“Don’t be sad that it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Vin Scully, sportscaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers for 67 years, said the above quote when he retired. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for him to stop working, but it probably wasn’t easy. Change never is. And yet, by his words, he showed the world how he approached the transition in his life: with gratitude and positivity.
As I’m writing these words, I’m facing a move to a new apartment in the near future. Sure, it’s nothing compared to retiring, but it’s still a stressful situation that requires leaving behind a place I called home for over ten years. As I was contemplating the upcoming change, sadness filled my heart. That’s when I read Vin Scully’s words, which helped me gain the right perspective.
Life is a constant transition. We can’t grab hold of time and stop it from ruthlessly moving forward. All we can do is go along with it, hopefully with as few bumps and bruises along the way. We can’t influence many of its twists and turns, but there is one thing that is always under our control: our attitude. Nothing has a greater impact on how we experience life.
Going back to my upcoming move for a second, I decided not to focus on what I’m losing. Instead, I determined to be grateful for the wonderful decade I spent in my present place and be thankful for what the future holds in my new apartment. It doesn’t mean that the sadness suddenly disappeared, but it was no longer the center of my thoughts. And you know what? I really did feel better.
Gratitude acts as a shock absorber to lessen the impact of the changes that come our way. Focusing on God’s blessings during the last ten years has helped me face the transition to come with joy and optimism.