Positivity or Realism – Finding the Balance

I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting lately, on a lot of different things. Mostly pausing on all of the things in life that I’m thankful for and trust me there are lots. I’m sitting at my favorite coffee shop downtown, enjoying the sunshine and can’t help but grin from ear to ear. I love where I live – the downtown area specifically. The main street is filled with lovely little shops and restaurants, and beautifully preserved old buildings. There are flowers and green trees lining the street and everyone is friendly. It’s easy to escape reality in this spot, and I’ve done it many times before. This time feels a little different though because today I am brimming with gratitude.


We got some really good news regarding my dad’s treatment this week. It was long overdue and so welcomed. It reinforced all of the feelings of positivity we’ve been keeping in our back pockets and clinging to for months. I’m so thankful that we can continue to ride the happiness from last weekend and let ourselves take a collective deep breath and feel hopeful.

When it seems as though you’re living a tragedy day in and day out – everyone always says the same thing, “stay positive”. Easy enough, right? Or not… In situations like we’re in, there is a broad gap between remaining positive and being realistic. Of course I understand the importance of both and I can now accept the reality of the situation but something always brings me back to optimism. I think for a long time I was in denial – not allowing myself to accept the harsh reality. For a long time I actually refused to believe what was happening. When my sister would mention something I wasn’t ready to hear I would snap at her and tell her to stop saying things like that because it was too much to handle. Too much to wrap my brain and emotions around.

But after the news we got that the treatments are garnering positive results, it’s like this lightning bolt of hope and joy and happiness struck and it’s electrified us all. As we continue the fight and hold our white knuckle grip on the rollercoaster ride, I’m thankful for all the days of denial and out-right refusal to believe the worst. I’m thankful because now I can let myself linger here in the cloud of happiness I’m swallowed up in. I think I’ll stay here for a while and reflect on all of my blessings.

I’m sending this message out right now because I think, no I know, everyone could benefit from a little positivity. I’ve learned that for me, the key to navigating through rough times in life is a delicate balance of positivity and realism. Choose the battles that are worth fighting, and fight with everything you have.

I also think that it’s so important to celebrate small wins. Relish in the moments where happiness takes over and you can’t wipe the dumb grin off your face. Know the difference between remaining positive and being realistic and decide what percentage of each works for you. There really isn’t a right answer, by the way…

Anyway, I’m going to sit here for a while and grin stupidly at the friendly people passing by. Have a great weekend! xo



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Wisconsin wife and mama to Dane (4) and expecting baby girl in May. Navigating life post-cancer. Lover of food, red wine and laughs. Forever grateful for my wonderful life.

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