Why is it so easy some days?
When I notice there’s a pebble my shoe, I stop, shake it out, put my shoe back on, and get on with the day. And on those days, by the time evening rolls around, I’d be hard pressed to even remember that I’d had a rock in my shoe.
In short — it was a bad five minutes.
Then there are the…other days.
I can take that same bad five minutes and turn it into something to complain about all day long.
Maybe I was distracted, and I didn’t notice there even was a problem until the rock in my shoe had already worn a blister.
Maybe I hoped if I complained about my painful ordeal and subsequent severe medical trauma (A blister! Right there on my little toe! Sad, painful little toe — I hope it doesn’t need surgery!!!) someone might feel sorry for me.
These are the days when it’s all too easy to jump in to the pity pool feet first and spend the day splashing around… getting yourself and everyone around you soaked.
Quite a few years ago (long before I started doing #ThisDaysJoy), I did an experiment.
It was February in all ways, on the calendar and in my heart.
The skies were gray and so was my outlook. The days were cold, and my attitude had taken a turn for the worse.
I challenged myself to go a week without complaining. I knew it would be tricky, but it turned out to be impossible.
I hadn’t realized the extent to which I had allowed The Creeping Negative to become part of my daily life.
Remember when Linus tells Charlie Brown, “You’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem”?
Yeah, me too.
Move over, Chuck, you’ve got competition.
I quickly changed the challenge from “Go All Week” to “Go All Day Without Complaining.”
So the positive reframe — the lemonade from lemons— became my new daily focus.
It’s pouring down rain — but we really need the moisture.
It’s pouring down rain — but I grabbed an umbrella before I left the house.
It’s pouring down rain and I don’t have an umbrella…so since I’m going to get soaked anyway, I might as well take a spontaneous walk in the rain or go puddle jumping.
It’s pouring down rain — but look at that amazing rainbow.
Next time you find yourself wanting to kvetch about the way things have been going, ask yourself, “Is it really a bad day, or a bad five minutes that I’m going to complain about all day?”
I’ll have more to say about The Positive Reframe in the weeks to come.