Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Our attitude towards life determines life’s attitude towards us. John Mitchell

This past weekend I moved my art studio from the basement to my son’s old room on the second floor. Moving is a big job even if it is only one room. In my small little room in the basement, I had two drafting tables, numerous bookshelves, and an L-shaped work surface. Now I have a U-shaped work surface, one more bookshelf and I’ll only bring up one drafting table, but it is a monstrosity.

I was thrilled to get this drafting table that moves to different angles easily but now I am painting 12 x 12 paintings for my children’s books and find it easier to do the painting on a flat surface. Do you really need the drafting table my husband asks? He knows it’s his back being put to work to move it. I need it if I paint on larger canvasses. So even if it sits without being used most of the time it will be making its way up the stairs to the new airy, windowed studio.

My husband sits at my new desk looking out the windows. “This should suit you perfectly you can keep an eye on everything.” Is he implying I am nosy? Having windows to look out of, a big comfy chair with one of the quilts Mom made me covering it, and room for a few more books makes me think I am about as happy with my studio as I could be. It isn’t a cool room in summer or a warm room in winter so there is that to deal with but I now have room for my grandson to visit me while I work.

We sat together and read books yesterday. He’s four months today and what a joy it is to be a grandma. Babies are a lot of work but being around him when he smiles, chatters like he’s talking to you, and shows with his whole body he’s happy to see you are truly wonderful. What a blessing to be a grandma and it is a blessing to have a grandma. He has two grandmas, two great grandmas, and two grandpas. On Sunday we will take one great grandma out for her 83rd birthday, and in September we are planning a trip to see his other great grandma (my mom) who will turn 98 this year. I just saw a picture of Mom with two of her great, great grandchildren that visited her this summer. Five generations are alive and healthy, we are truly blessed.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde

Our attitude colors our lives, and we may not realize that we have more control of our attitude than we think. I watched a Ted Talk the other night while putting my new studio together. This young man is now a history teacher and found out his favorite teacher was retiring. He went to see him and the teacher recognized him instantly, gave him a big hug, and then said, “I’m surprised to see you still alive. You were the angriest grade six student I taught.”

This surprised the young man who acknowledged he’d been really angry, he never told us what was going on in his life then, but he said his father was listening to motivational tapes. His father was choosing his attitude, and this young man came around to believe that he could do that too. At the time he wished his father would turn off those tapes, but now he understands it was his father’s way of choosing a better attitude. He tells us we can be our own life coach; we can choose to be grateful which he says has turned his life around.

Yesterday I saw a young woman with tattoos on her face. I wondered what was going on in her life that made her choose to mark her face permanently. Life is hard, and it is much harder for some than others. But, perhaps we all have the choice to choose our attitude. Part of Mom’s health and longevity I attribute to her attitude. Years ago when I phoned Mom her opening line to whoever was on the phone was, “What can you tell me that is good.”

The star quilt she made now covers the big comfy chair and brings Mom into my studio. I’m sure she was well into her nineties when she made it. When you have the attitude that you will live till you die, be grateful for what you have, and look on the bright side you have a better life even when the times you lived through were hard as parts of Mom’s life were. She lived through the thirties, the war years, widowhood with two children and a brand new baby, some of us think we are going through tough times but most of us don’t know what really tough times are, and if we are lucky we never will.

Are we counting our blessings, and naming them one by one?

A positive attitude may not solve all our problems but that is the only option we have if we want to get out of problems. Subodh Gupta

A strong positive attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug. Patricia Neal

When the negative thoughts come – and they will; they come to all of us – it’s not enough to just not dwell on it… You’ve got to replace it with a positive thought. Joel Osteen

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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