Attitude

Yesterday didn’t go very well. I can’t say dramatically that the world ended or that I had some major disappointment.

It was a sideways not-doing-so-hot kind of day.

I dislike those days because inherently I know that I have full control over my attitude; nothing earth-shattering occurred that changed my existence. It was just a day that started out with me on the wrong side of the bed and then letting that lopsidedness inflict itself on everyone else.

I could have done any number of things to remedy myself, but perhaps the simplest would have been to stop and take a breath. I could have thought about my life for a moment and located the bright spots rather than focus on the shade.

Instead, I woke up worried and anxious about my job and the seeming impossibility of teaching a sixth grader to read so that she can catch up to her peers. Today—a different day and attitude altogether—I spoke with a colleague and we both agreed that we are probably accomplishing more than we think. We are in the same worry boat and it is what it is. We can do our best with what time and circumstances we are given.

Yesterday, I only noticed how late my kids were for school—how they are always late. I heard myself sounding gruff and how that made the whole matter worse. Later, in a quiet moment, my mood was underscored by the yellow stain that started on one side of my turquoise blue sleeve and crept along the inside where it was worse than the other—no way to roll it or hide it. I found myself shrinking into my neck like a turtle, envisioning the gray hairs that have come to live on the back of my head, the darkened skin, no longer fresh. My terrible mind crumpled me further like a wad of blank paper sullied from storage and no longer of use. Everything I came into contact with affirmed this morose bent and by the time I ran into an old friend my nerves were shot and as she described her new home and life—one exceedingly different from the one she’d moved from—I was happy and small and petty and jealous all at once.

My attitude diminished me and I had allowed it to.

. I allowed a darkness in and that black ink seeped into my household and infected all of us.

This morning I took myself by the reins. I made amends with my son who initially did not want a ride to school because of yesterday’s ”drama” i.e., my complaining. We even drove his new friend who I’ve not had a chance to really meet until now. I did not fret over the clock as we got off of the freeway. “I’ll make it to work and it will be fine,” I silently told myself. Besides, my kids are my first, and most important job.

On the way to my job I thought about my sixth grader and I knew she would be fine. She is a very nice girl and I am only a small portion of her life—but I am on her side. I took my time at work and let time lay itself out as it has a tendency to do anyway. Instead of complaining about my allergies and the windy weather I decided to be thankful for medication that works.

Yesterday was a weird one—gale force winds and places to be, unexpected meetings and a negative attitude. None lasted, all were ephemeral.

Thankfully, today went very well.

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