Positively Positive: Part Deux
Two months ago, I wrote a post describing my intention to take a more optimistic approach to all areas of my life: work, school, my relationship, my friendships. I even wanted to stop getting upset about the stupid things that I have no control over (traffic on I-695 comes to mind). So how have I been holding up?
Pretty darn good, if I do say so myself!
Here’s the deal: I’m not happy all the time. I’m just not. I get tired and stressed out. Dealing with the sass of 132 eighth graders often sucks me dry by 3 pm. I get all worked up and bogged down by the fact that my boyfriend still lives several hours away. And so on and so forth.
But here’s an even bigger deal: I’m getting increasingly better at dealing with these things, and more importantly, I am not letting other people’s stress and negativity weigh on me or influence my own reactions/opinions/emotions.
Tired and stressed out? I try to get to bed earlier, or make time to read my book. I make myself go for a run (or at least a walk). I know when to put work away for the day and have time to myself.
Sassy students? I sass them right back. And then I forget about it. I signed up to be a middle school teacher. The attitude comes with the territory.
Long-distance relationship blues? We talk it out. We Skype. We plan. We make it a point to see each other as often as possible. We talk it out some more. We’re at the tail-end of this thing, and we just need to ride it out a little bit longer. It helps that Nick is beyond supportive during my crazy “I-need-this-to-end-now” meltdowns (They happen. Shrug).
Negative Nellies everywhere I turn? I’m better at shutting this out than I ever have been before. Some days I quite literally need to walk away (I’ve done this a couple of times at work recently—when I feel a conversation turning to a distinctly negative place, I just remove myself from the situation). I know how easily influenced I am, and I find it easier to shut negative people out entirely than to slowly let it get to me. Sometimes I feel rude just getting up and walking away, but if it’s going to spare my sanity, then I’m kind of ok with it.
A lot of the “staying positive” game lies in not only shutting out the negative, but reminding yourself about all of the good things you have going for you, too. I was reminded of this when I was reading Ali’s blog this week. Ali’s dealing with some pretty shitty medical issues right now, but she’s getting through it with medication, exercise, support, and a damn good attitude. I’ve been trying to take a page out of her book and reflect on the good things, no matter how big or small. Right now, my list is a bit of a hodge-podge:
1. Tomorrow is a professional day. This means I have eight hours to catch up on all of the stuff I’ve been pushing aside for weeks. It’ll feel so much better to get it done!
2. I’m meeting up with a friend from home for lunch this weekend. She’s in town visiting family, and I’m so excited to spend time with her.
3. I’m healthy. Not just in the obvious “I don’t have any major diseases” kind of way, but in the less obvious “I haven’t even had a cold yet” kind of way. I know that won’t last (have I mentioned I’m a teacher?), but for now, I’m thankful.
4. I got my tuition reimbursement money in the mail today. A check that large is always uplifting. And necessary.
5. For Chanukah, my dad is taking me to VOLT (Top Chef’s Bryan Voltaggio’s restaurant). I got the reservation email today and squealed. This is something to look forward to!
Things are good. And reminding myself of how good they are makes them that much better.
How about you? What’s something you’re thankful for right now?