Putting on my Positive Pants: Cheat Days Required

I saw a PSA on my Facebook wall awhile back. It read:

“Lately, I’ve been replacing ‘I’m sorry’ with ‘thank you’. Like instead of ‘I’m sorry I was late’, I’ll say, ‘thank you for waiting for me’. Or instead of ‘I’m sorry I’m such a mess’, I’ll say, ‘thank you for loving me and caring about me unconditionally’.”

And like a stubborn wad of gum stuck the bottom of my shoe, I’ve carried that little nugget of advice with me ever since.

You see, I’ve been attempting to be more positive lately. With the announcement of my divorce this past December, life has really been handing me the short end of the stick, dealing me a crappy hand, has really rained on my parade.

I could do one of two things. I could,

  • Whine about how short the stick is, how crummy the hand is, or how soggy my socks are. Or, I could
  • Repurpose the stick, reorganize the hand, or hang my socks out in the sun to dry.

Putting on My Positive Pants: Cheat Days Required

Adjusting to my new lifestyle presented its challenges and frustrations right out of the gate. And, in the beginning, I got swept up in it. It was a tidal wave that struck me with a ferocity I’d never felt. Each time I’d come up for air and think I was out of the worst of it, another wave would crash down on me.

It was easy for me to get pulled into the swell and drown. I would spend days suspended in a pool of grief and misery, allowing my circumstances to get the best of me. Wallowing became my new companion.

Luckily, I have a tremendous support system.

My best friend turned me on to the idea of ridding myself of as much undue negativity as possible. Since then, I’ve been riding the “positivity train”. When I get down about something, I focus on something positive. It’s really that simple, but also easier said than done.

The twists and turns of adulting are enough to send even the most positive of personalities spiraling until they hit rock bottom with a defeating thud. It’s knowing what to do when you land at the bottom that’s key.

I tell my kids all the time, “don’t pout about what you don’t have. Be grateful for what you do have.” It’s high time I practice what I preach.

In my mind, positivity is all about balance. When you’re thrown some upsetting news or you’re caught in the middle of a family feud, find something, anything, good and positive in your life to make up for it. Even if its something as small like, ‘at least I’m having a good hair day,’ cling to that good hair day like your life depended on it.

Because your life, in essence, does depend on it. Positivity is the root of happiness. Happiness is whatever you make it. But I guarantee, a person who lives in constant negativity, never looking on the bright side, always waking up on the wrong side of the bed (sometimes consciously so), will never find happiness.

Ever.

Starting a positive lifestyle doesn’t mean just thinking positively. It also means evicting all the things that make you feel and act negatively. Maybe you’ll skip daily gripe sessions with the ladies on lunch break. Perhaps you’ll unfriend that one annoying high school buddy who posts offensive and disheartening propaganda on their social media. Maybe you’ll know when to exit a boiling disagreement with a friend or family member.

Whatever the case, negativity only breeds more negativity and misery needs company. Pry apart the bars of that prison and free yourself of all the gunk that would normally bring you down.

This is where the twist comes in. Being positive isn’t always easy.

At times, it can be far more difficult than just letting the tide of negativity take you out to sea. So, just like dieting, you need to give yourself cheat days.

Imagine constantly getting bombarded with bad news and disappointment. You do your best to swallow it all down and remain positive and upbeat, but you’ve essentially turned yourself into a pressure cooker. You’re bound to blow.

And that’s okay. You have to allow those woe-is-me, pity-party, down-in-the-dumps type of days to help clear your congested and, I’m sure, exhausted conscience. Give yourself a day to close all the curtains, turn your cell phone to silent, binge watch a show, eat junk food, and cry. Plan one day out of month as needed to clean the negativity out of your system and you’ll be good to go.

So, even if you’ve committed yourself to a positive lifestyle, don’t get down on yourself for slipping up or feeling blue every once and awhile. You’ve got this!

If you need some more quick tips for staying positive, click here!


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Jess is a born and raised Iowan who has lived in Vinton for the past 10 years. She has two children, 10-year-old Landon and 4-year-old Fynnlee. Jess attended Kirkwood and UNI and now operates an in-home daycare. She considers herself an independent author and has self-published a few eBooks. She enjoys attending Landon’s sporting events, spending time with her family, as well as writing and reading in her free time.