When I started my blog ages ago, I really wanted to make sure I kept an upbeat tone. Although meltdowns are kind of fun to watch for outsiders with no empathy, the majority of people don’t really gravitate toward rants and cynicism and pessimism. Or maybe they do, but they’ll have to do that elsewhere, not here. When I was writing, even when I was having a crappy day, I always had that old adage in the back of my mind: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
That’s why I haven’t done weekly reviews the last two weeks. Not because nothing interesting happened, but because every time I sat down to wrote, I only had vitriol coming out of me. Hate that I couldn’t, for the life of me, convert into anything funny. The School of Life says that one of the 10 virtues we need to be a better person in this world is a sense of humor and when mine goes, boy does it get bleak (apologies for the video… it’s a series of 20 videos but you really only want to watch number 5).
I get in those moods sometimes but it doesn’t do anyone any good to read that kind of abstract hate or anger or sadness or whatever those emotions were. In the Dear Sugar podcast last week, the writer George Saunders said one criticism that really helped him was a statement that “Saunders writes better when he’s not writing out of hate.” I think emotions can really help your writing, but I think that’s a good sentiment to keep in mind and it’s one that I’m applying here.
So while these weekly updates are a mixture between what I did and saw and tasted and all those other sensory experiences, they something of a gratitude journal, focusing on the many little good things in the world. Like the baker today who, when I forgot my wallet, allowed me to pay for a Broetchen later so Diva wouldn’t have to go to kindergarten hungry. Or the toddler who couldn’t stop smiling and pointing at the egg tree in front of our house. As I explained to Diva on Saturday, after finally getting the grumpy cashier to laugh after years of trying, it’s all about the little victories.
To keep up with this positive mindset, I started reading Shel Silverstein “Where the Sidewalk Ends” rhymes to Diva before bedtime to make sure we end the day with giggles. I (don’t judge) added Ariana Grande’s “Problems” song to my jogging warm-up playlist. I employed “Block this caller” on my iPhone frequently — the world’s best invention since the telephone — and avoided Twitter. And now that it’s a new week, tell me people:
What do you do to stay positive in spite of stress? Give me your favorite You Tubes, songs, books, mantras, I wanna hear it all…