I feel the hot Florida sun beating down on me. Small beads of sweat linger on my forehead. I feel carefree and happy as I wander along the ocean's shoreline.

Then I wake up! Alas, I live in Minnesota, and the reality outside is snow and cold. Nevertheless, I know that in the sweltering heat of summer, I will be dreaming of sliding down a hill of snow.

Why is it human nature to want something different than what is in front of us? We want to be thinner, to be richer, to be younger or to be married to Prince Charming. I learned early on that he is taken by Barbie. Seriously, why isn't the present good enough?

I think it is a matter of a mindset. As a kid in suburbia, I wanted to live on a farm and raise a family. Hey, I have that! Sure, there are still things on my bucket list, but I need to first take the time to be grateful for the blessings around me.

I have great friends, an awesome family, meaningful work and a beautiful setting to live in. How much I want other things has diminished significantly.

Someone wisely said that our attitude was our choice. We are in control of our choice to be happy and should never give that control to anyone else. We need to move forward and not be stagnant. We can choose to try and to never give up on oneself. We can make the world what we want it to be.

If you need help or know someone struggling with basic needs, we are here to help. Call 218-587-4292 to reach the Pine River-Backus Family Center. The coffee pot is on; stop in for a cup of joe.