We can be honest here, yes? This is not easy for me to admit. I dislike how negative I can occasionally be. I am embarrassed that I can come across as easily annoyed, jealous, or short-fused, when that part of my personality shows itself. I sometimes like to think that maybe I’m just being witty and cutely snarky about people when I am annoyed with their actions, but really I suspect that it’s just a way for me to feel better about criticizing. Sometimes I even worry that these resentments or stress will make me sick; like, it will manifest into some sort of real illness.
Now, I don’t think that I’m an incredibly angry person, and I’m certainly not violent or anything like that. But maybe I let my emotions get the best of me sometimes. I feel confident saying that try to practice patience, I like to laugh, and I think that life really is a beautiful thing. I know that sounds corny. Whatever.
I don’t want my daughter to pick up on my negative attitude when I’m feeling stressed out. I have taught her to say “I don’t care for” fill-in-the-blank because I don’t ever want to hear her say that she “hates” something. I have always admired people who are easy-breezy and laid-back — unaffected by frustrating situations and confident enough to remain untouched by envy. Because underneath anger, resentments, and jealousy is fear and lack of confidence. And I don’t want her to be afraid or inadequate.
I love the idea of being positive all the time. Of being that *cool* person that just always has it together. I love the idea of not sweating the small stuff, of letting things roll off my back. And when I remember, these are philosophies that I try to implement. Sometimes I’m successful. But the reality is, sometimes I just complain too much and focus on the 1% that’s wrong instead of the 99% that’s right.
During a particularly challenging day at work the other day, I noted how comfortable the heft of the two-hole punch felt in my hand and thought how much relief I might feel if I sent it through a computer screen. I shared this with an equally stressed-out coworker and she informed me that thought of how much damage you can do crosses her mind every time she picks up this handy office tool. She also let me know that she had a heavier one in her office. *wink, wink* We shared a much-needed laugh about this.
So, I was outside with the dog tonight and I find that whenever I am out there, under the stars, I am forced to remember just how small I am — and how much smaller the shit that I am letting myself be bothered with is. I need to remember that I create my environment, even when I can’t control it. I can choose what I talk to others about; I can even steer the conversation if I so want. This also means that I can share a laugh over frustration and cut it in half — or multiply it by taking it too seriously and dragging someone else down the rabbit hole with me. I can step outside for a walk, or if time allows, a run. I should also remember that the food I choose to eat tends to affect my mood. As long as I keep practicing patience, not allow myself to be the “victim” of negative thinking, and move a muscle / change a thought, I’m moving in the right direction.