The Villages Voice - November 2016

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by Carol Lynn Nelson

THE VILLAGES WAY My Mama taught us to always look at the bright side, look for the silver lining, the cup is always half full.  She could find the positive in any situation, even if she had to use a magnifying glass to find it!  Here in The Villages we don’t need a magnifying glass to find the bright side because it shouts to us every day –  in the God-given amenities such as good health, plenty of food, beautiful weather, blue skies, magnificent clouds, flowers, and the wildlife sanctuaries. Then there are the man-made amenities such as expertly manicured landscaping, hundreds of volunteer groups and organizations which give selflessly to assist others, a full schedule of activities to enhances our social life, the available medical services, houses of worship, being able to drive a golf car for all activities whether shopping, dining or going to appointments, the Lifelong College so we can continue to learn and grow, and neighbors who are willing to help at a moment’s notice. There is no other place like The Villages in the world – IN THE WORLD!  And yet, people complain – can you believe it – they complain?  Well, in my opinion they are using the magnifying glass to look for the tiniest, minute thing to complain about instead of seeing the large picture and counting their blessings. In the book YOU ARE A BADASS by Jen Sincero (NY Times Best Seller) pg. 36, I quote:  “It never ceases to amaze me the precious time we spend chasing the squirrels around our brains, playing out our dramas, worrying about unwanted facial hair, seeking adoration, justifying our actions, complaining about slow internet connections, dissecting the lives of idiots, when we are sitting in the middle of a full-blown miracle that is happening right here, right now.” The Villages is a smorgasbord of opportunities, sights, sounds, activities and personal growth.  When I go to a buffet, I don’t complain to the manager about what they don’t have.  I might try something new or simply move on to the things I do like and take extra helpings.  If I don’t like the choices, I can go elsewhere. Recently the Daily Sun quoted Jean and Bill Klinkenberg on the opening of a new recreation center “We feel so privileged to be part of this. Being at this opening reminds me how blessed we are to live in The Villages,” said Jean. “I am just full of gratitude right now. It is easy to get caught up in the ‘pool talk’ about what is wrong in The Villages. It is nice to come to a center opening and remember what is so right about living here.” Notice the words – privileged, blessed, and gratitude.  We shouldn’t wait till November, till Thanksgiving is in the air, to express gratitude and thanksgiving.  We should be grateful all year – don’t listen to the gossip – go to Welcome Wednesday and get the facts.  Don’t listen to the whiners and complainers – walk away – life is too short to let anyone rain on your parade.  Daily have an attitude of gratitude.  Practice thanksgiving all year long – even on days when you might need a magnifying glass! “You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward Have a blessed Thanksgiving. Carol Lynn Nelson