Seeing Things as ‘Glass Half Full’ During a ‘Glass is Half Empty’ Kind of Day

pb and jI’ll be the first to admit that it really is impossible to be happy all the time.  You may agree that overall life is pretty great, there are some days (or whole chapters) in our lives that are just plain terrible.  Someone you love is sick, you didn’t do as well on an assignment, you’re struggling with big and difficult changes… the list can go on and on.  In these situations, feeling upset is only natural and can even be healthy in your mental recovery.   Other times, there really isn’t a definitive reason to be or feel miserable, we just wake up  in a funk.  Days like that any and every little thing has the power to bother us.  Its like we’re walking around with blinders on keeping us from realizing the beauty of the world around us.  I had one of these days this week.

Friday (yes, Friday of all days) was rough.  I hadn’t slept well the previous night and I imagine that my lack of sleep affected my day… if only I had paused that Netflix documentary and gone to bed sooner!

From the moment my alarm rang I was unhappy.  My sisters wouldn’t get out of the bathroom and the delay set me behind my morning schedule.  On top of that, my mom kept asking for favors I had barely enough time to carry out.  Evan was on his way to take me to work and I just couldn’t seem to get a handle on time that morning.

If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m very much a ‘type-A’ personality, let me explain a bit here about my relationship with time so you can understand this morning’s frustration’s a bit better.  I think because my parents are so amazingly lax with their time, I am extremely (and I admit sometimes irrationally) sensitive to time, time management, and scheduling.  Being even one or two minutes late for me is cause for great stress that no one else in my family seems to understand.  It is because I value time and being on-time that I love planning, list-making, and scheduling – it quite literally keeps me sane.

Back to my Friday …

I was especially frustrated at work, I just didn’t want to be there and when my boss spoke to me it was like all the sleepless hours the night before fell on top of me.  I could barely focus on what she was saying-it was all I could do to just keep my eyes open. After she (finally) sent me off with a newly assigned a new task, I sluggishly trudged back to my desk to get started.

Normally, I would have made my way to my lonely little work area, slowly begin my new project, maybe pull out a sub-par granola bar (I’m too lazy to pack my own lunch) to try and wake myself up.  That day was different because Evan was there.  He recently began working with me.  It has been strange these past few weeks because we’ve never been together in a professional or even learning environment.  I wasn’t sure I’d like working with him at first but it’s pretty neat getting to work with your best friend (even if its only for a few weeks).  When he saw me sluggishly take my seat at the computer, he wordlessly brought out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that he’d brought along for me without my asking.  No one’s ever made or delivered a lunch to me quite like that and his simple act brought so much joy to me in that moment.

After munching down the sandwich, he reached into his seemingly bottomless lunchbox to hand me a little baggie of fishy crackers. I didn’t even realize what I’d needed.  With every bite I started feeling happy and more awake.  Evan’s act of kindness helped me to put things into perspective and after our humble lunch, I was reminded that if I want to be happy (even on a bad day), I have to choose to think happy.

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The purpose of this blog is to find and seek out the happy highlights in my life but in order to share an accurate and honest portrayal of life, I can’t leave out a bad day along my journey to find happiness simply because it doesn’t fit the blog’s description.  I can’t always be happy and really, that’s okay because without sad or miserable days, the good days just aren’t as amazing, which leads me to my final thought:

The one good thing about having a bad day is that any little positive thing we would otherwise ignore or take for granted (like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with fishy crackers) is magnified making it an especially beautiful #happyhiglight.

See what I did there with that hashtag? I’ve made an Instagram account where everyday I post a picture of a happy highlight of my day along with a brief summary of why that particular thing/person/event made me happy.  It’s been a really fun experiment that has helped me look for happiness in my daily life. I hope you’ll join me in this challenge by using the hashtag to document any of your life’s happy highlights.

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