Last night, I read Scarlet the story of “Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” While Scarlet was happily distracted with everything but the book, I found myself fully immersed in this story – a story I hadn’t read in years. After I finished reading and closed the book, I jokingly said, “I think we can all learn from this story that Alexander was perpetuating self-defeating strategies. Basically he made his own sh*t and then chose to lie in it.” And I laughed at myself because I was explaining this to Scarlet who was at the time throwing all of the socks from her sock shelf onto the floor, and then laughing maniacally. This morning, I realized I was the one who needed the lesson.
Years ago I had a friend who seemed to have the worst luck in the world. I was terrified of asking her the simple question of how she was. Literally every day, this could be the answer: “Oh, I’m not that great. My step-mother is dying. My dad’s sick too. My grandfather just died. My dog has a cancerous growth. I got fired from my job. I got pulled over and got a $200 ticket. Then I rear-ended another car in a parking lot, ran over a deer on the way home, and when I got home – my house was on fire which didn’t matter so much because it had been robbed of everything of value to me.” I really don’t think I’m exaggerating even slightly with that monologue. Ok…maybe a bit. However after awhile I came to the conclusion that life wasn’t that bad and that maybe, just maybe, she was making some of the bad stuff happen by surrounding herself with negative energy. Ever notice that when things are good and you’re on fire, a lot of good things happen at once? And when things are bad and you feel disconnected from your life, it seems like a lot of bad things happen at once?
I have to believe we have control over some of the things that happen in our lives. I wish I had more of the answers to this topic, but I don’t. I just have a theory that there’s great power in both positive and negative thinking and that you can control some of the outcomes of your lives. Maybe?
This morning I woke up like I sometimes do around here. Really, really down. The sun wasn’t out, I had to go to work, and there seemed to be a lot of negativity in the house. There are some circumstances in our lives right now that seem dire to me. Somewhere inside I believe we’ll get through them all but it’s not a feeling I am blessed to feel every morning. Rather, I leave the house and Stormy is whining and Scarlet is crying that I’m leaving because she has developed a pretty significant separation anxiety from me lately. And I’m angry and I take that anger into the car where every other driver pisses me off and then I take it to the parking lot where all of the good parking spots are taken and then I take it to work and want to put my head in my hands but I can’t do that at work so I save it up inside but then I get home and I’m so happy to see Scarlet and then I don’t know where all of that negativity goes. I *hope* it evaporates into nothing. I fear it is festering inside me, ready to boil over on another bad morning.
This isn’t every day. It may only be once a week or once every two weeks. But it’s bad. I feel like I’m a walking fireball and people are running from my burning path.
And some days, most days, the sun comes out and I’m hopeful and positive all over again. And that’s mostly.
I had heard that when your child is hurt, you want to hurt whomever/whatever hurt your child three times over. And it’s true. There is nothing so pure and yet so fierce as a parent’s love. However, what if your child was hurt and when you blindly and angrily go swinging back in revenge, you find that the person or animal who attacked your child also happens to be hurting? And maybe dying? For me, it complicates the sympathy I feel for Stormy. How can I be both angrier than I’ve ever been, but also really sad for her?
Occasionally I know that my relapses of negativity will eventually be non-existent, at least concerning Scarlet’s accident. I feel positive about the situation enough to know that it won’t be long before I’ve tackled a lot of the emotional fall-out. The proof for me is in these pictures. If this is the worst of it and she still looks and acts like this, I’d say I’m on an ever-spiraling track upwards:
A fab hair day:
What a face! What curls!
“My mom says some days are like that. Even in Australia.” –Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day