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HEALTHY MIND

How we let things ruin us

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This past weekend we decided to go to the Farmer’s Market for the morning, get breakfast, and then go look at some houses while we were out and about. Instead of us having this picturesque picnic in the park after getting fresh croissants and flowers, we had a giant muffin on a park bench with a wild 1 1/2 year old running around. When I wanted to take pictures with her beside a beautiful brick wall, she had other ideas. (Go back and look at those pictures, it’s really quite humorous) When we were about to leave, we realized we had left her bunny, yes THE bunny under the park bench, so I had to run back in hopes of her being there still. (Don’t worry, she was) When we wanted to go look at apartments, we realized Goodman didn’t have his license so we couldn’t. So then we decided to look at some houses, and it started pouring.

A year ago, even 6 months ago, those incidents would have wrecked me. They would have sent me into a pitiful mood where I talked about how things didn’t ever seem to work out how I hoped they would. Instead of being able to see the good in the day despite the bad, I would only see the disappointment. Frustrations. Unmet expectations.

Yes, hate me. That is so self-centered and immature, but it’s the truth. I used to have the hardest time pulling myself out of the pits. Out of a situation that was less than ideal. And actually, I would tend to pull so far as to make it more dramatic than it even was. I can’t even begin to tell you how many dates I have ruined because of this. I let the ugliness of my heart take over, and once I do that, it takes a lot to capture it back.

I have had to learn to change my expectations and realizations very quick. If I don’t and something doesn’t meet the fairytale in my head, I end up ruining every sliver of fun that we could have. Through much trial and error, I have had to learn to try to take what sometimes kind of sucks, and see the fun, beauty, or humor in it. Because let’s be honest, life is not picturesque. Life doesn’t wait for us to have all our ducks in a row.

I say all of this because this is something I have to work at EVERY SINGLE day. Every day there are things that happen that could send me into a downward spiral, and trust me, too often I fall prey to that. Some days I call Goodman and just tell him that I can’t get motivated. I don’t feel worthy. I don’t feel good at anything. Just the other day I called him. The house was a mess, I had schoolwork, emails, blogging, relationships, and everything you can think of that had to be tended to. I told him that I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything. I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t want to start on anything quite honestly.

You know what he told me to do? He said,

“Why don’t you just go out into the garage and paint something? Do something you enjoy and then go back and try to get focused on just one thing at a time.”

Instead of fixating on the bad, the to-do list, the ugly, why don’t I go create something beautiful. Make something that I feel good about so that I can find it in myself to move forward in other areas. It was the best advice I could have been given. Instead of wishing the day looked differently, see the good in the day that I do have. And if there isn’t any, make some. Do some.

Our Saturday could have easily been ruined. It sure didn’t look like I hoped it would, but thankfully, we were able to enjoy what we were given. We talked about the independence in our daughter. Talked about where her feistiness will take her. We enjoyed our muffins with the pre-storm breeze in the park. We came home, watched a movie, and snuggled during the thunderstorm. We set the tone for our day, and didn’t let incidentals change that or taint it. And I’ll be honest, I owe a lot of that to Goodman.

So I want to challenge you. Next time life doesn’t meet your expectations, or you feel so overwhelmed with what has been given to you, just stop. Find something you enjoy, and do it. Do something that will make you feel good. Something that will bring you out of the slump. Then, try to use that momentum for the good. Whether it is finding a good coffee shop to help get you through the tantrums of the day, buying yourself some flowers,  or reading a good book. We all need more good in our days, and I think not making time for it is what is hurting us the most.

So now I am going to go make myself a good cup of coffee and open a book. Happy hump day!

 

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