Thinking About Attitude


Attitude, has a way of preening itself, often without awareness of the individual. A posture, a stance, a belief, attitude bestows identify upon us as naturally as air gives life. It is as imperceptible and comes upon us without our knowledge, weaving within the framework of our personality.

Attitude wears many disguises. It can be a cloak of self assured righteousness or a mask of insecurity. It is weaved by perceptions, tailored by experience and fitted by events. It is an apparel that denotes stature and is as changeable as the seasons.

Change comes as we evolve in our perceptional world of ideas and ideals. As babes we were clothed by our parents and family. Our attitudes were reflections of the images projected to us. Education created individualized growth. Color, style, and texture became the accessories of maturity, associates of our own design. The fashion of the day shaped our philosophy. Brilliant hues of wisdom, combined with muted shades of reality, are the seams that hold together our foundations.

When we don an attitude that is foreign to our nature, we are uncomfortable. It doesn't quite fit, the lines do not flow well, it sags in places and in others it pinches our freedom. We tug and pull, smooth and press until the attitude is shaped and either becomes one with our persona or is discarded for a new garment of beliefs

My attitude about life has had numerous changes like the textures of seasonal fabric. During the spring of youthful emerging, I wore a simple garment of a code of conduct. It was lightweight, flowed without impairment and sometimes clung to me as I galloped towards adolescence.

In the summer of my life, I was arrayed with flowing robes of family. My garments changed as I moved in a world of responsibilities. I wore hats and gloves as the wife of an Army Office. I tied an apron of domesticity about my waist, and wore a chauffeurs cap with ease as my six children became a part of my world. My attitudes were steeped in the traditional ideals of the 50's when father knew bet. It was a simple time and the clothes were comfortable.

In time a traveler's wardrobe was added to my closet. With suitcase in hand, passport in purse, and comfortable shoes on feet, I slipped into a career suit that was too big for me. The combined responsibilities of family and career needed reshaping. Slipping in and out of costumes created a world of uncompleted commitments.

I became estranged from my family, the apron was untied and left behind as I moved into my own apartment. In time the travel suit was discarded and piled on a heap of forgotten dreams. My attitude became one of no stress, no strain, and of course that became no accomplishment. It was easier not to do anything than to strive for intangible goals. It was a time of lost confidence, hurting heart, literally and figuratively, and a time of non productive activity. I wore an ill fitting garment of rejection and self hostility.

Now it is the winter of my identity. A sweater of comfort warms me as I watch my adult children wear their apparels of citizenship. Their attitudes reflect images of responsible maturity sparkling on the horizon of their changing worlds.

I have watched them shed articles of disguises as silkworms shed their cocoons. From babies to teens, then to adults they have received the responsibilities placed on them and wear them like crowns.

My crown is shaped by the smiles of my grandchildren, jeweled with memories of life's pleasures, and dotted with bangles of successes. My robe is still being fitted as I progress into my new role of senior citizen. I've chosen the fabric with care. It is light weight for mobility, secured with clasps of comfort, and designed with patterns of love. It wears well as I snuggle into it's deep folds.

I am more content at this time of my life than I have ever been. My attitude is comfortable for it has discarded the disguises of various identiies. The costumes and masks have been tossed into the halls of time. My life is now, and I enjoy the attitude of the moment.

Mary McCauley is an author, retired group tour travel advisor, mother of six, grandmother of thirteen. Her articles have appeared in magazines and on the internet. Her novel, "The House of Annon", was recently published and her e=book, "An Expert's Guide to FREE Cruises and Tours" is currently available. A resident of Franklin, TN, she can be contacted at cruisesandtours@peoplepc.com.


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