I do NOT want to hear this when I’m feeling dark: “Life is a lot easier and more enjoyable when you have a positive mental attitude.” Instead, here was a recent approach, which brought a fairly bright and possibly more sustainable outcome.
Ever feel like everything is unraveling? And then a new bad thing happens and it feels like the last straw? Even if the new thing is small and unrelated, it can be hard not to add it to the list of disappointments. It’s all so gross and hard. It’s all going down the toilet (that needs to be fixed).
Of course, it might not all be going down the toilet. And the next few things that come along could be awesome (or at least not totally objectionable). And, really, most problems are surmountable as long as we have our true essentials: good health, food and shelter, and a loving team. And even when those collapse, we can often rebuild and heal.
But it wasn’t effortless to remember that I am not my circumstances and that I have the power to control my reactions last week when my:
- car broke down and cost a LOT of time and money to fix (had to dip into the grant money that I wanted to use ONLY for MY CAREER DEVELOPMENT). By the way, Toyota should be covering this repair: it’s a part that has been recalled, but not on our model car. Or something like that. There’s some loop hole they were able to claim. Gross.
- babysitter canceled at the LAST MINUTE. Apparently she had college orientation (in July). Um, okay. Hadn’t this been scheduled for a while? Whatever.
- back started to ache terribly. Why? I mean, I know when we are feeling blah we slouch, and this can cause back pain. Whatever. I made a chiropractor appointment and ended up having to cancel it because the car still wasn’t back from the shop, and my back hurt too much to ride my bike to the chiro’s office. And then I got a nasty letter from the chiro office saying they’d excuse the cancelation fee just this once…
- central air conditioner broke.
- oh, yeah, and more cops and civilians in America killed each other with guns, because there is so much fear and racism. And because there are guns. And that was right after Britain voted to split from the E.U., because a lot of people don’t really want to share wealthy Britain’s resources, which is another scary demonstration of fear and racism. And that was shortly after the Orlando night club shooting. Oh, dear.
Yuck and blah. It went from dumb and annoying, to sickeningly tragic.
And then my husband Matt called in a bitchy funk. He was on his way home, and something or other was annoying. Because everything had been annoying.
And then suddenly, I dug in. I started sending him these manic, sarcastic texts: “Yay! We’ve broken our streak of annoying luck! Can you even believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
He came back with: “What a great afternoon it suddenly is! And now the sun is coming out! And millions of dollars are raining on our crappy brown lawn! Yay yay yay! Let’s celebrate!!!!!”
I told our son that everything was suddenly incredibly amaaaaaaazing, and he went with it in a hilarious way. He put on his long-sleeved spiderman costume and storm trooper mask (it was like 95 degrees inside, and you know our air conditioning was not on). And he started yelling, “let’s celebrate! Everything is so dumb and amazing!!”
Matt got home and joined in on the spiderman rant, started singing and playing, “Yeah, can you believe the stupidly fantastic night this is going to be. Wow!!!!!!”
That was it. We all started stubbornly insisting on an upswing. It was a funny and oddly cathartic night. (The three of us kept up this shtick for hours, and continued to refer to it for a few days.)
Gradually, our luck has turned around. Until the next dumb time we need to manifest idiotic good luck and joy!!