Christine Schwab is known as one of the most successful television personalities and authors in fashion, beauty and lifestyle. She has been a recurring guest on the most popular network television shows including: Oprah!, NBC Nightly News, CBS-The Early Show, The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Rachel Ray, Inside Edition, CNBC News, Fox Network News, E! Entertainment and Weekend Today.

Three-time author, Schwab wrote Quickstyle (Random House), The Grown-up Girl’s Guide To Style (Harper Collins) and Take Me Home From The Oscars (Skyhorse). Other writing credits include contributing style editor to Redbook magazine, style columnist for Arthritis Today and featured stories in O, the Oprah Magazine, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Ladies Home Journal, Women’s World, The Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post Book Magazine, The Orange County Register, The Daily Breeze and The OC Magazine.

Christine is an Ambassador for the National Arthritis Foundation.
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I don’t know about you but I work everyday to be centered. Yes, every single day. If you read my latest book, Take Me Home From The Oscars you know my family calls me “sparkle plenty.” It’s supposed to be a compliment but actually it’s more of a witticism because I work so hard to be positive. It’s the goal I set everyday, not necessarily to “sparkle” but to be optimistic.

I’m not sure if I believe there are those who are born positive and those who aren’t. I think it’s more of a life choice. I have been accused of only looking on the “good” side of things, the “happy” side of life. And in reality it’s only partially true. My son calls me a “cheerleader” and sometimes even says, “Mom, please don’t cheerlead me.” I understand where he’s coming from. I cheerlead to try to keep him centered and yet I know that nobody can keep someone else centered. We have to do it for ourselves.

My question is why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to keep positive? Why look on the dark side? Why say the glass is half empty when it’s also half full? Those are all choices we deal with and yet not everyone choses to be centered.

So I ask myself why? Why wouldn’t you want to be happier rather than sad? And I can predict many of the answers.

“Life is hard, I can’t find happiness.”

“I have a chronic illness, how can I be happy?”

“Nothing goes my way.”

“Sure, you’ve had all the breaks. I have only run into walls.”

“What do I have to be happy about?”

And to me there lies the problem.. It’s how you deal with adversity. It’s how you deal with the day to day in life.

At one point I was having a very difficult time at work. My boss seemed to be out to make my life miserable and he was succeeding. I would fret and worry about everything he said. I took it all personal until my husband said to me, “Christine, do you think all your boss does all day is sit around and think, how can I make Christine’s life miserable? He doesn’t care. It’s not about you, it’s about him. He is miserable. Don’t take it personally.”

And it made sense. I had to change. My boss wouldn’t change. This simple explanation helped me get back to center.

So let me set the record straight. I am not “sparkle plenty”, I am not a “cheerleader,” I am not a totally positive person by nature. I am normal. I have good days, mediocre days and down days. I get set off by something someone says just like you do. I wake up with my RA flaring and think, how am I going to get through this day?

But that’s when I stop and tell myself only I can make my day better. Only I can live my life in a centered way. My friends and family can’t do this for me. I have to take responsibility for myself and decide that I am going to look on the bright side off things rather than the dark. I am going to work hard everyday to be positive. I am going to be concerned about helping others rather than dwelling on what isn’t going right in my world. And for me it works. I move back to center.

I cry when I hear the stories and see the photos of Christine’s Kids. They break my heart. But their spirit then fills me up again and makes me work to bring more attention to them. Not to me, but to them. To take their innocent voices and keep them in my head. To hold on to their smiles when you know they are in pain. By focusing on others we don’t have as much time to dwell on ourselves.

I do believe life is not easy. It’s a roller coaster ride. You go up and you go down. Things are great and then they’re not. We can’t control the roller coaster, but we can control the way we choose to take the ride.

And once that choice is made, we have to work to keep it in place.

I’m not saying you can immediately turn a bad day around, sometimes you need to just give in and say today I am sad, but tomorrow I will be better. I call it a pity-party day. We all need them at times. Just don’t let them accumulate. Find something positive, your child, your spouse, your friend, your dog or cat, your garden, your gym, your computer, something, anything to get yourself back to center.

The dictionary defines centered as middle, core, hub, halfway point. I call it living the better life. And anything worth having is something you have to work for.

I choose to work for centered. The other options are just not any fun.