Jenna W. made a nice post on her blog (coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com) that basically hit upon the idea of perspective. I had just recently come upon this sign in a local greenhouse the other day. The two made me pause and think. I agree in that much of my frustrations and depressions were either influenced are caused by my own perspectives. You know....."the glass half full or half empty" sort of thing.
This sign hits a note with me especially when it comes to the ideas of wealth and material goods. Since early childhood it was drummed into me, both verbally and by example, to strive to attain success via wealth, goods, and superior performance. Acquire as much as you can and always strive for more or better. Success = having more than your neighbors. It applied to everything -- better clothing, better food, better job, higher grades in school, etc. We were the first people on our block to have a Philco TV. Not the first to have a color TV and that bothered my father. He criticized the neighbor's color TV something fierce. We had to have a newer car, better landscaping, better toys for his kids, better quality clothing and of course a house in a better neighborhood. We never had extra money but my parents would go to the ritziest restaurant whenever they needed to take someone special out for a meal. As kids we had to get better grades, high scores on the IQ and SAT tests, graduate high in our class, be someone special in whatever club we participated in. Frankly, this aspect of our upbringing warped our lives and set the stage for us to be in perpetual debt up to our ears. My parents never did attain happiness or contentment. They viewed themselves as failures all their lives.
I lived my life according to my parents' example for several decades, never coming anywhere close to "success". Looking back, it was a sure fire way for me to be chronically frustrated, unhappy, frustrated, and angry. Angry at total strangers because I perceived them as being happy because they had what I didn't. And little did I know that it all wasn't necessary! It could be removed with a change in perspective.
Somehow along the way it finally dawned on me that happiness was all about ME. In order to be happy I had to change a lot of things about myself. Foremost I had to stop competing with others. Then I had to stop competing with myself! I didn't need to attain more stuff or more money in order to be happy. I didn't need to be better than other people. And ya know, a funny thing happened. A different person soon came out of the closet. I think I'm becoming the person I was born to be.
Back to perspective.... Not only has my attitude changed, thus less frustration, depression, and anger , but a homestead lifestyle is becoming quite comfortable feeling. My farm doesn't have to be the prettiest or most productive. Reusing old stuff is just fine. No shame in using wood as fuel instead of propane or electricity. Used vehicles work for me. Every new day is an opportunity. Every thing that doesn't work out the first time around is a chance to learn more about it. Perspective doesn't make problems and hurdles go away, but it does make them easier to deal with.