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Turning it Around

September 7, 2010

Thanks to my little boy, I woke up at 4:15am this morning.

I spent the whole day in a daze and exhausted. This also meant that I was much crankier than usual. As I am sure it’s true for others, too, I tend to be quite negative when I am cranky. A few hours into my day, I was already tired, whiny, and angry. And I still had quite a few important to-do items on my list.

Mid-morning, my older son called me from school to say that he’d lost his backpack and, with it, his lunch. I could tell he sounded really sad. I told him I’d be right there with another lunch and snack for him. I raced over there. All the way there, I was worried about the bag and its contents. Now we’d have to buy a new bag, lunch box, water bottle, jacket, and book. Not to mention an afternoon trip to Target which I really didn’t want to make.

When I got there, I knocked on the door and gave the teacher his new lunch. And then I looked around and found his bag on one of the hooks one class over. I then knocked again and took the new lunch back and drove back home. On the way back, I was annoyed that I had to make the trip there for nothing and thought about all the time and effort I wasted.

Then I stopped myself.

I obviously needed a good talking to and there was no one else to give it to me so I gave myself a short, snappy lecture. I told myself that for the rest of the day I didn’t get to be cranky. Instead of looking at it negatively, how about turning it around and finding the thing to be grateful about?

For example, I could be grateful that I was home when the school called and grateful that we live close enough to school for me to be able to deliver him another lunch. Grateful that we had some more of the same food he loves. Grateful that I had a spare lunchbox. And on the way back, I could be grateful that I now wouldn’t have to make a trip to Target or spend any more money. Or that David now gets to eat his original lunch. I could even be thankful that I now had tomorrow’s lunch mostly packed.

For the rest of the day, I forced myself to change perspective and turn my negative conversations around. It didn’t make me any less tired but it did make me enjoy my moments more. And considering how precious each moment is, I figured it was the best gift I could give myself on a day like this.

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