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ZELLER: Leave the negativity in 2016 and start fresh

Lately, I've been taking photographs that contain a lot of negative (empty/white) space. I happen to really find them striking. I find myself thinking, what's in the background, or what else is there to this image? And that's how we should be in ...

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Photo by Jenn Zeller

Lately, I've been taking photographs that contain a lot of negative (empty/white) space. I happen to really find them striking. I find myself thinking, what's in the background, or what else is there to this image? And that's how we should be in our lives - we shouldn't focus on the negative.

We are rolling full steam ahead into a new year, and for many, this is a time to make new, start fresh and begin again. I'm not much of a New Year's Resolution kinda gal. I figure I will just try to be the best me I can be by doing my best every day. But for those of you that enjoy making resolutions, this might be a good time to push the negative out of your life, and work at replacing it with the positive.

When you find yourself thinking about something or someone in a negative way, could you replace those thoughts with something good? If you find yourself thinking about your faults, could you turn that around and find something positive to focus on? Negative self-talk is one thing that can defeat most anyone, and if we train ourselves to turn it off, we can and will become happier people for it. Trust me, I've had firsthand experience.

We need to worry less about what other people might think about us, and more about what we think of ourselves. Let our positivity shine through and be a light of goodness, warmth and happiness.

Do I fail at always finding the positive? Of course I do. Life is a culmination of successes and failures. That's what makes us human, and it's also how we learn and become wiser. But I still try to find the positive, even though sometimes it takes me a while to come around.

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I know the cows and horses and chickens are sick of winter, and frankly I'm tired of snowshoeing to get chores done. But the grass is going to be green come spring, the sun will come out tomorrow, and hopefully we all find ourselves on this side of the dirt. So we should enjoy what we can while we can.

The horses and cows are glad for fresh hay, bedding and warm water, and that's their positive. Watching cows and horses buck and run when they see us coming with the tractor sure does a heart good.

So, as the new year moves forward, let's try to keep the negative space out of our head, and leave it where it belongs: in the photographs.

Happy Trails!

Editor's note: Zeller is a South Dakota cattle rancher who raises Angus, Brangus and Quarter Horses with her husband and his family. Contact Zeller at jennifer@thesouthdakotacowgirl.com .

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