Our Rural Roots

Stop and Give Me Three

Listing three good things can help turn things around. It's not magic but attitude. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Jennifer Campbell)

Do you ever feel mired down in the day-to-day? Like if one more thing doesn't go 100% right, you're going to lose it. It's a snowball effect, and once that snowball starts down the hill, the momentum wins.

It happens to all of us, whether we want to admit it or not. If you get focused on the bad, wrong, negative -- it just builds and builds and, without realizing it, is all you notice.

But, I've found that merely stopping, pulling my thoughts together and listing three good things can turn the struggle bus around. It's not magic; it's attitude. And, in all honesty, it's not easy, but it becomes a habit, and it works.

I started this rule years ago when my kids were little. I got tired of the dinner-table conversation focusing on what went wrong during the day and not what went right -- or at least not totally wrong. If you complain too much in my house, I will make you stop and list three good things happening in your life.

I do it to the kids. I do it to myself. And, I even make my husband, Chris, do it. These three things don't have to be earth-shattering or life-altering. We can be just as grateful for the small things as the big. They just need to be real things.

For me, sometimes it is as simple as getting my shoes on the right feet or even finding my shoes without three -- or four -- trips around the house.

Sometimes, the thoughts turn deep and meaningful, such as when your grown child says: "Mom, you told us no so much as kids; those nos are what shaped us. Thank you."

Life was never guaranteed to be easy. It's the hard times that make the good times really good.


Editor's Note:

Jennifer (Jent) Campbell can be found counting to three around her Indiana farm, where she writes a blog called Farm Wife Feeds (farmwifefeeds.com). Follow her on Twitter @plowwife and on the podcast @girlstalkag.