Sunday, July 25, 2010

Changes In Latitudes

It’s these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same…

Did you know that when the letters of the alphabet are assigned a value the letters of ‘attitude’ add up to be 100? When I taught school I would always begin the year by writing ‘attitude’ on the board and adding it up to show the students. I’d tell them their attitude was worth 100%. If a grade was borderline and the student had been fairly positive throughout the class I’d give them the extra points. If they had been awful the whole time I didn’t.

A T T I T U D E = 1 + 20 + 20 + 9 + 20 + 21 + 4 + 5 = 100 %

It’s been said, more than once, that your attitude is everything. A positive attitude can influence your health, your outlook on life, and your general well being. But a positive attitude is not just something you have. It’s something you have to continually work toward.

With the stress of everyday life, it’s hard to keep a positive outlook on things. Money, world affairs, and just plain day to day living create enough anxiety that being positive can become a chore.

The natural thing for me to do when I’m stressed is to retreat. I become a recluse, hide out and avoid interaction with others. I can’t play like all is well when it’s not. So, instead of pretending everything is okay, I withdraw. When it gets better I come out again.

I read something interesting by Bruce Gorton. For years we’ve heard everything was better if you had a positive attitude. It didn’t matter whether you were sick, hated your job or had any other problems. You had to try to be cheerful. The article said that being honest when things weren’t the best, results in less depression than feigning cheerfulness. People have the right to feel bad. False positivism can come off as sarcastic. If you are constantly forcing yourself to be positive any negative thinking results in guilt. We’re sure it’s the pessimistic attitude that made things go wrong.

I got this story the other day in my inbox. It was titled “Attitude” and was explained that attitude makes all the difference in our lives.

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. "Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today." So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. "Hmmm," she said, "I think I'll part my hair down the middle today" So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. "Well," she said, "today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail." So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head. "Yay!" she exclaimed, "I don't have to fix my hair today!"

The best idea is to keep things truthful and real, even if it isn’t nice. Don’t dwell on negative events. Think about and focus on the positive things in your life. Positive thinking is all about perspective. You can manage if you put your mind to it. Look for the positive that is happening around you.

It’s true that attitude equals 100%. But if you take some time to add up some other words the truth might come out. Have you ever wondered about people who say they are giving more than 100%? Knowledge is 96% and hard work is 98% but bullshit adds up to 103%. So, it stands to reason that hard work and knowledge will get you close, attitude will get you there, but bullshit will put you over the top. That puts things in perspective.

July has been a busy month, at least as far as keeping up with Knitayear. Vacation, conferences, and travel have all put me a bit behind. I do write my mood down and have even listed a color if I ‘felt’ it. Then I go back and catch up. Hopefully I can get on a regular schedule again. July 17 was day 108. Hard to believe I’ve kept it going this long. It was a day of confusion. There was nothing in particular, just the whole thing. I chose a pink fur yarn with a ribbon that was multicolored mixed with it. The pink fur was kind of wild and the ribbon was a surprise and it was confusing as to why they were put together that way. July 18 I finally got a little rest. Day 109 brought a calming yarn called ticker tape in pale pink, blue, teal and white. July 19, day 110, was a busy day, gathering materials, prepping for a workshop and trying to catch up. I chose red cotton. Everything seemed urgent and red seemed fitting. Day 111 was a good day. I had a workshop and they needed information and I supplied it. I found a thick green yarn. There was no particular reason. When I looked in my stash it looked back! July 21 I was a bit impatient. Well maybe a lot impatient. I was trying to get ready for something I wasn’t very confident that I knew and I kept getting interrupted. I found a variegated rainbow sock yarn. Somehow the jumble of colors fit my mood. Day 113, July 22 was a good day. I had a successful workshop and had worried for nothing. A blue twisted with white called out for this day. July 23, day 114 was a day of patience. I waited all day then we left for Tulsa to move Bryce back. I chose an aqua soy yarn. The color was calming and helped me as the trip went on and on and on! Day 115 was a busy day. We woke up running. We packed, cleaned and headed home. That is a lot of miles, all in one trip. It was a busy day and orange, yellow and hot pink cotton indicated the busyness. Day 116 was a blur. We drove as far as we could and 80 miles out had to stop to sleep in a picnic area. Kind of scary but there was no other choice. We finally got home at 8:00 am and went straight to bed. When I finally did wake up I wasn’t fully awake. It was great that we all made it home safely. To celebrate we either slept or sat the rest of the day. It was exhausting. I chose gray wool because everything seemed kind of fuzzy. It was a no color tired day. I’m thinking about next week and the fun things to come. Yes, I’m being sarcastic. And that proves further I need an attitude adjustment. I’ll work on that.

Summer so far

With these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of my running and all of my cunning
If I couldn’t laugh I just would go insane
If we couldn’t laugh we just would go insane
If we weren’t all crazy we would go insane


  1. That lady in your story is my definition of an optimist.
    Thanks so much for it!

  2. I saved that little story because I liked it so much. I'm glad you liked it too!

  3. Wow, thank you for your exposition about attitude. I have always practiced keeping a stiff upper lip then had that guilt reaction you mention. I look forward to catching up on your post to learn more about this sock of yours.

  4. Thanks for stopping by Heather! I look forward to seeing you again.

  5. All my life (I now understand which was thanks to dyslexia) ive struggled academically. I'm eternally grateful to the teachers, who I've been blessed with(who did pass me) thanks to what I now understand(thanks to you) was my attitude! You and your outlook make this world a better place - one student at a time! Thank you and all teachers with such understanding attitudes :)

  6. Thank you Lynn! I can't think of anyone with a better attitude than you! I think of how you spread the joy with your wonderful paintings and the many lives you've touched through your art. Love ya!