Military Wife Quote: The Greater Part of our Happiness

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I’d love to call myself an Optimist. I’d love to wear rose-colored glasses and have five pairs as backups. I’d love to claim that a positive always exists to counterbalance every negative. I’d love to “expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation.” I’d love to be a glass half full kind of girl.

But I’m not. At least not all the time.

But I’m not a full-blown Pessimist either. Every now and then I succumb to my inner cynic, but I certainly don’t possess “a tendency to stress the negative or unfavorable or to take the gloomiest possible view.”

I did the pessimism thing during my husband’s first deployment years ago. I focused on everything that went wrong. I withdrew from my friends. I resented the fact that he was gone and I was left to manage everything. And you know what that got me? Six months of misery.

When the second deployment rolled around, I knew I couldn’t let myself go through that again. I couldn’t change the fact that my husband was deploying so I needed to find something I could change. I started with my attitude.

I thought of that attitude adjustment when I stumbled upon this military wife quote:

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances.” ~Martha Washington

During that first deployment, my misery was brought on more by my pessimistic disposition than the circumstances. During the next deployment, the circumstances were no different, but I was able to find a level of happiness because I tapped into the optimistic side of myself that could focus more on the positive than the negative, more on the laughter than the tears.

Of course, there’s no way a deployment or a PCS move or anything in military life is going to be all sunshine and rainbows. And sometimes those rose-colored glasses are going to get stepped on or lost or eaten by the dog. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom either. It’s all about perspective.

Maybe I’m not a card-carrying member of the Optimism Club. Maybe I’m more of a Cautious Optimist. Or a Recovering Pessimist. Or a Realist with a sense of humor. Whatever you call it, I know that the glass needs to be half full more than it’s half empty if I expect to get through the tougher parts of military life.

Do you think a positive attitude can make military life easier? Are you more of a “glass half full” or “glass half empty” kind of person?

About the Author

Heather Sweeney
Heather Sweeney is an Associate Editor at, former Navy wife, mother of two, blogger, and avid runner. She’s the blogger formerly known as Wife on the Roller Coaster and still checks in every now and then at her blog Riding the Roller Coaster.

5 Comments on "Military Wife Quote: The Greater Part of our Happiness"

  1. I'm a pragmatist. I look at things in terms of what I can control and what I can't control and devise a plan to deal with the issue within those parameters. I tend to not attach a lot of emotion to issues because they cloud my ability to resolve them. The world doesn't stop moving forward so that I can take a time out until I am ready to deal. I also don't put too much stock in optimism. I have found only seeing a positive outcome will make disappointments that much harder when things don't work out. Being realistic about all possibilities and having an idea of how I would deal with those possibilities helps me to minimize any over-reaction from life's hurdles.

  2. I think I'm a lemonade/lemons type of person. Or, singing along with Monty Python, I always look on the bright side of life. I know it helps, because it gives me the perspective to deal with it.

  3. I think that I try to be positive but I mean I am not sure if you would be human if you are able to be positive all the time. To me, it is a lot like perfection…we strive for perfection in our lives but it is unattainable really. It is all how you look at things. I mean yes, we try to be positive but we are humans and we experience emotions, both positive and negative. That is okay. How we react to things is what really matters. It is okay to feel what we feel. I have done it. I like to say I learn from my mistakes…but my husband goes away because of his job in the military. I still have those negative feelings too. But I try to react differently than those feelings. I work on my career, my health and exercise, my kids and encourage positive outcomes in my life…seems to help my reaction but I would be lying if I said I didn't still have negative feelings.

  4. Circumstances over time condition us to respond to a situation in specific ways. So disposition is important, but circumstances are also important because they influence the long term development of coping skills.

  5. I couldn’t change the fact that my husband was deploying so I needed to find something I could change. I started with my attitude.

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