you need to move on.

I know though what you mean about the people who are hooked on drama - I do think it is addictive. They are always in the middle of some disaster or someone has done them wrong or they are being picked on for no reason. I started eliminating those people from my life about 20 years ago and now I can sense them really fast and they never get very close to me.

I love the idea that you pick your friends for their faults. Everyone can enjoy their good traits but to be a friend you have to not be bothered by their faults.

Living in paradise is always better than not, but you are still the same person filtering the experience. When I start stressing on the inconveniences I tell myself to stop being such a gringa and get on with enjoying life. So what that the AC is broken and it is hotter than f*ck? I have a friend who knows them, he fixed it, if he couldn't then I have the resources to find a way to sleep somewhere cool tonight. If not, I have a hammock and a sea breeze. There's always a way to make things work. There is always something to enjoy in life until you are dead, we can either choose to find those things or wait to die.

Oh, and having babies of any kind, kids, kittens, puppies... that is a quick cure for the downs.

JoAnne in CT said...

What a great post, Kelly! I too steer clear of the "Debbie Downers" - I've got no time for someone wanted to drag me down, telling me how miserable everything is... find joy in the little things that surround you!

Islagringo said...

When I was in my 20's, a very wise old friend once told me that if we don't have any real problems to complain about, we will just make some up. How true is that!

Every day I take time to just sit on my front porch and watch the ever changing colors, patterns and sounds of the ocean. And thank whomever it was that made this possible for me.

P.S. I've seen Little Beaver and it WAS ugly!

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I too usually try to avoid the negative people or at least tune out their complaints. I am usually a very upbeat positive person. There is too much real sorrow in the world to let me think my problems are anything other than trivial.

Anonymous said...

AMEN to all. This is one good reading. I agree with all the comments posted. Stay positive and away from the negative. Take Wayne's advise - sit on the porch or the beach and watch the changing color of the ocean. Cancun, what better place to live!!
KW from Michigan

Islaholic Trixie said...

Thanks for the inspiration. I just came back from a wonderful family reunion, with the exception of one person being a real downer all weekend. I especially like your last quote from Herm Albright. I think I will try that one this week.

Scott Bulger Photography said...

I'm just going to agree with Rivergirl.

Susan Lechuga said...

Thanks for the nice post. Sometimes you have to focus on the positive as you taught me. Glad all is better with you.

Fned said...

Wow! A great post at just the right time.

I have to admit lately I'd been feeling that a lot of blogs I read about life in Mexico were about how life "sucked" in Mexico instead of life in Mexico "in general". I'm not saying ALL blogs just bitch and moan but I kinda felt that lately that was the new trend. Most of the time I agree with the general complaints, because, hell yes... life in Mexico CAN be frustrating, but I do have to admit there's been times when I've wanted to post back something along the lines of : "hey! that's my country you're talking about! Yeah, we aren't perfect... but shit, if you hate it so much, why live there?"...

Anyway, who am I to speak? According to minshap, lately all my posts on life in Paris are about how much life sucks here!

In the end I think it is easy for expat bloggers to write funny interesting posts when there is a bit of moaning thrown into the mix... it's a trap I confess I fall into quite often. The important thing is to know how to balance it by writing about the good stuff as well.

I'll just add that I agree when you say it's important to see the positive in things. I've always considered myself the kinda person who sees the "cup half full" or at least tries to find the good in even the worst of situations. However, in my case at least, I admit I turn cranky when rutine sets in, or tiredness of boring everyday life.... so sometimes bitching is my way to "spice it up" I guess....

Great post,

CancunCanuck said...

Mexpat- There are so many wonderful ex-pats here for the right reasons, it's just weeding through the "wrong" ones that is challenging as you say. I think too many people have "issues" that they think can be solved with a move to a new town/country/(planet?) but what they really need to do is look inside first.

Heather- One day at a time, right? Life can bring you down, but you've always got SOMETHING positive in there somewhere and you've got to recognize it or get sucked into the pits.

Croft Randle- While we do see a lot of wonderful, open minded people living here from other countries, you will find the other end of the stick too, especially here in Cancun. It's a bit of a refuge for the "lost people" or the criminals. There are a lot of folks here that are on the run from something, unfortunately you often don't find that out until too late. I started out trying to be so positive and upbeat and give everyone new the benefit of the doubt, but I have had to start being a little more protective after some bad experiences with the wrong sort of folk.

Rivergirl- Yes, people come for all different reasons, but even if it's for the wrong reasons, I think some people just never, ever look at the bright side, KWIM? They continue to have the negativity in their life that they brought with them, regardless of where they live they will be unhappy if that is what is inside.

Jonna- Beefs and turmoils are one thing, we've all got them and we all blog about them. It's the daily/hourly complainers that get to me. Co-workers, friends and neighbours that never have anything good to say about anything, those are the ones who I am avoiding. I don't mind reading about people's problems, as long as it's peppered with the good things too. Of course we get upset when the AC doesn't work or the plumber doesn't come or the garbage isn't picked up. It's when you can find something wrong with a beautiful sunset that I go nutso.

Joanne- "Debbie Downers", I like that. How about "Pedro Pessimist" for the men? Or, "Morton the Moaner"?

Wayne- Oh so true, I guess life is more interesting with a bit of drama in it, as long as life doesn't become a capital D Drama! Oh, and yes, Little Beaver just didn't do anything for me, teehee.

Jackie- True true, save the sorrow for the real things. Poverty, natural disasters, crime, those are things to get upset about. A plugged toilet is NOT. :)

KW- When things start getting bad, a trip to the beach can wash a lot of negative feelings away, that is for sure! Cancun is not a perfect place to live by any means, but it sure offers enough positive things for me to call it "home".

Trixie- Ugh, don't you hate events with that one person?? They bring everyone else down, or at least they try to. Hope you had a good time anyway. And yes, isn't it fun to be Little Mary Sunshine in the face of Debbie Downer? :)

Scott- See my reponse to Rivergirl, teehee.

My3Ros- Hope you are seeing the good in life today, you've just got to remind yourself that it is there!

Fned- I think sometimes writing about life can seem dull when all is hunky dory, good literature always has conflict so I understand why blogs can seem to be so full of it sometimes. I don't mind people posting about their problems, as long as I hear about the good stuff too, KWIM? And I don't think you've been that negative about Paris at all! You write about the reality, warts and all and you come across as a very healthy, positive person. Bitching can be fun, and very necessary, I've said it before that blogs are like free therapists, let it all hang out but celebrate the victories, don't just wallow in the misery!

Mimi said...

Well said amiga! Here are two of my faves that keep me where I want to be. You already posted the third from Bob Marley.

"No matter what you are doing, keep the undercurrent of happiness. Learn to be secretly happy within your heart in spite of all circumstances." --
Paramahansa Yogananda

"Why go further and further, / Look, happiness is right here." -- Goethe

Have your self a fabulous happy day!

Tom said...

Excellent post. - It really gets you thinking doesn't it!

My favorite is "You Choose"

You choose - every minute of everyday, how you will react, respond, greet every experience.


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