Meridian Star

January 3, 2014

2014 – The year of the optimist

By Anne McKee
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Optimist – why not? It’s our choice. We can either make our year or break our year – attitude, mindset, confident and positive. I have listed below six components of an optimist listed on the website:

    1.  Let go of the assumption that the world is against you …

    2. Understand that the past does not equal the future.

    3. See yourself as a cause, not an effect.

    4. Use positive affirmations.

    5. Remember that life is short.

    6. Be a balanced optimist.

    This is some good stuff. We can apply some or all of the components of an optimist to our lives. I mean we are only human and not super-powers, but we do have a choice. Living a negative, ego-driven lifestyle, (you know what’s in it for me?), is sure to bring along a pessimistic attitude. Thinking the best of others, then acting upon those thoughts will, indeed, make for a happier personal world. Developing good feelings toward the haughty and naysayers will take time, no doubt, but worth the investment.

    Can you keep a secret? At first, when writing this column, I planned to name it "2013 — Year of the Buzzard (luck)".  I thought I might just whine about my misfortunate experiences during 2013, but then, I realized, yes, I dealt with a few experiences I had rather not repeat in 2014 (such as an accident resulting with five broken bones), but everything was fixable and I learned a great life lesson, actually several life lessons.

    Along the way of recovery, I developed a heart for the disabled. I witnessed many patients in hospital/clinic waiting rooms without a single soul there to support them, only the facility staff. I saw patients who had received heartbreaking news about their conditions – no hope.

    At first, while waiting for my appointments, I sat quietly, with my husband, in the corner of the room, but after a few visits, I realized it was important to start a conversation, share a smile or giggle. I was even able to wrangle-up-kin with a few, with others start new friendships. As my recovery progresses, I find myself thinking of those people I met, hoping that they have mended and moved forward with their lives. Yes, moved forward in a positive way.

    I love this quote by Margaret Thatcher, longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom:

Watch your thoughts for they become words.

Watch your words for they become actions.

Watch your actions for they become habits.

Watch your habits for they become character.

And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.

What we think, we become.

    These are wise words from a strong woman, who carried a heavy load, but always stood by her values and never compromised to win votes, which earned her the nickname “Iron Lady” that she wore valiantly. Words, actions, habits, character and destiny are all important attributes for the powerful but just as important in the lives of each ordinary person.

    In the movie, The Help, Aibileen teaches the toddler, Mae Mobley:

You is kind.

You is smart.

You is important.

    You know I just don't understand the-glass-half-empty or there not being a light at the end-of-the-tunnel. Call me an optimist (I've been called worst), but there's so many exciting places in the world to visit, even if only in print, and sweet people to hang with, plus my slightly CRAZY, but harmless family, and my BESTEST friends (you know who you are), the most wonderful cousins in the world, not to forget my caregiver, Director of Transportation, BEST cook in the world husband, and, of course, George & Gracie (kitty-kats-extraordinaire).

    Today I click my heels and march bravely onto the 2014 pathway. I hope to see you along the way ... HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Anne McKee is a writer and storyteller. Visit her website: