By: Revanche

A more balanced attitude

June 7, 2008

As I compose letters, actual, handwritten letters to friends with whom I’ve fallen out of touch, it’s become apparent that I’m hyper-aware of how easy it is to run the negativity reel on a perma-loop. Do you ever get into the habit of complaining? About work, or something at home, or being broke or whatever’s bothering you?

I know I do, and with the exception of running my mouth on this blog on most topics, my braking mechanism is to just shut the heck up. No one wants to hear the whining all the time! A colleague has this tendency to say just about anything on her mind as soon as it occurs to her, and I don’t want to be equally whingy and depressing so I keep my mouth shut.

There’s a balance to be struck, somewhere between the two, where the division between the bright and dark sides are similar to a saw: a little back and forth, but not too much. I know it’s not always going to be equal servings of good and bad, but there’s definitely something to be said for approaching life with a willingness to see both sides of any situation. It’s important not to lose your sense of perspective by being unequivocally utterly cheerful or incurably Eeyore; that’s not healthy or wise.

Most recently, I’ve been bouncing between the two poles of feeling guilty: What the heck happened to my finances? I’ve been working so hard, I should be much further ahead/more comfortable by now! My coworkers who haven’t struggled the past two years are talking about buying homes now? Why aren’t I there, again?

And then feeling angry when I remember: Remember your brother? Remember the loan? Remember the truck? Ohhhh yea.

Both tracks of thought are, unfortunately, negative or intensely negative. It’s then just too easy to dig a big ole hole of frustrated and pull the hole in after me. To combat that, I’ve been trying to do my best to create some progress, no matter how minimal. And remind myself every single day: You’re not going to make that mistake again. Or that one. Or that one. Or any other one involving being a soft touch and your brother. Trust me, you won’t.

Eventually, this mantra will convince me to trust myself and what I’ve learned over the years. Eventually, I’ll master a sense of balance that’s conducive to proactivity, not reactivity. Things have to get better and I’m all about making it happen sooner!

5 Responses to “A more balanced attitude”

  1. Sense says:

    Yeah–i am def. guilty of the complaining, and seeing me or my family as ‘victims’ when I see how healthy/happy some other families are. It’s so easy to pick the fortunate people to contrast and compare to, even when I KNOW things can ALWAYS be worse.

    I struggle with how much to divulge to people that ask about my family–I don’t want to lie, but I also don’t want the pity and awkwardness, or the tendency to whine, that comes from the truth.

    I often make a vow to be more positive–it’s tough sometimes though.

  2. ~sense~ I always thought that other people had better gauges for how much to reveal about their personal lives because I’m told that I’m too private. I definitely concur with the struggle about how much to divulge: the truth can seem like a bid for pity, or martyrdom, and can easily slide into a whine-fest when you’re trying to just recount the facts.

    Vowing to be more positive doesn’t work as well for me, trying to be less negative is a little more doable.

  3. Matt says:

    I know the feeling you’re talking about I find that I’m comparing myself to where I ‘could’ have been or what I ‘might’ be doing but the reality is I am where I am. Making progress takes time, for some it takes longer but as long as you see progress over the longer term you’re making headway.

    Try to compare yourself against your goals rather than what you see around you. Staying motivated is the key and that doesn’t have to be positive or negative it can be neutral too. Keep the chin up.

  4. ~matt~ That’s true. It’s a little harder to see past the plateaus.

  5. Daydreamer79 says:

    Wow your posts sheds light on a lot. I agree it’s so easy to gravitate to negativity and/or self-pity. Thanks for the post!

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