Saturday, May 2, 2009

When Life Gives Me Lemons...


Or at least be prepared to be turned into it. Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to be an optimist. What only those who know me well know, though, is that it isn't always easy. Everybody suffers disappointments, setbacks, hurts, embarrassments... The list goes on and on. But the thing is, you have two choices in this life. You can get into it or get on with it when bad things happen. Now, I am not advocating turning a blind eye when something awful happens. Lets get that straight here and now. But I am saying that being able to work through how you feel (no emotion is good or bad in and of itself -- its what we do with it) can be a major step toward creating a more balanced, happy and stress free life.

For example, today I wanted to go to a bookstore. I love books, I really do. But I can't drive and I live out in the country outside of a small town. The bookstore of choice was in town but it would have been a two mile walk and that would not have worked very well. I had mentioned it to my mother but she was too busy. I then mentioned it to my brother, Shawn, but he (after having taken a two hour nap) said he felt "too tired". To put it blunty, I was extremely disappointed. But it is not specifically about the Bookstore. I felt disappointed that I would not be able to go today when I had been looking forward to it. I felt frustrated that I had no power, no "way" to enable myself to go. I felt pushed aside by my family, regardless of the fact that I intellectually understood that their reasons were from within their own lives, not to do with how they view me as a person. In short, I was sad. I was also spending the afternoon with Jay.

Now, Jay is great. I don't think I have mentioned him on here yet (not surprising since this is only my second post). Jay is my boyfriend and (sssshhh, not sure if He knows this) its probably safe to say he is pretty much my best friend as well. (Along with you, RJ and Tommy). With the job he works now, Saturdays and Sundays are important to us because we get to spend the whole day together. So I didn't want to wreck our whole afternoon because of one stupid little disappointment. So, what do I do about it? I start to think of good things that are happening right now, to begin. Lets see...

1. We got the Two of Nobles so Jay will be able to get his Nobles Deck that he has wanted for months.

2. I won a totally amazing new mace for Katallina and to my surprise and delight it glows white and blue and little bals of energy trail behind it when I move.

3. I got Bride Wars when I went shopping today, which is awesome since I have wanted to buy that movie for the last two months. (Should I be saying that in public?) I will do a review of that soon.

4. I got garlic sticks with cheese that can be cooked in the oven. Yum! Can't wait to try them.

5. Its May! You know what that means? Beautiful weather, more BBQ'd food, and Jay's next visit is edging closer and closer. (Which is a given anyway, but taking something that I care about so much for granted would be silly.)

Why am I giving you my "attitude of gratitude" list here? Because it is by looking at the good things in our lives that we can put the more frustrating or disappointing moments into perspective. You wanna know what got me out of my rotten mood? Thinking about the garlic sticks with cheese. Yes, I realize that to some people the idea of food being used to trigger changes in emotion is terrible. But that goes beyond my point, which is twofold:

1. If simple things can make you happy you will have more happy moments then someone who waits for the Big Events to feel this way. I am certainly not saying you shouldn't Have the Big Events, but rather that life is not all about them. An ordinary day can have extraordinary moments when you take the five minutes that might be needed to do little things that are special to you.

2. Taking joy in good things happening to good people is a great way to boost how happy you feel. Did you notice Jay's upcoming trinket on my list up there? We worked together to get that and we had a few 'intersting' moments along the way. But to me there are two successes with him being able to get that. First, sure X will be stronger. And that is great. But far more important to me is the fact that working toward something that took time and dedication from both of us taught us things about how we can deal with things as a couple, which caused us to grow. So while the item is for his character, there is a lot more depth as to why I am happy about it.

Being able to get past a bad mood has made me able to avoid having so many bad days. I am not sure if my way of doing things would really work for everybody, but I know that it does tend to work for me.

So, how do you handle having a negative experience? Do you have bad moods or bad days? What little things do you do that brighten your day -- and could it benefit you to do more? Discuss!

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