You know it’s easier to have a bad day then a good day? Especially on a Monday. How many of us go into Monday thinking it’s going to be a bad day. I have a few good friends that have amazing attitudes and approch each day by jumping up, working out, and maintaining a positive day. I am not that person. I don’t hit the snooze button because I hate mornings so much that snooze time is stealing real sleep time. I don’t like to talk to other humans in the morning. Of course one of the great jokes of the universe is my very talkative, very happy, morning person husband. I get annoyed when the Starbucks barista wants to make small talk while I wait for my coffee. I mean I am seriously not a morning person.
But a lot of the time I have mastered the art of faking it. Why? Because I believe that my bad day is not your bad day. I have no right to project my negativity on the world. (Unless of course you are my husband or best friends, and well then you just know me and I’m sorry for those days and am glad you love me anyway!). I honestly think that you have to make a conscious effort to have a good attitude. Some days I flood my stories with clipart quotes, because I’m trying to consciously remind myself to check my attitude. Clipart isn’t going to change my perspective on the day, but the simple act of googling for quotes does help me take just a moment to put some focus on an area that I need to work on. If I post them they are there as a reminder to check on my focus throughout the day, and who knows, maybe they help someone else who is struggling in that area. My neighbor ends almost everyday by posting inspirational messages. Do I look at them everyday? No, but if it’s a bad day I can always depend on the fact that if I go to her page there will be a positive perspective there.
If you read our blogs regularly, or follow us on social media, you know life has been a bit tough recently. That is important for you to know, because I always imagine people writing about attitude have these perfect happy lives. For some people that might be true. Lexi was waking from surgery on Thursday, and the nurse was nagging her to drink apple juice. Lexi was having a really hard time in recovery, and finally yelled at the nurse, “fine I’ll drink it if you just shut up!” Adam and I both said oh no you stop. The nurse was like oh it’s ok. Yes, Lexi was still under the influcence of several sedation drugs, and was absolutely not herself. But we reminded her in that moment that the nurse was doing her job, and that it was never ok to talk to someone else like that. I’m a firm believer that if you make a conscious effort to stay respectful, and not transfer your negativity to someone else, then in the moments where it might be almost subconscious to do so, that your subconscious will be trained to check itself.
I have teenagers now, but when they were younger “sucks” was a bad word. But anytime they had a medical procedure, or were really sick, they were allowed to say “this sucks” or “that sucked.” But we taught them that it would never be ok to tell someone “you suck.” I try to teach my kids that their bad day isn’t someone elses bad day. We each are going through something, and it’s not fair to expect the other person to take on the negativity of your bad day. I think that is where attitude become so important, because attitude is what we are giving the world. I also am not shy in reminding friends and family when their attitude is impacting other people. I’m sure this isn’t always welcomed, but I think we all need self reflection. We have to understand that what we give the world impacts everyone around us. We have the power to ruin the day of our kids and spouse. We have the power to become the friend and coworker that people try and avoid. Who wants to be around someone who is constantly projecting negativity on the world?
I’ve been reading a book on Attitude by Mark Nepo. Many people make lists of the things that they need to do everyday. The list of all they hope to accomplish. Good for you if those help you, they just give me a bad attitude. Seriously! I get depressed looking at lists like that. I don’t even make a grocery list. I’m way better off just checking boxes in my mind of what I know I need to do. All of us are different. What works for you won’t work for me. I’m much better served by making lists at the end of the day of the positive things that have happened. Making a list of those things that brought me gratitude that day.
It’s important for me to do this at the end of each day, because I am an internalizer. I will lay awake at night for hours worrying over all of the bad things in my life, and not give a second thought to the good. I have found that by ending the day with the positive, it can help me relax and sleep. Some days are just bad. Some days no gratitude list will take me out of my own head, but it can’t do harm. We have to stay grateful for the good things and good people in our lives. Sometimes we have to look for things to be grateful for, but I firmly believe that you will ALWAYS find something in your day to be grateful for. If you can’t, well you weren’t looking hard enough.
Some things that I am grateful for over the last week that I’ve taken notice of. These are things that uplifted my spirit, or made me feel loved and valued. Or that may have just been dumb luck, but I’m grateful for it.
- A friend delivering Costco pumpkin pie and Starbucks to my house on a Sunday Morning.
- Friends texting my daughter silly, distracting things at 5am as we drove her to surgery.
- Random scriptures texted to me the night before and day of surgery.
- My mother in law and husband going to a friends high school play so that I didn’t have to be upset that our family wasn’t represented.
- The sweet lady at the hospital gift shop that complimented my blessed mamma shirt, the one Lexi had me wear that day.
- Our doctor was the oncall doctor this weekend.
- My husband telling me after a stressful day, to take some time to myself to write.
These are all just little simple acts of kindness from others that we can overlook if we aren’t paying attention. They can be so powerful in helping to uplift us if we take the time and make noticing them a priority. Every minute you spend focusing on the positive is less time to look at the negative.
I want to challenge you. Take out your phone and in your notes app create a gratitude page. Everytime something your grateful for happens make a note. Was there something you otherwise would have overlooked or forgotten that made you smile when you look back at your list?
November 1st I’m going to start the journal “Good Days Start with Gratitude.” November is the thankful month, so it seems like a good time to start I’d love it if you want to grab a copy and join me. It’s a $7 Amazon investment in keeping my life in perspective, and remembering that I have a lot to be grateful for. I have included a link in our menu to the book Attitudes of Gratitude. I’ll also include a link in the menu to the gratitude journal, or you can grab your copy here:
Don’t worry if you stumble upon this blog late. You can join on this journey anytime. I hope you’ll join me in trying to hold myself accountable to remaining grateful during difficult times. If this is an area that you struggle in we can all help encourage one another. Also, remember to give yourself some grace, because some days are just going to suck. Like right now, as I type this on Sunday Afternoon, when the Blu-ray player is trying to eat the Redbox Lion King Movie. Bad things are just going to happen that we absolutely arent grateful for!
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