College in the nineties!!! It was life before cell phones and personal computers; Skype and Facebook. We actually used those Dry Erase Boards on our dorm room doors to let our roommate know when to meet at the Dining Hall.
Reality TV was just sprouting with the likes of Survivor and Amazing Race; TIVO and DVR’s were not a concept we could have ever imagined. Pausing live television…..unfathomable!!!
But there was one show that grabbed my attention (and that of my wonderful roomie), and kept me counting days until the next episode. We planned class schedules and dates around it. We ignored our evening Chem labs to watch and failed Statistics tests because of it. This gem of a television show was called Homefront. Does anyone remember this classic?
This was a drama set during the final chapters of World War 2. It followed a group of friends from a small town in Ohio, and all the drama that framed their lives as the men returned home from war.
Girls, this was Kyle Chandler before Friday Night Lights and First Edition. And in uniform!!! What’s not to love?
But as much as I loved this show, one thing seemed so out of place. The show started each week with the theme song “Accentuate the Positive” by Johnny Mercer. It went something like this:
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
But don’t mess with mister in between
You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
have faith, a pandemonium
Libel to walk up on the scene
This sentiment seemed so hard to find in a Television drama unfolding about war and the loves, lives and years lost to this cast of characters.
I must admit. I find this idea of accentuating the positive illusive most during PCS moves.
It’s not always easy to see the positive when we have moved to a city we never wanted to live in; spend weeks packing and unpacking those stacks of cardboard boxes; move while our husband is deployed AGAIN; all while sleeping on the broken box spring the movers dropped.
In times like these, it takes extraordinary effort to see the positive.
We military families give up a whole lot of control when we hand the reigns of our lives over to the whims of the US Military. We begin to understand we can only control so much. The rest is determined by God and the Department of Defense.
But one thing we can always control is our attitude.
If we make a conscious choice to affirm the positive aspects of our move, this attitude will percolate and boil over in to a joy that blooms despite our immediate circumstances.
Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude.
Grab a spiral notebook and intentionally look for things you can be thankful for. Write them down. Thank the God who is in ultimate control of our lives. You will be surprised at how your list will grow, even in the midst of utter chaos.
Make a list of local places and sites you’d like to visit. Study the history of your new hometown, your military instillation, and surrounding areas. Use your new home as a “jumping off” point and venture out to surrounding areas and cities. We have the great benefit of experiencing new places and cultures because of the military. Take advantage of it!!!
Be aware of the Trickle Down Effect.
Our children are perceptive little things. They read us better than we can imagine, and understand when we are unhappy or afraid. We hold the key to the atmosphere in our home. Make every effort to be intentional in setting the atmosphere of your home bent on the positive. If you are unhappy and negative about an upcoming assignment, chances are your children will be too.
It is possible to make choosing “positivity” a habit. Seek out, be intentional, jump in and embrace the new experiences and people that come in to your lives.
This move may just hold the deepest friendships, sweetest family time, and most rewarding job yet!!!!
“Happiness, like unhappiness, is a proactive choice.”
― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change