His comment did make me think about my happiness. If you see me regularly, I am generally happy and in a good mood. The day I saw him, I might have been feeling a little over the top and mentioned I was feeling spectacular, which is not that uncommon and was the truth at that time. I was having a good day, and it was great to see him!
During this pandemic, I have remained energetic and happy - most of the time. This does not mean everything is always going my way, or I am not dealing with some sort of crap in my life. In the last two months, my personal and professional life has been turned upside-down in so many different ways - like my son having emergency surgery, my mother-in-law being diagnosed with cancer and having emergency surgery, suspected staff COVID-19 cases (fortunately none ended up positive), store closures, staffing shortages, inventory constraints, tenant dilemmas, cash flow challenges, sourcing protective supplies for staff, system updates not going as planned and the list could go on. Normal life throws plenty of curveballs, but add a pandemic, and I don't even know what type of game we are even playing anymore or where the next curveball will come from.
So how do I keep a positive attitude when life has been turned on its head? In my opinion, it all starts with gratitude, and gratitude is attitude. I feel fortunate to be living a life surrounded by so many wonderful people. By taking pleasure in the small things, all the big wins seem extraordinary. I focus and take action only on the things I can control and try to accept or ignore the things out of my control -- this is especially helpful during a pandemic. When something seems bad, ugly, or out of control, I always ask myself compared to what. Most of the time, any situation could be much worse, and the outcome is not as bad as perceived in our head.
It is not always easy, and certain events weigh heavier on me than others, but I make a choice to find gratitude, and that choice almost always changes my attitude to make me a happier person. Most of the time, when I sit and think about the things I'm grateful for, it is just overwhelming, and it is difficult not to be in a good mood.
Today I am grateful to live in the United States of America and honor those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country!
PS...This is one of my favorite photos of my son and I taken in 2015 by my wife on a family trip to Washington, DC. Every time I see it on our digital photo frame I have to stop to look at it for a few seconds.