I try to be a positive person. Yes, I am sure there are days and times that negative thoughts creep in but as a rule I try to surround myself with positive thoughts and positive people. I feel that nothing good can come from dwelling on negativity.
Over the years I have developed/picked up certain sayings or thought processes that I try to “live by” and some of my responses have sort of become ingrown in my nature. Not that I’m just parroting responses. I have truly tried to adopt these things as a way of BEING.
I think my hubby tried to paraphrase a couple of them yesterday when he made a reply on my blog. He used to ask me all the time when I was just exhausted beyond belief from a full day of working and running the kids to Timbukto and back how I did it. My response was always “I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.” That is true. It might seem a trivial reply but it’s not. Think about it. When you are so dead tired or depressed or overwhelmed that you feel like you CAN’T get up at 5:30 tomorrow morning, or you can’t work another day before it’s time for a day off, just break it down. You CAN take just one more step. You can just put one foot in front of the other and take one more step. Then take one more step and before you know it, you’ve gotten more accomplished than you ever dreamed you were capable of.
The other thing he tried to paraphrase was about hugging. Yes, I am a hugger. I seriously don’t understand people who are not. Our family (now, extended) has always been very demonstrative. We HUG…. Get over it. You can either join in or leave. We can’t help it. I’ve never met a stranger and lots of people I hug upon first meeting because I feel drawn to them or feel it’s appropriate. If I know everyone else there and am hugging them what am I gonna do? Leave out ONE person because I just met them? Nope, they get a hug too!
I was at a seminar once (several years ago) and the speaker was talking about the need for human contact. He said that humans NEED the equivalent of 7 hugs a day to stay physically and emotionally healthy so I raised my kids with the mantra “take one and give six away”. Simply put: If you need 7 hugs to stay healthy, find one person to TAKE a hug from and then in turn find 6 others you can GIVE hugs to. I’m sure they don’t always do it and I don’t get that in every day either but I TRY. And it usually brightens someone’s day.
When #2 played AAU basketball, some of the girls on her team were definitely not as privileged as she was. Now, we are not rich by any monetary standards. But we do have love and humor and we can share those things. I made it a point whenever I saw those girls to make sure I gave them ALL BIG hugs. My kids used to say “Mom, why are you always hugging them? Maybe they don’t WANT you to.” If they didn’t want me to I wouldn’t but I NEVER had a single one of them refuse a hug. I tried to explain to MY kids that lots of these girls were from broken homes and some of them lived with extended families (grandparents, aunts, etc.) and some of them NEVER got hugged at home. Years later some of them did come up to me when it came toward the end of the season and thanked me and some of them did tell me I was the only person who hugged them. It broke my heart! And to this day, if I see any of those girls out, I don’t care where, a restaurant, a mall, wherever, they will come up and hug me. I may not have had much to share with them but I can share my love. I hope I have instilled that affectionate nature in my kids.
If you know me, and you talk to me often enough, you will also know that another thing I say is that I don’t have bad days. People I run into will say “How are you?” I always reply “Oh, I never have a bad day!” Lots of times people are taken aback by that comment and sometimes people misunderstand what I say and automatically think I said I was having a bad day. Shows you that they really don’t listen, right? And that is usually my reply. I correct them by saying, “No, I didn’t say I was having a bad day… I said I NEVER have a bad day. Besides, if I was, I’m sure you really wouldn’t want to hear about it”. Most people are taken off their guard and will usually smile and (honestly) admit that it’s true. They really don’t want to hear about someone’s bad day. They are just being polite in asking and praying you don’t really tell them!
Then some people will say “What do you mean you NEVER have a bad day? You have to have SOME bad days.” So I just explain that it’s a matter of attitude and that you just have to skew your thinking. On the days that AREN’T so good and rosy… it’s not really a BAD day. I mean, you’re still breathing, right? You’re still on the right side of the dirt, right? So THOSE days I call my character building days. It might not necessarily be a great day, but you’re building character by learning to deal with the situation. Then I usually add (with a laugh to put them at ease) “That’s why I am SUCH a character! I build lots of it!”
So, I guess what I’m saying is that it’s a matter of choice and perception. You can CHOOSE to have a bad day or you can CHOOSE to have a good day. And those days that fortune or whatever you want to call it doesn’t smile on you, you can CHOOSE to build character rather than letting it beat you down and get the best of you.
A girl I used to work with came in one day in a gloriously BAD mood and I tried to give her my little spiel about building character and she actually said “Oh, GOD… you’re not one of THOSE people are you?” When I asked which one of THOSE people she was referring to she said “You know… those happy happy people that I just want to STRANGLE when I see them because they are always SO positive! UGH… just makes me sick to my stomach!” I told her yes, I was PROUDLY one of “those” people and I’d much rather TRY to remain positive and upbeat and see the good in people and situations than be one of THOSE people who chose to deliberately stay miserable and unhappy. Happy beats crappy any day in my book!
So, when I meet you and I greet you with a smile on my face and a song on my heart and a BIG HUG…. Please don’t try to dampen my day! I am too old to be surrounded by negativity. I CHOOSE to be happy!