The Ugly House


Sometimes it is easy for us to be trapped by pessimism.

Yesterday I was feeling pretty negative. I’m not sure why some days are so much harder for me than others but I was really struggling. A lot. I decided to get out of the house and take my son and my daughter for a little walk. They piled into the wagon and we set off. As we started walking I asked my son to tell me what he liked most about one of the houses we were passing. He said he liked that it was the color blue. I asked again about the next house, and he said he liked the bricks. I couldn’t figure out what he meant since the house had stucco (not brick) but after asking him again he told me that he liked the bricks on the roof aka the shingles. We went on like this around the neighborhood. I liked the tulips, he liked the windows. I liked the pretty swing on the porch, he liked the green sled that was filled with water lying on the grass. Then we passed the ugly house. I was really enjoying my “optimism” game and as I started looking at this particular house my heart started to sink. The grass was dying, the house was plain ol’ brown, there weren’t any flowers, there were tons of weeds, and I didn’t like anything about it—at all. I started to feel a bit panicked. But then I saw the tree planted in the park strip. It was gorgeous. Dark green. Perfectly shaped. I was so relieved.

I’ve heard it said, that if you look hard enough you can find something positive about everything, something good in every situation, something good about every person. I believe that that might be true, but I have a feeling that for me…it might take a lot of practice. Pessimism can be a hard habit to break.

Today, as I walked by that ugly house again the door was open, and I could see the family. I realized that even if that tree had never been planted and even if I would have been unable to think of a single thing positive about that home, that today as I walked by I would have been able to easily spot it. Maybe just because we can’t see it the first time…doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

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