What’s Good About Adversity?



” Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

Kurt Vonnegut


You may have heard the saying, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” For such a pithy sentiment, it really hits home for me right now. I sit here writing this while listening to good soul music in the midst of a deadly virus, injustice in our nation, turmoil in the streets, and some uncertainty as to the future. So many lemons! Let’s get to it and start mixing up the juicy goodness.

Webster’s dictionary defines the word resilience as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change. Easy to say and tough to do sometimes, but let’s think about shifting our focus to what’s good about these challenging times. How do we do this? It needs to be a conscious effort to make this attitude adjustment; a persistent commitment to shift our perspective. Yes, it’s hard work but can be done!

Here are some of my “goods” to share. These are my own and some took quite an effort to shift. One positive I have seen is that I have been able to focus more on my family relationships. Trust and communication has opened up in our house and we are learning to appreciate one another—not every day but more often than not.  Another is that I am at peace in my life as I never have been before: no more rushing from here to there with my teen boys, and a chance to spend time getting to know friends, even if from a distance or by a Zoom call. Granted, I am Zoomed-out, but I’m learning about new ways to stay in touch. Text and REAL phone calls are happening and that is good. Another “good” that I am experiencing now is recognizing the physical beauty of the place where I live. Looking around at the mountains, rivers, lakes and so much more in the Great Northwest gives me such a new appreciation for this beautiful land.

Tim Ryan

I’m also seeing so much kindness happening around us in the midst of troubling times. People are helping others in their neighborhoods, and supporting with words and actions. This is encouraging and helps me bounce back from adversity.

I ask that you now look at your life and SEE the goodness that is in you and others in our community. Thanks for listening, and let’s smile at our neighbors, friends and family.


Tim Ryan, Family Support Specialist, Encompass



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