It's all about the positives. If you build it, good things will come.

It's all about the positives.

If you build it, good things will come.

First of all, there's there's the fact the new Springfield High School finally was able to open last week.


It's the biggest positive in the history of the Springfield school system, and not even vibrating floors, which shuttled the original opening as the school year began last fall, and Mother Nature, whose blast of Arctic air delayed the opening two more days last week, could keep it from eventually happening.

Pretty cool.

The school, on the same general site as the former school at the intersection of Canton Road and Sanitarium Road, immediately becomes the focal point of the entire Springfield Township community, not just the school system. Everything has changed and will remain changed, for the students, teachers, administrators and residents.

Yes, of course, there will be more rough edges to smooth out before it's all said and done. That's just the way it is with a project of that magnitude. It's impossible to make all those moving parts perfect at the same time.

But you can bet that any issues will get rectified. It would be a public relations disaster for too many individuals and too many entities if they weren't. So just a take deep breath and be patient.

Enough of that, though. That's a bunch of negativism, and this is about the obvious, all the positives that have come out – and will continue to come out -- of this grand event.

What an exciting time it is in Springfield. There are any number of school systems that would give anything to be in that position, getting a brand-new high school to replace an old, broken-down, outdated and inadequate facility. New high schools are the gold standard. When a community gets one, it sets itself up into the fast lane – the progressive lane -- for decades to come. Just talk to the people who were around in 1931 when the former Springfield High School was opened. It put the community on the map then, and its replacement has put Springfield back on the map again. That's about as good as it gets when it comes to local positives.

What a snow job

This is already shaping up as a brutal winter, just as was predicted by many people last year. And as such, it is already shaping up as a great performance – again -- by our local governments when it comes to snow removal. It's a hard, grueling, thankless job, one that we notice only when it's done poorly, or not at all, as is the case in some places that shall remain nameless.

We're lucky that it's always done, and done well, around here. For most of us, bad weather doesn't preclude us from doing our daily routines. When we have to go out and be somewhere, we have to go out and be somewhere whether it's 80 degrees and sunny or 19 and snowing like crazy. That puts us at the mercy of the roads, the road crews and Mother Nature. When the road crew guys can arm wrestle Mother Nature for control of the roads, and win, we win as well. In fact, we're the bigger winners because we – and our vehicles – get there and back in one piece.

So give the snowplow guys room to do their job. Remember, they're working for us and we're paying them with our tax dollars. Let's not shortchange them, or ourselves. If we do, we'll pay for it later – and much more dearly so.

Positively not cool

"You're being negative. On yourself.

"Not cool."

The words from a friend pierced me. There was nothing this person could have said at that moment that would have knocked me flatter.

And this person was right. Too much negativism, whether it be in the form of self-depricating humor or cutting on someone or something else – gossiping, as it were -- has no place in our world. There's enough negativism already. We sure don't need to create more.

Along those lines, there was a recent piece on about positivity. As stated in it, "According to some experts, happiness is a choice that we make, not something that is entirely influenced by external circumstances. By simply deciding to be happy, we can adopt and live out a more positive life. So instead of making resolutions to accomplish specific things (be honest: is that gym membership going to be the only thing that will make you happy next year?), setting a goal to make 2014 your most positive year yet is more attainable than you think."

Sounds good to me.

Here are eight tips they offer for attaining such:

- Go outside. Research proves that going outside reduces stress, increases your levels of serotonin and elevates your mood.

OK, so sitting in a lawn chair in the back yard when the wind-chill factor is minus-50 degrees might not be good idea, we can keep it in mind when it warms up enough – in about late June.

- Log some time with your nephews (or nieces, siblings or neighbor's kids). Little kids can have the best outlooks on life.

That's right. Those people may be small, but they don't sweat the small stuff. We could learn a little – or probably a lot – from them in that regard.

- Meditate. Plenty of research shows that meditation can help promote positivity and happiness. It can even lower your blood pressure. I can't sit on the ground like that with my legs spread. I would need the Jaws of Life to get me back up. But I think that taking a few deep breaths and exhaling slowly may do the trick as well.

- Play with your pet. Pet ownership has proven to boost happiness and banish stress. Thanks, Fido. We all know about that one. Pets don't care that your boss yelled at you or that your car wouldn't start. They just want you to give them a belly rub. So lighten up, Francis, and get to work.

- Unplug once in a while. Facebook, texting, Twitter, Snap Chat... we're bombarded with information daily -- and not all of it is good. Studies have shown that spending time on social media can actually make us feel lonely and badly about ourselves. Turn off that computer and let yourself be happy. Yes, unplug. Please. And at the same time, plug back into life the way it was back in the old days – like the early 1990s. You'll like it much, much better.

- Say thank you. Gratitude can help you fovus on the positive aspects of your life. Send a thank you note to someone you care about, just because. You'll feel happier for it. When – and why – did that ever fall out of favor?

- Read more books. Aside from their uncoventional health benefits, good books can put your mind in another place -- perhaps, even, a positive place.

See "Unplug once in a while."

- Dance (or sing) it out. Ever notice how when you're grooving to your favorite tune or screaming lyrics as you drive down the road, your mood elevates? Turns out that's no coincidence. Studies have shown that singing and dancing can be an instant, positive mood booster.

Want to hear a chorus of "Johnny B. Goode?"

I didn't think so, but I feel so much better – and positive – that I at least asked.