Rebecca's Traveling Thread

I was 28 when we moved back to our tiny town of St. Joseph, LA. After coming to the realization that my dreams of being a famous artist in Europe had been thwarted, I also forgot something much more important… Gratitude! It took nearly four years of pouting until I grew very tired of myself. It was not pretty.

While I was feeling like my life was over and that I would never see anyone or anything again, I met a lovely lady with the most positive outlook. She survived a terrible accident but was left a paraplegic. The contrast of the difficult wheelchair maneuverability and her glowing positive personality virtually slapped me into reality. That day I remember crying all the way home from Baton Rouge. I soon read The Power of Positive Thinking and became determined to find the positive in every little thing.

Gratitude is the Attitude!

The first day of my new practice, I drove into the parking lot of our one grocery store in town and the front center parking space was open. Through gritted teeth I forced the positive thought “Wow, look how lucky I am! I got the best parking space. This is going to be a GREAT day.” Then I walked into the Jitney Jungle and low and behold, they had limes. (Believe it or not, limes used to be a rarity in St. Joseph and I always had them on my out of town shopping list). I don’t know if this was a message from above, but I clearly felt like one good thought led to another good thing. I know it seems like a silly small happenstance, but it was a life changing moment.

After about a week of practicing being grateful for EVERY little thing, it started to become a habit. Before too long I realized there was a positive, happy person inside of me. And honestly that is when good things started happening with both my family and my career.

Gradually I began to gravitate towards friends, family, and role models who shared this positive attitude. I must also admit, I started shying away from negativity. I constantly worked on this “gratitude attitude” with my children. When things would go wrong, I would often say “If it never rained, you wouldn’t appreciate the sunshine.”  

My dear friend Ann Connelly is my main international traveling companion. When I am foraging for textiles, she is searching for art. She also is a master of the positive spin.

On one trip to Paris, we found ourselves in a crisis - all hotels were completely booked. Fortunately we found lodging but it ended up being a real dump. We were sharing a room and the one double bed had a sinkhole in the center; we had to sleep with one arm clutching the bed’s outside so as not to roll onto each other.

The lights were out and we were saying good night and how lucky we were to be in Paris, what a great meal we had had, how beautiful everything was and how lucky we were to love our jobs. I couldn’t help it but I said, “and aren’t we lucky we can be in a #@*% hotel, and still think we are so lucky!” We both cracked up!

So instead of complaining about how fat I am after our Thanksgiving dinner, I will just be grateful I’m not any fatter than I am… Gratitude is the Attitude!

Happy Thanksgiving to all… and a little more silver lining: 2020 is almost over!!!

Rebecca Vizard