I have something I try to do every day, as soon as I wake up sometimes (unless I’m really stressed and going through something). I try to think of something positive or be thankful for something, even a tiny thing, before I truly begin my day.
This tiny thing isn’t always large. In fact, it’s quite often very small. For example, I wake up and I look at the dogs hanging out on the deck and I call their names to make them jump in excitement that I’m there. I look at my backyard and enjoy the fact that I’m not renting. THANK EVERYTHING I’M NOT RENTING! And then I might eat or start work for the day. Even then I often stop and think to myself, “You know, I do enjoy what I do.” And I think I say it several times a week how happy I am to be able to consider a career change without fear of losing everything.
I mean, sure life isn’t perfect. For example, there was that hairdresser that discriminated against me the other day. There’s having to mow the lawn. And years ago there was abuse, being used, and some pretty dark things that I simply didn’t know how to get away from or (worse) didn’t have the power to push away. The point is life doesn’t feel as bad as it used to, which is what matters.
I started to do this consciously several years ago, and I have grown to the point where I almost do it without thinking anymore – which, by the way, is the point to such an exercise. After all, when I started doing this I was caught in an endless loop of negative feelings and bouts of depression. One day I realized that, yes, there were a lot of bad things happening in my life but I was focusing on them so much I was missing the good things the universe handed to me every day. I had to find some sort of balance.
I try to do it with my reviews, too. I don’t post all of my reviews here – frankly I forget to do so – but a couple of years back I realized they were starting to look imbalanced so I began to make an effort to put out good reviews to balance out the negative ones. The situation isn’t quite as balanced as I’d like yet, but it’s on it’s way.
This isn’t to say that when something bad happens I don’t get angry or shed a few tears. I wouldn’t stop that part of me no more than I should stop the ability to cuddle a kitten or be thankful for clear, blue skies. Either extreme – focusing on all of the bad or all of the good – is unhealthy. I embrace that I get angry. I accept that things make me sad. I also love life a lot more now that I’ve developed the habit of “stopping to smell the roses”, as it were.
I truly believe that with my change in attitude came the backbone to say no to many of the negative elements in my life that made it so outright terrible. I’ve ended relationships with quite a few people over the years, for example. I’ve also changed other habits such as with my spending and saving for the future. I think I can safely vouch that with a change in attitude comes a change in environment.
This isn’t a matter of looking on the bright side of things. It boils down to life choices. For example; you have a friend who refuses to go anywhere with you unless you pay their way 100%. So you pay their way to that convention and then they ditch you for their boyfriend and you spend the entire convention all alone.
But they’re your friend!
No, no they’re not. They’re a negative element in your life and you might need to get away from them before they hurt you even more.
Or that pair of shoes pinches your toes, but you love how they look. Aw, sweetie, they’re cool shoes but ingrown toenails suck. So you really need to either go barefoot or get a better pair of shoes.
Even more: the cats keep pooping on the floor because you didn’t change the cat box when you should have. Change the freaking cat box! Out with the bad, in with the good – and keep that space clear, because life is going to give you another cat dump sooner or later. You’re going to need the room for it.
So tonight before I lay me down to sleep, I thought I should put a post out for folks who are also struggling with a change in ‘tude. Maybe they’re tired of being told to look on the bright side (No, seriously, that gets tiresome… ) You guys have the right to be annoyed. But don’t let being annoyed stop you from getting new cat litter.
And now I shall oil my hair and find a pillow. Water aerobics class is tomorrow! The weight doesn’t want to leave me, but it’s a bad thing so it must go.