I think most of us get frustrated and sometimes angry with things that happen every day. People are inconsiderate. Things don’t go the way we want. Stuff happens. These negative occurrences can get in the way of us recognizing and focusing on the positive things that are happening.
To manage this, something that I have asked myself for years is: “If this is the worst thing that happens today, will it still be a good day?” Almost always the answer is “yes.” As soon as I realize that it will still be a good day, it helps me put the situation into the proper perspective. It makes it much easier for me to put the negative incident behind me and focus on what I want to do.
Sometimes, however, what happens is extremely bad and no, it is not a good day. The worst day of my life was when my father passed away. Nothing would have made that a good day.
What I have recently realized is that when the answer is, “No, it is not a good day” a good follow-up question is, “Is it still a good life?” I have only used this once so far. I had fostered and then adopted three kittens. I had them for less than four months and had to have two of them euthanized on the same day. It was one of the worst days of my life. Realizing that even with losing them, I still had a good life, even a great life, helped put things into perspective and gave some comfort.
If you can use either of these questions to help you with the difficult situations you face, please use them.
To ride a bicycle, we must keep peddling. If we don’t, the bike stops. It’s possible to coast for awhile and keep moving without peddling, but that doesn’t last for very long. Life is like that. We must keep moving toward our goals or we never reach them. Although it’s sometimes possible to “coast” for a bit, we don’t make as much progress and before long we have to “peddle” again just to keep moving.
An important aspect of riding a bike is maintaining our balance. If we don’t stay balanced, we fall. We need to stay balanced in our lives as well. Different aspects of our professional and personal lives take more time and attention on some days than others. The important thing is that overall our life is balanced and we make time for what is important to us, including ourselves.
When we are riding a bike and fall off, we get up, brush ourselves off, and start peddling again. When life knocks us down, we need to do the same thing—get back up and start moving toward our goals again.
The original purpose of Thanksgiving was to give thanks for what we have. Unfortunately, too often in the rush of doing everything we think we must do for the holiday, we forget to do what is most important—reflect on what we have and be thankful.
I think it is important to be thankful for all the little things we have in our lives. It is, after all, the little things that combine to make our life. Often we forget the importance of the little things, and now is a good time for us to remember what they are and how important they are to us.
I think it is also important to reflect on our life as a whole. Overall, I think most of us have good lives. We have more good than bad in our lives. When we focus on the negative instead of the positive, however, the negative can appear to be a much larger part of our lives than it really is.
Overall, are you thankful for the life you have? Are you thankful for all the little things that make up your life?
All we can do is make the best decision we can with the information we have at the time.
Of course, we need to do the research so that we have adequate information. We will never have all the information available, but we can gather what we realistically need.
Once that is done, we make the best decision we can. That is all we can do.
It does not do us any good to second-guess ourselves afterwards. Hindsight is always 20/20. Rather than wasting time and energy on beating ourselves up for a making a “bad” decision, we can learn what we can from it and move forward.
If we made the best decision that we could with the information we had at the time, that is all anyone can do.
I am sure all of us have told a child, whether ours or someone else’s, to use their “inside voice” when they get too loud. If we haven’t used it ourselves, we have, at least, heard someone else use it.
What I have found is that, as I get older, I need to remind myself to use my “inside my head voice.” I have always talked to myself, I think we all do, but at least I kept it inside my head. Now I catch myself talking to myself out load. It generates interesting, and occasionally understanding, looks.
If you are like me, rest assured that you are not alone. If you don’t do this, and witness someone who does, be patient with them. You may be doing the same thing someday!
Are you interested in writing? Books? Authors? You’ll want to check out the Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books, November 4 and 5, at the University of Wisconsin–Waukesha. This event is free to the public. One of the features is the Writer Marketplace (Saturday only) where you can meet authors and buy their books. I will be one of the authors there.
For more information, including the program to download, go to the festival’s website.
I hope to see you!