Monday, August 16, 2010

Feeling negative about being positive

I'm a naturally optimistic person. I look on the bright side of things and try my very darnedest to find the blessings and/or reason behind the annoying factors in life.
  • Someone in front of my gets the last parking spot? Yay for them! That just made their day better!
  • I get lost trying to find a new store? I get to explore a new area!
  • I leave the house late for an appointment? Maybe God wanted me a few minutes behind where I would have otherwise been. 
  • I can't stand the kids' messes around the house one more second? The girls will only be kids for a little while longer--appreciate the disaster.
It's really not hard for me to step back and say, "Yeah, there are legos in 10 sq. ft. area and I can't get to the stairs or the front door without walking on them, but how cute is it that the kids (and Scott-LOL!) are having such a great time with them."

This morning, though, I'm feeling annoyed with other people constantly fighting my optimistic nature.

Here's why:
  • "It's a gorgeous day!" Response: The sun's too bright.
  • "It's a great opportunity to meet people!" Response: I don't want to meet sixth graders.
  • "Maybe you don't have anyone to eat lunch with because you need some down time or maybe you'll end up going to the same restaurant they did." Response: Right. Because there aren't any restaurants at all in Manhattan. (Obviously, he was being facetious. And annoyed.)
  • "We're going to take some stress of Daddy by organizing the garage today!" Response: Do we have to?
  • "We get to take the tram!" Response: "Only because we parked so far away."
Children mimic their parents. I see it every day! So why won't my children mimic my positive attitude?

I understand that some of it comes from their own personalities, but I also believe that optimism can be learned. And the more you do it, the stronger the happy habit becomes.

So why is my family so negative? I'm sick of it. I'm sick of their bad attitudes and constant pessimism. And I'm sick of the constantly negative responses.

Maybe my girls will be optimists as adults. Maybe their learning and I just can't see it.

(Grrr... Emma just came to me with a clay snail she made yesterday. Its head fell off and she's mad that now she'll have to start all over. Why can't she look at it as another opportunity to play with clay?)

Any advice, Delicious Readers?


Barbara said...

Life is all about attitude. At one point, I posted a large print quote about positive attitude on the fridge. Did anyone pay attention to it? No. Oh well, some days you just can't win, but that sun is still out there and my life is really beautiful.

Kristi Faith said...

Hmm, being optimistic is hard to teach. I think, especially, since children have a "small world" that means so much to them. To us, it's not the end of the world, but a new opportunity, whereas to them it might be a bit frightening to take a new path/opportunity. *sigh* You never know.

I do a project with my kids when they start getting like that. I make them sit at the table and write five things that they could do to make someone smile. OR Five things they like about the sibling they are fighting with. OR Five positive outcomes of a negative situation we went through. Am I making sense? Turn it into a project and really tell them that you want them to look on the brighter side of things.

Kate said...

Thanks, Kristi. Great ideas! I needed that reminder that their worlds are still small.

Together We Save said...

I really need to work on being more positive. I want my children to be a happy reflection of me.