In high school my friends would often tease me because I almost always had a big smile on my face. There was no particular reason, I was just a happy person and the smile was natural. This morning while driving to work I was already feeling stressed and down, but decided to try dispelling my not-so-great mood with a simple smile. And it was soooo hard. That’s when I realized: some things have to change.
Change 1: Be More Positive
What happened to the overly-optimistic person I was in high school and college? Technically I consider myself a realist since I realize life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, but I’d always leaned towards the glass half full group. When did I change? Was it the fall out with Marc? The 3 months of unemployment? The constantly switching schedules and unrealistic expectations without due reward from AAA? Perhaps it was a combination of all three.
Well, you know what? I’m sick of being constantly down. I need to start focusing on the positives again. I have a paycheck, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my fridge. I have an amazing family and a few really good close friends. I have the economic means to travel and a bright future ahead of me, no matter what I choose to do. Some people would kill to have my “problems.”
Change 2: Don’t Let Them Win
Related to change 1, I need to stop letting work get to me. We (Mark, Brian, and I) always joke about how everyone who’s been in claims for a few years eventually turns into a mean-spirited, bitter person. I can see why, and I need to stop it before it gets any worse. There are things you can control and things you can’t. Ignoring the problems in our unit is not going to make them go away, but I’ve brought them to Shelley’s attention, she doesn’t get it, nothing’s going to change until things go wrong and she finally understands, and there’s nothing more I can do to change that, so I just need to let it go. Same thing with being asked to do all this extra work for the under-performers. I’ll do my work first, do the other stuff if I can, but I can’t let anger or annoyance consume me so that I go home at the end of every day happy that there’s no one waiting for me because I’d probably just take my irritation out on them. Karma will come back to bite the slackers and mean-spirited people eventually.
I’m only human, so of course I’m going to get stressed/annoyed/ticked throughout the day, but I need to do what I have to do to deal with it – be it ranting with Mark and Brian, taking a nice hot shower each night, listening to classical music while blogging…whatever it takes to relax and realize that it’s just not worth getting gray hairs over.
Change 3: Be More Social
That doesn’t mean forcing myself to go to parties and/or bar crawls that just aren’t my thing, but I need to be closer to my non-work friends again. Take EK. I’ve been consciously aware for almost 2 months that she hasn’t blogged since December 27th (fix that NOW EK!!!!) but whenever I want to text or email her, my mind comes up with half a dozen excuses not to- usually that it’s late and I’m tired and not in the mood for human interaction. I only go out with Natalie and Kim about once a month each, and now that Emily’s in Champaign I see her once every two months if I’m lucky, with little contact in between. Not cool. It also wouldn’t hurt me to get out and date a bit, if only for the stories 😉
Change 4- Smile More
Self explanatory 🙂