Avoiding The Negative
In case you've missed my ranting before, we have to walk out the door at 6:50 AM in order to catch the school bus. As if it's not hard enough to get a kid up and out the door, most of the year this means we are walking in the dark. However, the last couple of weeks it's been getting lighter, and everyone's mood has improved.
Morning light YAY!!
Then Sunday happens. Enter Daylight Saving Time. Morning darkness returns.
I may or may not have been the one complaining about said transition when one of my neighbors commented or, more accurately, heavily sighed, "We will be fine."
Everything about his tone was nice, but I still couldn't miss the underlying message: get over it, quit your whining, are you really wasting your breath on this?
Hmmmm. He was and is right, of course.
Why did I need to be such a downer?
After all, the positive spin is easy enough to see. More daylight in the afternoons. Yay!! I love long days.
I find it interesting the way complaints creep into my head and how much vigilance it takes to keep from going negative. So often my observations drift toward bringing others into my brooding mind. I feel my frustrations must be heard. My opinions must be known.
Broken things - darn
Weather - humid
Dog - neediness
Politics - I. Can't. Even.
But after I've aired my thoughts, nothing changes.
I don't feel better and I'm fairly certain no one else feels uplifted or encouraged. I have to stop the drift, hit pause and say, "we will be fine" to the negativity in my head and around my ears.
I've decided to treat my brain the way I treat a two-year-old child on the verge of having a fit by using one tactic: redirecting.
Sure, traffic's bad, but think about the podcast catch up! Why be annoyed that the dog needs another walk? Think about the exercise!
Anything that tempts me to go negative is just an opportunity to be creative, to change my focus.
We could all benefit by showing a little less frustration, airing fewer complaints. One silly, but oh-so well written exchange on this comes from one of my favorite books from last year (and a pretty decent movie), The Martian.
As you likely know (spoiler), a crew mistakenly leaves a member of their crew on Mars ("Mark Watney," the role Matt Damon played). Well, Mark has more than a few reasons to complain, but he doesn't. He just does the next right thing. His attitude is what makes the movie so much fun to watch; optimism is catchy!
Here's how Mark describes his challenge.
"At some point, everything's gonna go south on you... everything's going to go south and you're going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That's all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem... and you solve the next one... and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home. All right, questions?"
Now let's all take a deep breath and say it together, "we will be fine."
Don't you feel better already?