One can’t help but notice that people have a serious tendency to focus on negativity in everyday life. I have paid a lot of attention to this lately, mostly recognizing my own tendencies, and I decided to do a little week-long project. I’m very guilty of this, and in casual conversation it is easy to recognize when other people are as well. To see what the difference could be, and to hopefully become more in tune with myself and potentially others, I decided that for an entire week I would keep track of all the positive or good events and happenings and put no emphasis whatsoever on the negative or bad things. I knew from the beginning this was going to be an eye-opening and interesting project.
Today marks the end of this project, and it has been VERY eye-opening. Here are the things I documented through the week:
- Celebrated my good friend’s daughters first birthday
- Went trick-or-treating for the first time in years, and for the first time on the other side (taking kids out, and not being the trick-or-treater)
- Spent an entire day with my friend Courtney for the first time in years
- Went and purchased my Davids Tea advent calendar with Jess (even standing in line for almost an hour was fun!)
- Woke up to sunlight coming through my window
- Cards Against Humanity arrived from Amazon in the mail
- Finished a book for the first time in a very long time
- Had a movie night at Alice’s, complete with Speckles (her cat) snuggles
- Tattoo is almost healed; the scabs are all gone!
- Did a lot of extra walking, and it felt amazing
- Helped to make a coworker’s last day in the office as pleasant as possible
- Had sushi!
- Saw my nieces and nephew
- Played Cards Against Humanity for the first time
- It was a very comfy day
- Celebrated my niece’s third birthday at her birthday party today (the first one I have ever attended)
- I held my nephew Lyndon for what I am sure is the first time
Okay, so I kept track for an extra day. I think that’s a testament to how easy it became by the end. I found it very interesting how profound a difference making a minor change like I did can shift your perspective and outlook on just about everything in your life. It can happen incredibly quickly too. I found that by Tuesday, I was already generally happier and was finding it easier to dismiss the things I usually found upsetting or made my feel like the world was crashing down around me. And believe me, it happens relatively often. Putting no emphasis on those negative things and purposely focusing on the good things that were also happening at that time, made it so much easier to cope with the other things. I could almost just shrug them off.
I actually have a funny little story that can be an example to shed some light on this: I was away from home all weekend. I was out-of-town at my parents’ place because there were a few events going on and it just made more sense that way. I arrived home this evening, and pulled my dish drying mat out from under the sink because I was about to start dishes. There was a hole in my mat, and a tear on the back and little bits of the foam from the inside all over it. Clearly, I have a mouse. Just over a week ago, I would have been very upset over this and probably would have started to cry; however, today I was able to laugh it off, and I even found it a bit funny. I live in a century old mansion that has been converted into apartments. You really can’t expect there to be no mice around whatsoever! I found the place where it got in, and quickly figured out there is no way for it to get out from under the sink to wreak havoc anywhere else. I will cover up the hole where it got in, and I have a solution to deter anymore mice. I will go and buy a new mat in the near future. I found myself able to laugh it off and figure out a solution to the issue in no time at all because I didn’t get worked up over the fact that it happened in the first place. It was something beyond my control and probably would have happened anyway. I couldn’t know it would happen, and it is something that is easily fixed. Something that was no big deal really wasn’t a big deal for the first time in I don’t know how long. Pretty cool, right?
This little project didn’t take more than a couple of minutes each day, and I highly recommend anyone give it a try. I’ve found it to be a very positive experience in itself!