I remember once upon a time my mother reading to me a book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. When I was a child I couldn’t understand why Alexander was so obsessed with only noticing the bad things happening to him. Perhaps I was still at the age when this was easy. If there is such an age.
Now, as an adult, I can relate to Alexander. It is SOOOO easy to have one or more bad things ruin what could be a perfectly wonderful or ordinary day. For example, yesterday I woke up tired because of daylight savings, just to find myself locked out of my computer when I got to work, “ruining” my lesson plan I had for first period.
I felt so frustrated and at a loss of how to combat the bad feeling I had. When I walked out of another teacher’s classroom, a substitute laptop in hand, I thought to myself, “Am I just going to have a bad day then?”
A far more striking thought entered my mind at that point. I thought, “Only if I let it happen. It’s all up to me and where my focus is.”
I kept that in mind throughout the day and eventually broke out of my slump. But it took a lot of work.
Building a positive mindset is NOT EASY. It’s almost as if we lead our natural emotions like a wild animal away from violent or brash behavior.
What it comes down to is daily mindfulness. It’s easy to give in and believe life is a series of terrible events. Every human being struggles against something. No one has escaped sorrow, anger, or making mistakes.
But it is as Viktor Frank once said.
I think it also matters a great deal what direction we ultimately WANT to go. And, if we find ourselves veering away from our goals and facing cloudy days, we need a way to pull back.
After I stopped and thought about how I wanted my day to go, I went into my classroom and noticed how beautifully the light shone through my window. I took a deep breath, as if drawing in its beauty into myself like liquid courage.
I am in no way a saint when it comes to this. There are times when I get frustrated, emotional, and even scared. But I hope I can draw myself back and believe life is more than just unhappy events.
If I’m not careful, I’ll miss beautiful moments of light, humor, and joy.
Thanks for reading! See you again!