I was reading an excerpt from a new book by Amy Spencer entitled “Bright Side Up” which reminds me that life is still basically good. Here are some reflections that mirror my own attitude:
1. Say “The Good News Is…” There is good news if you choose to find it. Yes, your car broke down, but the good news is…you weren’t stuck in a snowstorm at midnight when it did. Yes, you have the flu, but the good news is…you haven’t wanted to eat an entire bag of Flavor Blast Fritos today. Yet.
2. Put a bow on it for your future self. You know that awful, very bad, annoying thing you’re going through? Well, your future self called and left a message: “Thank you.” Because if you can see a benefit in the present, then you’re probably giving a present to your future. Rough patches and lost jobs and broken hearts may break us in the moment, but they make our future selves so much wiser, stronger, more empathetic and happier. So take it in and whisper, “You’re welcome.”
3. Lower your standards, sort of. There are so many things I don’t do because I don’t want to do them badly. (Hello, still-don’t-have-a-headboard-because-I-keep-intending-to-build-my-own.) My latest idea: We should lower our standards. At least, lower them for starting. If you’re “Formerly frozen by your To Do list,” start tackling it with some averagely okay starts and see how much happier you feel getting things done.
4. Recognize your new route is better. Ever get lost and end up discovering a short cut or a pretty road you forgot was even there? That’s how we can look at life when it sticks a roadblock in our path, too. Have faith that the detour life has put us on will actually turn out to be a better path then the path we had planned.
5. Take the tourist’s point of view. Like the Eiffel Tower to Parisians, what might seem like no big deal in your life is a Kodak moment to someone else. So look at your life the way a tourist might. Your small home may be four times the size that some people can afford, and the kids that drive you crazy may be the family one person dreams of. Think about what you have that, to some of life’s “tourists,” is worth showing off.
Those are just a few ideas to get you started. Maybe one or two will work for you and turn one of those “Formerly having a bad day” moments into having a pretty great one.