April Jeppson: Look for the blessings instead of the negative

Published 8:45 pm Friday, January 21, 2022

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

It’s Thursday and I’m getting my hair colored. Finally. I feel like it’s been so long, but perhaps it’s just the temperature outside that makes me feel like it has been forever since I was able to wear just a T-shirt when I leave the house. According to my stylist it has been four months. As a former stylist, let me tell you, that’s too long.

A memory popped up on Facebook the other day from 10 years ago. It was a photo of me with brown hair. I had long, reddish-brown hair and full bangs. Quite the difference from what I’ve been rocking recently. In the summer, I really like to have my blonde be as bright as possible. I get a little blondorexic actually — where you never think your blonde is white enough. It might not be a real word, but in the hair industry, it’s a thing. Trust me.

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These past four months, I’ve been a little busy. Getting my hair done kind of went on the back burner. Then one day I was getting ready and saw myself in the mirror. I mean, I see myself all the time, but on that particular day, I really saw myself. Holy cow April, get your hair done.

All jokes aside, I’m actually getting used to my hair being darker. I mean, it doesn’t look bad, it’s just not what I’ve become used to. And then that gets me thinking, how many other areas of my life could I say that. “It’s not bad, it’s just not what I’m used to.”

Things happen every day that don’t go as planned or how I want them to or what I’m used to. Sometimes I respond in frustration. Other times I’m disappointed. What would happen if I was able to shift my view a little, and see the situation for what it was.

Maybe you went to a restaurant and they prepared their steak differently than your favorite place does. You could complain that it wasn’t juicy enough, or seasoned the way you like it, or you could judge it at face value. It’s not bad, it’s just not what you’re used to. Could turn a negative dinner into an evening where you enjoyed the company of the person you’re with, rather than spending that time complaining about the food.

Maybe you got a new neighbor. The last resident of the house was superb and really set the bar high. This new family is obviously going to be different. You could choose to focus on how much you miss your old neighbors and how this new family doesn’t do this or that. Or you could look at it with clean lenses and realize that it’s really not that bad, it’s just different.

We are in unprecedented times. So much has changed in the last two years. It’s so easy to blame that person or this policy. It’s so easy to get caught up in complaining. I’m not saying everything is roses and butterflies or that you should pretend like bad stuff doesn’t exist. I’m simply suggesting, what if we shifted our view a little. What if we looked for the blessings instead of just claiming that everything is worse. Rather than comparing everything to the way it was, we could look at things as they are.

Seeing the world like this doesn’t actually change anything, but I tell you what. It makes going through situations like this, a heck of a lot more enjoyable. 

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.