Have you ever thought that your life is so much worse than everyone else’s or that other people have all the luck? Maybe you’re more the type who thinks “I can’t” whenever faced with a challenge. You may think that life has dealt you a bad hand, but how you play those cards is up to you.
No, I’m not Pollyanna (defined by as, “an excessively or blindly optimistic person). I’m a caregiver for my spouse who was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) seven years ago. I was 49-years-old. I have more than my share of pity parties. I have been in the “misery loves company” camp, hanging out in person or online with people who shared my negativity.
I discovered I was not only thinking negative thoughts but thinking and saying things that were not nice. Snippiness and sarcasm came quite easily.
Gradually I realized how I was acting, how my words sounded, and how I felt. I got out of Facebook groups that had more people complaining and whining than saying anything positive. I stopped buying into people’s negativity. When conversations turned gossipy and people were searching for dirt on someone else, I’d say that I didn’t know anything even if I did.
I began to turn down the invitations to my private pity parties. A party of one isn’t fun. I began to feel better, actually, I’d describe it as feeling lighter. The dark cloud broke up and drifted off. I changed who I spent time with and how I spent my time.
I changed my perspective to one more like my husband’s. Remember, he’s the one with MCI. He’s the one who had to leave his dream career. He’s had more medical tests in the last seven years than I’ve had in my life. He’s dealt with depression. This summer alone he has been diagnosed with sleep apnea and plantar fasciitis and had an issue with itchy skin. But if you ask him, he’ll tell you he’s lucky. Because he could no longer work, he was home during the day when our son was in high school. He was able to attend many of his track meets and watch him run. He went to our son’s band performances and Boy Scout meetings and didn’t have to worry about leaving work early to do it. He’ll say that he’s living the life others only dream about, getting to spend time with his family, watching his son grow up. How’s that for perspective?
When I find the negative thoughts returning, and they do, I remind myself I’m lucky. My husband is relatively stable. I’m doing things I never dreamed I could do and trying things I’ve never done. Sometimes when I’m doing one of those new things, I think, “I can’t do this!” and then I smile and tell myself, “I AM doing it!”
Change your perspective. Change your friends. Change your attitude. Spend less time in social media. Try something new. Stop listening to the nasty voice in your head that says, “I can’t,” “I don’t like,” “I don’t want to,” and tell yourself, “I can, I like and I want to.”
Change your perspective starting now.
LEARN TO LOVE YOUR LIFE AGAIN
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