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Positively Positive: Part Deux

October 20, 2011
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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?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Molly permalink
    October 21, 2011 10:43 am

    I like your blog… I just clicked over to it. I’m thankful for the sunny day, it’s been cloudy all week.

  2. October 23, 2011 6:29 pm

    Ugh sorry about your students! Trust me, my high school boy classmates are still really bad, And we are sophomores. Fun 😉 Enjoy Volt, I am jealous! Can’t wait for your recap!

    • October 23, 2011 6:59 pm

      Haha thanks, Lauren! They’re not so bad, I promise. They’re probably just as sick of me by the end of the day!

      I’ll definitely share what I think about VOLT. CANNOT WAIT!

  3. October 24, 2011 10:20 am

    I love this! I’ve been noticing a very Negative Nelly voice in my head lately, and I’m trying to work on it. Love these suggestions! (I just started a middle school placement in 6th grade. They’re not too sassy yet but I’m expecting it!)

    And I love the new blog!

    • October 24, 2011 6:19 pm

      I think, for most of us, it’s just easier to resort to negativity. It takes so much less energy than staying positive and optimistic, but it takes so much more OUT of you at the end of the day. And 6th graders are a little less sassy than 8th. These kids think they’re big fish right now; wait until the realize what freshman year is like ; )

      And thanks for the compliments on the new look! I’m trying something new for now!

  4. October 26, 2011 7:30 am

    You’re going to VOLT??? You’re going to love it!

    Kudos for walking away…it’s not always easy, but it’s usually the better idea.

    Sass right back…otherwise, they win.

    • October 26, 2011 6:51 pm

      HELL YES. I cannot wait!

      Walking away is the best thing I’ve ever learned to do. It’s not even November yet, but this has saved my sanity more times than I can count.

      Sassing is in my blood, don’t you worry ; )

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