I took this photo from inside Bob’s Antique Indian Motorcycle, in one of the storage spaces above the shop. As I stepped over dusty cardboard boxes and greasy motorcycle parts, light peeked between the boards of the creaky old floor. Intrigued by the antique bikes, rusted metal and dried, cracked leather, I saw beauty rather than devastation. The rich history of Indian Motorcycles surrounded me as I looked around at the weathered parts and pieces, no longer in use. I imagined who might have ridden these old bikes back in the early 1900s, and what hardships they’d survived. In a room filled with worn out gas tanks, broken leather seats and bikes that hadn’t run in decades, I felt respect for these inanimate objects, for all they’d been through and all they’d survived.

How we view the world and respond to situations is a choice. When has this concept been more relevant than right now, with so many things beyond our control? A year ago, I’d never heard the term “social distancing”, and now my daily vocabulary includes, COVID-19, quarantine and PPE. Life changes on a dime, without asking for our input or permission, but still, we get to control how we respond.

Somedays I struggle to find a positive mindset. I should turn off the news, I know, but instead I watch. The grim stories, the devastation and the heartbreak, reminds me to be gracious and thankful for my own good fortune. Out of respect for the suffering of others, I refuse to look away. When millions have lost jobs, I’m thankful to still have my clients. When millions have lost their homes, I’m thankful to have a roof over my head. When thousands are losing their lives every day, I’m thankful my family is healthy.

My blessings are abundant, I remind myself. Because if I lose hope, what else is there? Every day I get to choose my mindset. We all do. Life doesn’t begin or end when we inaugurate our next president, or when we get COVID under control. Life is happening right now. In the midst of fear and uncertainty, we still have control over our thoughts today. Is our world falling apart? Sometimes it feels that way. Are we braced and weathering the storm? Most of us are trying. Broken and rusted, but resilient and still standing, you get to choose your mindset. Today, I’m choosing to be gracious, and hopeful.

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