The Power of One Good Thing

I recently enjoyed hearing about the 2023 National Teacher of the Year. Her name is Rebecca Petterson, and she lives in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. We retired teachers are very proud of her!

Rebecka had a challenging first year of teaching math to high school students. She discovered the "One Good Thing" blog. Rebecka listed one good thing daily on the blog. Example: A student invited her to his ballgame. As a result, she has since contributed 1,400 posts! Rebecka credits her daily postings with helping her recognize her classroom's beautiful and positive experiences, inspiring her to stay in the profession.

Blood cancer anxiety

Are you anxious about your diagnosis, treatments, or prognosis as a blood cancer patient? I know, at times, I am. So, how can we stay optimistic about having cancer? Rebecka is more high-tech than me, but I, too, list one good thing daily. I write my positive example on a paper calendar. That's 365 things in one year, or I try listing them weekly, making 52 positive examples.

Why be positive? Studies show that people who have an attitude of gratitude improve their health, enhance the quality of their relationships, reduce depression, and are generally happier.

Plan good times

Plan things that you enjoy. I like to look forward to an activity or an event. It might be a fun outing or reading a few chapters in a book I like. Set small goals for yourself to accomplish. I don't mind scrubbing the kitchen floor or raking the backyard if I have something to do later that I am looking forward to.

Don't you love a project? Whether cleaning out your attic or organizing your photographs, have a purpose. Plan your work, go as slowly as you need to, then work your plan. Doing one simple chore is better than doing nothing at all. You will be proud when you have completed the project.

Phone a friend

Ask for help when you need it. Tell your family how they can help. You might need help with some heavy lifting when cleaning. I agree that it is frustrating when we can't do as much as we used to. Cancer changes us, so we have to adapt.

When you feel depressed, reach out to a friend. You don't have to tell them what's wrong, just visit. My friend suggested that I list things that were bothering me. Seeing a problem written makes it easier to solve. For example, I hate my living room carpet. I aim to get a new carpet to host a party for my Bible Study group. When I get my new carpet, that's going on my gratitude list.

Self-care is not selfish!

Have you ever noticed that you feel better when you drink water and eat healthy meals? I have also seen that I feel better after a good night's sleep. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy. I have been going to Chair Exercise classes, and we have fun!

Be proactive about your health. Keep up with your appointments. Ask your doctor questions about your cancer, and keep asking until you understand.

Say no when someone is asking too much of you. Don't feel guilty when you cannot attend a meeting or help on a committee. Your health is more important.

There is some good in every day!

Plan some quiet time for yourself. When I was teaching, I remember feeling exhausted both physically and emotionally. Decision fatigue is when you are tired from making too many decisions quickly, both small and large. Yes, even my brain felt tired.

Rebecka Petterson (Did I mention she is Oklahoma's National Teacher of the Year?) said in her speech, "Every day may not be good, but there is some good in every day." That's right, Rebecka, even with blood cancer.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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