Being positive takes practice and some people seem to have conquered it, but for others (me included) it takes great effort. I truly believe that it comes naturally for some, being born into a “happy” family. I think the family dynamic is the key; families are either happy or sad. I don’t think it is a coincidence that both my brother and I suffer from depression. My family was definitely SAD and dysfunctional, where everyone did their own thing. My first husband once remarked that my family seemed like just a bunch of people who just happened to be living in the same apartment. I never had anyone to model myself after so I grew up with a pessimistic view of the world. It has been proven that positive people actually live longer. I think negativity becomes a bad habit that is very hard to break but I have been trying. Ok, it is so easy for me to be in a happy state of mind when the day is going as planned or something external boosts my morale, but the challenge is maintaining that positive attitude. Yes, tragic and terrible things happen and it would be ridiculous to expect to remain optimistic. But I feel that having a predisposition towards positivity helps you deal with tragic or trying events when life deals you a big blow. It’s also important to distinguish between life-altering events and just annoying everyday aggregations. Just a little over a year ago I was using a cane, had no balance, and was in constant nerve pain which led me to hopelessness. But since the miraculous surgery which corrected the problem, I have been trying to be grateful and be more positive. I try not to freak out about some unexpected car repair, or dental bill anymore. Yes, my poor old car is a money pit, but on the other hand, I can drive normally when just a short while ago, my right leg was partially paralyzed. My Mom used to say “It’s only money” and that is so true. Am I always successful in being positive?–absolutely not, but I will continue to practice.