It’s amazing how things you read when you’re wee stay with you. A lot of the books I raced through when I was ten had a very optimistic outlook. Just as well, inheriting my mother’s bias towards happy endings, I wouldn’t have tolerated anything else – even Matthew Cuthbert and Beth March dying was pushing it a bit, in my opinion. But then, there was Pollyanna. At the time, I didn’t think the book had any impact on me. Certainly the film was more irritating than anything, with the squeaky voiced Hayley Mills pirouetting around telling everyone to be happy.
But I find myself remembering it now. And the power of positive thinking it encourages. Life certainly wasn’t a breeze for Pollyanna, and yet she had this ‘glad game’, trying to see something good in every seemingly terrible situation, something to be glad about. (Of course I know that’s biblical too.)
I’m not good at looking on the bright side. If Pollyanna were a real person, and she came to see me, she’d have a case on her hands. There are no rainbow-making chandeliers in my house either. I am spectacularly good at being miserable. But, knowing that tendency, I find myself trying to be thankful in every circumstance, playing the glad game you could say.
Someone commented on facebook yesterday, ‘Lovely day, great God’. A very true statement, but all day today, I’ve been fighting the urge to respond with ‘Terrible day, still a great God.’ I won’t do it, of course. I’m just telling you. When the sun was shining yesterday, I was going down the stairs on my backside because my legs were weak. It was not a lovely day for me, and I was not being glad about anything.
But wait: there’s an overly high-pitched voice in my ear: the sun was still shining, the sky was still blue, the kids’ dad was able to walk them home from school. And I could go on too.
I have so, so many things to be thankful for, so bring it on Pollyanna, I’m ready to play!