Times are tough for many Iowa families, yet other families are doing OK. Could this just be one of those mysteries of life? "No one knows the reason that some families struggle while others seem to thrive," says Rhonda Rosenboom, an Iowa State University Extension family life field specialist.
"However, attitude seems to play a role in whether someone enjoys life." Rosenboom suggests asking some questions to identify your own general attitude toward life.
n Are you basically happy and content with who you are?
n Are you happy with your work, your home and your relationships?
n Do you believe you have control over many things in your life?
n Do you believe you can change some things to make life better?
n Do you have hope for the future?
According to Kathy Bosch, an extension family life specialist with the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center, a person's attitude is a critical factor in determining how he or she perceives things that happen during the day, the week and ultimately throughout life. "It isn't that we must be happy-go-lucky all the time, nor live as though we have no cares, because that simply isn't practical," Bosch said. "With economic hardships, drought conditions and war in the Middle East, families are experiencing difficult times. These difficult times are not to be ignored because they are a reality. But it is how we deal with our reality that will make a difference to how we handle life." Rosenboom suggests taking a few moments to do a personal attitude check.
n Are you taking care of yourself?
n Are you nurturing relationships with your partner, family and friends you love?
n Are you around other people who are a positive influence on you?
n Do you need to see a professional counselor? A counselor can help you work through issues that may be affecting your attitude.
"Perhaps it's time to make some changes to take care of yourself and your attitude," Rhonda Rosenboom said. "Remember, your attitude can make the difference in how you see the world and how the world sees you. You are your own best asset."