What to do when "life" happens.
One of my goals for 2018 is to consistently plan & write several blog posts in advance and schedule them to post at regular times, so I stay ahead of the game and have more focused & consistent content for you.
So far I have to say, I've failed miserably! I've written 2 posts this year, including this one, and neither were written until the day I posted them. *sigh*
That's okay though.
"Life happened" and I'm rolling with it.
It's been a really tough & interesting few weeks for me and my husband. There's been some good and bad, and because I'm a more private person I had no intention (zero) of sharing any of it with you, until this morning when I sat down to write today's blog.
So I'm gonna get personal, and tell you what's going on. More importantly though, I'll also tell you what and how I'm finding the positive things in each situation.
On a day-to-day basis I walk a fine line between my natural tendency toward pessimism and the perpetual optimism I've learned from my Mom. For example:
When I was away at college and I'd call home to talk about all the 'adulting' I was doing or talk about how hard life was between work and school, she always (and I mean ALWAYS) had positive words for me, which forced me to see the good in the bad.
After our conversations, sometimes I'd think, albeit subconsciously, that's not what I wanted to hear... I wanted a partner in my pity party. It was pretty much always exactly what I needed to hear though. #thanksmom
No, things were not as bad as I thought they were. Things were actually pretty great back then, considering.
I was going to college, learning about a career in graphic design that I couldn't wait to start! I had a full time job as a entry level graphic designer, that I enjoyed and it paid more than minimum wage. I also had my own low-rent apartment, miraculously on the good side of town, so I felt safe being alone there. I paid all my own bills, had a reliable car I really liked, and though it wasn't always easy, I made it work.
See? I can be optimistic! 🙌🏻 Now, let's apply that same optimism to some of what's going on now!
1. Deer Hunting
My husband hit a deer on his way to work (I should say, the deer leaped out and hit him). He's fine, thank goodness, but his old & beloved Jetta TDI was totaled.
So we had to get a new car, which was not in our plans any time soon.
The upside is that his car was already paid off, and the last payment on my car is next month., so it couldn't have been better timing to take on a new car payment. We also lucked out and got a fantastic deal on another Jetta TDI that was nearly brand new & has lots of fun bells & whistles that his old one definitely didn't have.
Best part? It gets around 900 miles per tank (& it's only a 14.5 gallon tank), which is great for many reasons, but mostly because his commute for work is about 100 miles per day. #bigpositive
My husband is pretty handy with cars, so he does a lot of the regular maintenance on them himself. Last weekend he was changing my oil and some dust or dirt fell onto his face. The next night, his eye was really bothering him, so he went to a doctor the next morning.
Turns out somehow he had gotten a tiny shard of metal lodged somewhere in his eye!
It took about a four days, a true pirate-style black eye patch to keep it closed while it healed, and several doctors visits, but they finally got it all out (& his eye is fine, in case you were wondering!). #bigpositive
Plus, before he realized there was a problem with his eye, my oil got changed successfully, along with several other maintenance things. #smallerpositive
3. Electric shock.
For two months in a row now, our electric bill sky rocketed. It's basically doubled, and for no apparent reason.
What's the positive in that? It's forcing us to talk to experts & take a careful look at our old home, finding ways to make it more energy efficient, which is always a good thing. #changeisgood
Which takes me to the next thing.
4. Oh Lawd, it's a fire!
Well not really, but kind of.
Our cabin is fine, but we are in transition between getting a new heating & cooling system installed & it's taking longer than we anticipated.
With all the unusually cold weather we've been having, we bought a kerosene heater and we've been using our fireplace a lot (which I've really been enjoying! #positive).
Well apparently we put the wick into the heater a teensy bit wrong... I woke up Friday morning to a smokey house, and soot covering everything, because the wick had been burning wrong for who knows how long during the night.
If I'm being honest, this one was way harder to look for the positives. We had to vacuum the soot off of EVERYTHING last night. I'm talking: the wood ceiling & beams, walls, curtains, jackets hanging by the door, the blanket we keep on the couch (I'm almost always cold), pillows, door frames & window panes, cabinets, fans/lights, bookshelves (& everything on them), picture frames on the wall, the couches, side tables, dining & kitchen tables & chairs, and the floors...
Even our dog and cat are grey from it and we have no idea how we're going to successfully bathe little Willow...
We spent hours vacuuming last night and we will be working on it the rest of the weekend. So where is the positive in this one? #itsthelittlethings
The ceiling has never been so clean. 😂
We've got high ceilings, so they don't get cleaned very often. Now we've removed all the cob webs & dust (along with the soot) that naturally collect in spaces like that, in an old house.
Since we had to clean the fans, we flipped the fan blades to the more modern side; a task we've been meaning to do since we moved in last year.
Our house will get a truly "deep" clean, which is always be a good thing!
We'll have a lot of time to think or chat while we're cleaning, or blast music we both love from the stereo, or put in my earphones & play my audiobook. #whistlewhileyouwork
Who said the cleaning had to be stressful???
So why am I telling you all of this??
In case you missed it, my last post 35 Books for Creative Solopreneurs, included a book by Jen Sincero called You're a Badass.
I'm not at all into the "woo-woo" self-help stuff, but I absolutely (& unexpectedly) loved her book!! In it, she talks about the basic concept of how we tend to get what we expect out of life, whether that's positive or negative.
Let me explain that a little. After all, that's the whole purpose of this blog, right?!
Basically, like attracts like.
If you're outlook is negative, not only will you feel negative, everything you see will be negative. Things you do will have a negative stain on them, and even more negative things are attracted to you, because of all that negative energy. Within that cycle, you will start to expect negative things to happen, and when they do, you will be pissed off. Easily.
However, if you choose to be positive, and find positive things in your everyday life that you can be grateful for, you can roll with life's punches a lot easier. You will actually be able to find #positive things in every situation. You will feel optimistic, and you will be positive, attracting even more positive things to you. When those positive things happen, you won't be surprised, but you will be grateful, and you'll be happier about those things, because you're grateful.
Positive people are generally happier people.
Next time something bad happens to you (and before you totally freak out about it) take a step back and think about how this could be a positive thing.
If that doesn't work, ask yourself first what good it will do for you to dive headfirst into negative-land and harbor all these negative thoughts, letting them build on themselves and put you in a foul mood.
I know, and I think you know too, that once you're in that place it's hard to get yourself out. It's like falling down a well.
It will be hard at first, but once you develop the habit of looking for the positive things in everything, you will be a happier person! Positive things will happen more often too.
Pssst! Wanna know a secret?
If you adopt a consistently positive outlook, positive things won't necessarily happen more often, you'll just notice them more, because you're looking for them. #thankmelater