There was a book I loved as a kid called Very Worried Walrus. The story begins with pig, having fun riding her bike. She offered it to Walrus for a turn, but he’s very worried he’ll get hurt, and if he gets hurt, he will have to ride in an ambulance which could get stuck in a traffic jam so he would have to be air lifted by helicopter, etc. Walrus continues to spiral out of control in the story until Pig stops him and reminds him about all the good things, like what a beautiful day it was and how much fun he would have riding the bicycle.
I’ve felt like Walrus during particularly stressful times, spiraling out of control with worry. We all do about certain things from time to time, medical test results, our kid’s safety and money.
Most often money. eHarmony listed money at the top of the list of things couples fight about and we all heard about how the economy was at the top of everyone’s concerns leading up to last year’s gallop poll before the election.
Simple Abundance 11: “Is It Recession or Depression?”
We’ve all been touched by the economy, our worries fed by the evening news, putting us in a scarcity mindset spiral, afraid about what tomorrow may bring.
There is a way to banish the worry and be happy: become an optimist. Find something to be grateful for in every situation.
I know it sounds impossible when you’re in the thick of a bad situation, but before you squash my Polyanna proposition, stop and think about all the things you’ve worried about that worked out better than you expected. I can think of so many situations; jobs that fell through followed by better opportunities, un-necessary worries about our three kids, car accidents that should have happened but didn’t, money dilemmas that I couldn’t see my way out of that worked out beautifully, even the recent challenge of the insurance company totaling our only family car, leaving us with little money and no car. Things have a way of working themselves out.
Let’s start to practice optimism. It dosen’t matter what you’re worried about, there is always a nugget of good. If you slip into the mindset that something’s always been hard for you, forget about the past, don’t let it drag you down. Your past is only a representation of your history, not a prediction of your future, expect things to be easy. When you’re faced with a struggle, instead of thinking about worst case scenario, imagine the best case instead. Expect good things to happen. Smile at people. Challenge yourself to find something grateful in every situation, I promise it’s there if you’re willing to look.
Friday, Jan 11: I’m so thankful for:
1. I finally found some time to write and it felt good. I released the frustration that I was a few days behind and was reminded by a friend that it’s progress not perfection that I’m after. I’ve still been reading and doing my gratitude daily. (Why this list is from Friday and the post is publishing on Tuesday.)
2. My coworker and I were trying to figure out what to call our evening ritual brain dump of all the priorities for the next day. We were brainstorming things like daily round-up, evening checklist, etc. and she spurted out, “How about Daily Dump?” not really realizing what she had said. We laughed until we cried and now have a recurring appointment in my calendar marked D.D. which makes me smile every time I see it!
3. I’m thankful that it is Friday night and I can sleep in (if the kids do!)
4. Tonight I love our clean flannel sheets, so cozy to crawl into and they smell so good! (I shaved my legs too, so it’s even more silky! hahah!)
5. My husband was able to score a cheap airplane ticket to go visit his mom in February! I know he is missing her so much and seeing her will be wonderful for them both.
6. I am thankful for my favorite part of my bedtime routine, my night cream. Even though it’s little on the expensive side, it’s one thing I’d find a way to buy even if it meant digging through the basement for stuff to sell on eBay, because it feels so amazing!