So, as usual, I'm sitting at my computer with the cursor taunting me by its steady blinking. With each little blink, I swear I can actually hear it saying, "Well......we're waiting!" This got me thinking which is usually a bad idea in my case. With all that is going on in this world from floods, to storms, to protests over pick a subject ranging from racial issues to the price of mismatched socks, to the prevailing attitude of "me, me me", it got me wondering the following: Do we as a collective group choose to focus on what's going wrong or do we choose to focus on what's going right? In therapy, we talk a lot about how we are choosing to look at things and what do we tell ourselves about a particular situation. Trust me, it's easier said than done. I get that. However, we can choose to develop a particular mindset or culture if you will. If everything stinks, then you are right....everything will stink. Just like in BBQ, if you choose to go into a competition dreading the work, dreading the sleeplessness, dreading the heat, dreading the costs, dreading the table of death, then I 100% guarantee you it will be a dreadful experience. As a point of example, I think back to our first competition. We didn't know shoo-shoo from shineola; however, we had a ball because we went into it with an excitement that comes from something new and challenging. We finished near the bottom in the backyard division, but you know what? We didn't care. We were excited about finding the next competition and just hanging out together. That was our mindset. We chose to look past all the freezing, bickering, sleeplessness, and the general 'Charlie Foxtrot' our first competition was because we chose to have a blast. I wonder how many still have the excitement for BBQ, for life, for finding the simple enjoyment in watching the world go by, for watching my slightly psychotic dog play with his food before eating, for watching others experience genuine.......happiness? Granted, there are a lot of reasons we could justify a rather dim view of this great big mud ball we call Earth at this time; however, I wanted to point out some great reasons to remember it ain't all bad. (1) Operation BBQ Relief. Since 2011 OBR has deployed to 21 states over a period of 199 days following 34 disasters. These are all volunteers that bring food to areas reeling from some sort of calamity. Did I mention they were volunteers? (2) Brett Culp is an independent film maker who made the movies, "Legends of the Knight" and most recently "Look to the Sky." These are not-for-profit movies that talk about inspiration and how people come together and overcome. All the proceeds from the screenings across the globe go to a charity of the theater's choice. The first one "Legends of the Knight" sells out wherever it is shown. "Look to the Sky" was just released in Australia and will be in U.S., and the same will happen with it. I highly recommend you visit his site at www.Brettculp.com. If the movie clips don't get you, you might need to go hug a puppy for a while. (3) I don't recall the person's name, but he is an elderly gentleman that knits caps for newborn babies. He does it because he chooses to do so. (4) There was a retired teacher I read about in Sean Dietrich's daily article that goes to thrift stores looking for children's clothing that she buys, washes, presses, and delivers to school so kids that need clothes can have something. No charge....all for free. (5) I know Rub and many others have been involved in the Backpack Program. This is a program that provides kids with backpacks full of food so the kids won't be hungry when not in school. (6) I saw a picture on FB of a BBQ pro holding his grandchild, and he was grinning from ear to ear. Nice. My point in all of this is a simple question, "Upon what will you choose to focus?" I could go on for days and days, just ask anyone that knows me. I challenge everyone out there to find the good. I promise you, it's out there, and you really don't have to look that hard to find it. Me, I've got plenty about which to be happy. Not because I'm rich, not because I'm perfect (far from it), and not because I'm handsome (again, far from it), but I'm happy because I choose to be. I hope and pray everyone reading this will find some merit in it, and I pray y'all all can each find that reason to be happy.......genuinely, toe-tingling, toothy-grinning, happy. Y'all take care, and Riley says, "Hello."