“Some days are diamonds, some days are stones.” John Denver, though he could have used some of that intuitiveness when it came to experimental aircraft, sure nailed it when he crooned those words about the ups and downs of life.

I suppose it goes without saying, but I definitely prefer the diamond-y days over the rocky ones. It’s quite easy to rise above—to elevate, as our theme this month suggests—when the day is going right…like when I stumble upon a half bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that I hid from myself in a seldom-opened drawer. On the rocky days, I mostly pout. My well-meaning husband will try to help by reminding me that I have so much to be grateful for. I usually respond by mumbling curse words under my breath. It’s not because he’s wrong, it’s that his reminder only makes me feel worse…like a self-indulgent brat who has some kind of gratefulness disorder.

I wish I could be more like Charlie Brown on my stone days. Sure, he is a bit pensive for a kid, but with good reason. After all, nearly all of his days are stones. He’s continually humiliated by a bully who not only calls him a horrible name liking his head to an unflattering shape but who also takes great pleasure in pulling a football away just as he’s about to kick it. Adding insult to injury, his adult neighbors give other children candy on Halloween, but only give him rocks. In addition, Charlie pines for the Little Red-Haired Girl and a kite that will fly, both of which remain just out of reach. It’s no wonder that at the tender age of eight he needs a psychiatrist.

If I were Charlie Brown, those neighbors would have flaming bags of poo decorating their front stoops, and Lucy would receive the swift kick meant for the football. But retaliation isn’t Charlie Brown’s style. Even though he faces day after day of disappointment, he remains hopeful that tomorrow he will triumph. Charlie Brown chooses to focus on the diamond days sure to come—to rise above, even when his circumstances are less than ideal.

We all have our stone days in which, to quote Mr. Denver once again, “the hard times won’t leave us alone.” But there is a lesson to be learned from our loveable loser friend who never kicks the football or gets the girl or pulls a Reece’s cup out of his trick or treat bag: it’s our response to moments of defeat that really defines the type of person we are, not the moments themselves.

What might the days that I get nothing but rocks look like if instead of pouting I choose to be thankful for the simplest of gifts? Rather than mumbling curses, what if I opt to see the good in others? If I can harness some Charlie Brown-ness, those days just might look less rocky and a lot more blingy. And while I may not be inclined to philosophical contemplations like Charlie Brown, I’m no blockhead either: blingy is better.