This week was an anniversary for me, though it's certainly not a big deal. I almost forgot about it, but then something happened. But before I get to that, back to the anniversary.
One year ago this week I started a new job. It's been an experience I'll never forget. And the best part about this experience?
The people. They're talented, intelligent, and willing to try new things. They're also a diverse crew of fun, funky, lovely, loud, and truly likeable humans. I've had a lot of jobs and it's rarer than it should be to find this.
Life over the past year - at work and outside of work - has been one big transition period (i.e., things is changin'). And change can be hard. It's uncomfortable. But we all have to figure out how to adjust when change happens. Of course, sometimes the feelings around change need to come out and be acknowledged before we can reset and move on.
It can be tempting to wallow in the muck of wishing this or that had never happened and rail at the world for not being fair. Personally, I don't like muck and I would rather spend my time reading than wallowing.
Victim mindset? No thank you.
Back to what happened.
I picked up Brandon from his summer program yesterday and when our conversation about dinner didn't go quite the way he wanted (he was craving steak and I wasn't going to make any), it led to a tearful monologue about how bad his day was. Translation: He was tired.
But I was tired, too. My kid is sweet, sensitive, trusting and good-natured, but he has a negative streak that makes me a little nuts. I do not want to raise someone who enjoys being a victim. I actually have a rule that I pull out of my annoying-mom toolbox every now and then when his negativity gets to me: For every single negative incident he shares, he has to tell me two positive things.
I told him it breaks my heart that he defaults to thinking about the negative parts of his day. And you know what he did? He hugged me. He didn't want my heart to be broken.
That's how I know he's gonna be okay. He actually cares. He'll get it.
My ugly truth
Today I picked Brandon up again and when I asked him about his day, he immediately deflated and I knew what was coming. I got a couple words out of him - not negative, but not particularly positive.
When he didn't expand on his day, I changed my tactic: Tell me something good that happened!
He thought about it and he told a story about a kid who wouldn't let him pretend to be a Nintendo character when they were playing a Lego Movie game they made up. He said he snickered at the irony that the kid wouldn't let him choose a creative character.
You know what this means, right? My kid totally gets the point of The Lego Movie AND he gets irony. He's brilliant and you can't convince me otherwise.
As we were driving home after a trip to pick up some more books for the wee genius, I had some quiet thinking time, remembered the anniversary and began reflecting on everything that's happened in the past year. It's been a doozy for the world, right? As I thought through it, I realized I have been taking on the mantle of victimhood a little bit myself and it's time to let it go.
Someone I know recently started blogging about joy and she's apparently had a good influence on my subconscious. I was at the bookstore and picked up a list journal.
I have a lot of these journals. I use them to get inspiration for my writing. And since I can't seem to stay away from the journals in the bookstore, I doubt there are many I haven't picked up.
As I was driving home, after I picked up the journal, I decided to challenge myself to blog one of the lists each week.
But check out the cover and note what the inspiration is for:
I can't expect my son to look for the positive if I'm not setting the example - intentionally and consistently. It doesn't mean ignoring the negative because that's not healthy either. But dwelling on the negative is toxic and not productive. I'd much rather be good to myself and bring good things into the world around me.