Yesterday morning pulled a total Monday on me. I get up around 5:30 am each day because I like mornings, and I usually have to wedge a double extra large pile of things into an extra small sized day. It’s that early bird get’s the worm thing. Yesterday started off trying to get on my nerves. It picked me up for work around 6:30 am and I was immediately irritated because I had slept in. I was in my housecoat and stayed that way till past noon. I was at my desk dodging bullets and stamping out fires like a regular superhero, the housecoat-wearing computer-using kind. I was annoyed and frustrated and each problem that came up just threw more gas on the fire. And on days like that, problems seem to know it’s the perfect time to bring all their friends, big and small. My Monday fell into the “this day sucks” column.
I had a buddy come by at 4 pm to record a podcast. I put on pants and a tee shirt for the occasion. We talked for about 45 minutes about his time serving our country overseas. He is one of those high-speed Special Forces guys and before we did the podcast we talked about what we couldn’t discuss during the show. The conversation reminded me that regardless of what I am dealing with, it’s nothing compared to what he has seen and done. It was a powerful interview and it will post Thursday morning.
Later on, I went for a run with Ana. Not a long one, we haven’t run in a while. Smoke filled the air from the fires in California, and it lit up my Asthma and had me seeing stars before I hit the half-way point. I had forgotten to bring my inhaler so I felt like I was drowning all the way home. When I got home, I sat and stretched and surfed the Internet on my iPad while recovering from the attack. I saw an inspiring story about a double amputee that had become an athlete. Whatever I was going through at that moment was nothing compared to what he had seen and done.
Joel Osteen is my pastor, and I listen to him on Sirius XM Channel 128 every day. I thought some Joel would sort me out so I fired up my iPhone and tuned in. He was delivering a sermon about giving thanks for what we have and how by doing so, we can change our outlook on life. Clearly a message planned just for me. I realized I had spent my entire day having a pity party, feeding and watering my misery. The whole time I had missed the opportunity to remind myself of all the good I have in my life. I had wasted a day I will never get back choosing to be unhappy.
I felt ungrateful and selfish. I asked for forgiveness then I started down the list. I thanked God for Ana, for my kids, for my grandkids, for our dogs, for our house, our health, our friends…the list was endless. While taking inventory, I started feeling better. We spent the rest of the day happy and having fun as a family and last night was so incredible it will never be forgotten. All because I decided to change my perspective.
I have learned that my day can be whatever I want it to be. It all depends on how I choose to look at it. Challenges may hurt, they may be frustrating, intimidating, even devastating or tragic, but there is always something positive to be found. Early in the day I read on Facebook about a guy that had lost his friend to suicide. I have lost friends to suicide myself, more than once and it’s horrible. The story brought back memories and put me in a dark place.
Later on I was able to focus on the good memories of those I have lost and how they made my life better, and how I made theirs better. I miss them but my life is enriched because of the time we had. Then I wrote an email to a friend that is going through a tough time right now and I reminded him how I felt about him and how much he matters. I could do that because I wasn’t focussed on myself and my own misery.
I may not be able to control the things that happen in life, but I can control my reaction, and that way I am never a victim. Something positive can always be found. Yesterday was an incredibly good day because of the challenges I faced. I learned something that made me stronger and made my life and the lives of those I love infinitely better.