Eleven years ago, I discovered that my husband of 17 years was having an affair with a co-worker. Sadly, this is not a unique situation and those of us who have been through it know the feeling of unbearable hurt cycled with incredible anger. During the ensuing divorce process, I also discovered that he had taken all of our money. Now a new emotion joined the cycle – fear. I soon found myself behind the wheel of a small U-Haul truck, with my teenage daughter and about $300.00 to my name. I needed to be a good mother and provider for my daughter, but despair absolutely consumed me. I cried so hard and so often that I became physically ill. I had to do something. I had to stop believing that I was the victim of something terrible. I can’t say exactly when or where the idea came to me, but I began to challenge myself to notice three good things that happened each day. Some days a good thing may have been simply finding a parking space, or someone opening a door for me. It was a small start, but a remarkable process began to take shape in my mind. In my quest to notice something good, my capacity to dwell on the bad began to diminish. As time went on, I re-claimed most of my self-esteem. The hurt and anger remain, but they live in the background of my life.
Over the years, my life has moved forward with the normal challenges we all seem to face. Recently, I found myself adding one more goal – to do three good things each day. It may be as simple as letting someone else have that parking spot, or opening the door for a fellow shopper, but the feeling I get is just what I need to stay positive.
Every day, the news reminds us of the many challenges we face, as a nation, and as a world – it is a frightening and maddening time for many of us, and I often wonder if I alone, could do anything to make things better. Alone, probably not, but I believe that together we can make a positive, grass-roots impact on our collective future by simply looking for, and doing three good things each day. Give it a try – recycle that bottle, bring your neighbor’s mail to them, take a moment to appreciate a giggling baby – and challenge your family and friends to join you. You will never lack for dinner conversation, and maybe, just maybe, you will help someone who was on their personal quest to find three good things that day.