My mom has this phrase... "Anyone can get an A once, but keeping an A? That is hard work." That is the best phrase I can think of to relate to maintaining a positive outlook.
I think being positive for a moment or an hour is easy; repeating some inspirational quote you read online that rings true. Or having a phrase on your phone as a reminder; having a quote of the day on your desk.
But let's just call a spade a spade. Feeling positive from a quote is short-lived. But staying positive all the time? Hard... very hard. And somedays are much harder than others.
When it comes to having a chronic illness that has no treatment (yet), some days are so much more challenging than I expect. We have all had bad days or weeks or even months that overwhelm us with some feelings of hopelessness. But remaining positive when each day feels so different, yet so same, as the day before, well, that's another matter.
I get through those days because I believe in embracing those feelings, whether positive or negative; no matter the cause. Have a pity party. Worry about tomorrow... Live in the pity party. Eat that tub of ice cream...binge-watch your favorite series. Stay in sweats for two days... whatever it takes.
But when the "balloons of your party" have fallen to the ground, the ice cream is gone, .... its's time to get back up and try again. I remind myself that it's about not giving up on the long haul. It's about the bigger picture. I think of the people who give to the Foundation because they intuitively know that the unknown is always scary and fear can be paralyzing at times.
Truth be told, an unknown timeline with my disease gives my fighting spirit and confidence more than I bargained for. "Keeping the A" is so much harder than I ever thought it would be. I don't believe I give myself an A everyday. Sometimes it's a B- or a C+ because it's all that I can muster.
But I can never allow my fear to outweigh my faith that the unknown timeline may hold positive outcomes. So I sketch my picture and never give up on "keeping my A".