Maria von Trapp had a catchphrase “Aren’t we lucky” which helped focus her perspective when life was extra challenging.
When Maria von Trapp and her family lost their fortune and escaped to Austria, they lived each day not knowing where they find their next meal, where they would sleep, what the next day would be like. Yet, with all these unknowns, Maria von Trapp was known to say repeatedly, “Aren’t we lucky!”
No matter what happened, no matter how hard it got, “Aren’t we lucky?” helped Maria focused her perspective.
My mother also had a handy catchphrase when life was extra challenging…
No matter what happened, no matter how hard it got, “It Could Always Be Worse” helped mom focused her perspective.
Mom’s name was Carolyn Shirley Christiansen Patterson. She passed away 15 years ago this past Friday.
She was 59.
Mom always loved our childhood friends and she softly pulled them into her life. Her home – and fridge – was always open to a friend who needed a place to stay. More importantly, her warm hugs and listening ear were always open. Mom changed the world. She helped struggling kids open their hearts because she listened with her open heart.
She had a gift, I believe, which allowed her to simply love everyone. Her heart was completely nonjudgmental. It didn’t matter who you were, what you looked like, or what you may have done… Mom loved you. A stranger was a stranger no more; a soft hug made sure of that.
“It Could Always Be Worse.”
Mom started experiencing the effects of rheumatoid arthritis in her teen years long before they knew what was plaguing her body. Despite this, mom worked hard her whole life, including many years working graveyards at 7-Eleven, until she was medically disabled in her early 40s.
Mom spent the rest of her life in and out of hospitals with a weakening body very susceptible to pneumonia. Sometimes it was just a few days, other times a few weeks. But every time she bounced back.
Until she didn’t.
Mom spent the last six months of her life at Utah Valley Hospital. She always seemed optimistic she would be home before long. Perhaps this was her way of still taking care of us when we were trying to take care of her.
I never knew mom to complain so it took me years to realize her little catchphrase seemed to mostly come out when she was in a lot of pain. Maybe that’s how she was able to focus her perspective.
“It Could Always Be Worse.”
Mom chose to see the light in the midst of the dark tunnel rather than just the wishful light at the end. Mom chose to find comfort in her faith in God rather than doubt what she couldn’t see. Mom chose to love every bit of her life rather than ask why life was so hard.
Someday, I hope to be just like mom.
Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share.
P.S. Take 13 minutes today to discover what your go to catchphrase really means to you.
RED EDGE LIVE TOOK A BREAK!
I took a break last week from Red Edge Live as it was the same time our daughter Leslie graduated from Utah State University. Let me share with you her words to mark this incredible occasion.
Today is the day!!!! And I can honestly say that I have never been more proud. I have spent the last 5 years working tirelessly to ensure that I had enough money to pay my own way through the entirety of my degree, debt-free. Standing here, at the end of it now – it was so worth every sleepless night wondering if I would have enough money to make it. But school was the best thing I ever did for myself. It is within the walls of this school that I have truly owned my confidence and become so much closer to the person I’ve always wanted to be. Sappy… But I am so proud of the person I have become.
I love you Leslie Ann! Thanks for being my bestie!
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