I started this blog post on Monday. I thought my day started off great- I even got an earlier than usual start and accomplished quite a bit before school even started. But, it quickly went downhill and got much worse at the end of the school day. So, after work, I came home, hopped on Blogger and clicked the "compose" button. Sometimes, when I have a rotten day, it helps to come to this space to "vent". Many times I don't even hit "publish", as just typing out the words helps me feel better about a situation. But, today, I decided to finish it because after talking to M.and a few co-workers since then, I realized it's a subject we can all relate to.
Monday afternoon, I told M. about the rotten day I was having and the fact that I feel like every where I turn some kind of negativity just slaps me in the face out of nowhere. When he got home that night he said, "You know, I think the whole world just has a really bad case of the "crabbies" lately". Such a great way to describe it, don't you think? I was so glad to hear that it wasn't just me. Not that I want someone else to experience having a bad day, its just nice to have confirmation that it isn't just me, over-reacting. M. and I agreed that every time we turn around lately we encounter some sort of hatefulness, rudeness, gossip, cynicism, etc. You know, the "crabbies"! haha! And, we both agreed that to keep ourselves out the negative mindset that we could get sucked into sometimes, we have to strategically work our way around it. M. is very good at compartmentalizing the variety of things he has going on in his head, so for him, replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts is the best strategy. It takes about three days for him to mentally work through a "problem". I'm not very good at mental compartmentalizing, so, for me, trying to stay away from the negative in the first place is a much better strategy (staying off of Facebook, walking away from drama, etc.) Sometimes that is a little hard to do, though, so it may take much longer than three days to change my mindset. But, like I've said in many other blog posts, reminding myself of the good things that are ALL around me, is a great way to lift myself up. I've been keeping up with the gratitude journal that I started a few months ago and it really helps to look back on all of the good things going on in my life. Each journal entry space is very small, though (which is kind of good, as it forces your entries to be short and to the point), but, sometimes it's nice to write things out with a little more detail. Here is my current, more detailed gratitude list:
* Working with WONDERFUL co-workers who surround me with positivity every day.
* Spending an entire weekend surrounded by kids and grand kids, my parents, my sister, my nieces, etc. for Mother's Day.
* Getting a surprise Mother's Day phone call from my boy who is away for Army training.
* Getting a sweet Mother's Day text from my step-son.
* Coming home every day to a husband who really is smiling on the inside every. single. day. (even though it doesn't show on the outside most of the time!).
* My fellow bloggers, who I can always count on to spread some joy my way with their work and their words.
* Income tax REFUNDS! (I know I shouldn't include money on my gratitude list, but, man, it's so nice when it's unexpected.)
*Getting outside on days like today (perfect, no-sweating, 75 degrees).
*Having an Advanced Drawing class with students who were so focused in class that we were able to fit in 4 extra projects this semester! They have been a complete and total joy to have this year.
Once I got started here, I felt like I could go on and on. But I decided to stop there, as I think you get the point. If you don't already keep a gratitude list/journal, you should try it for a few days and see what happens. It really works. It's kind of crazy how effective it really is. As a matter of fact, I'm now smiling as I finish this, so I've obviously come a long way since this "venting" post began on Monday!
What would be on your list?
*all quotes and illustrations are from the book Think Happy, Be Happy- art, inspiration, joy -by Workman Publishing Co.
p.s. For fellow teachers out there :))