Channeling my anger

Thursday, March 27, 2014

There is a guy that I pass during my walk to work on most mornings.  He sweeps the sidewalk outside one of the buildings.  All of the trash that ends up there, all of the cigarette butts, and all of the dirt and dust, he sweeps it up.  I am sure that you are thinking, such a shitty job, right?  You would think that this guy was just hating on life because he sees people pass him every day wearing nice suits, carrying their $4 lattes, and hustling to get to their high-profile & high-paying jobs.  The crazy thing is that he isn't unhappy or at least he isn't letting on that he is unhappy.  With a bounce in his step, he sweeps up all of the garbage, and while he is doing this he is smiling and whistling.  The whistling, which is quite pleasant to hear, is magnified as it echos off of the tall buildings in the vicinity.  As you walk by, he'll tip his head to you as if to say good morning or buck-up, friend.  It is impossible to walk by him and not have your mood elevated...just a little.

This guy clearly has much less than me, at least in the physical sense, and yet he still has a smile on his face every day.  I am sure that I make several times more money than he does, live in a nicer house, drive a nicer car, eat better food, go on nicer vacations, and just generally have a much "cushier" existence.  Am I happier?  No.  I'm not.  In fact, I am 100% positive that I am much angrier, resentful, judgmental, hateful, anxious, and ungrateful for everything that I have than he is with what he has.

On my walk to work today, with angry tears in my eyes, I decided that this has to stop.  I cannot continue living my life with such a bad attitude.  I am ruining my relationship with my husband, with my family, with my friends, and with my co-workers.  The smallest little things send me into a tailspin of anger.  For example, yesterday was what I would consider a "very bad weather day".  There were extremely high winds, snow, and cold temperatures, which are no fun in general.

Me- Already in a bad mood just watching the weather forecast.  

Add on the fact that we have been having this type of weather for 4-5 months at this point.  Add the fact that I was up all night with a crying baby.  Add the fact that I had to get up at 4:40 AM.  Add the fact that I hate all of my clothes because they outline the fact that my stomach still looks like I have a small baby bump.  Add the fact that my train was delayed more than 30 minutes, leaving me to stand on the platform, freezing.  Add the fact that they still collected full fare on the late train even though it was packed so full and there were no seats.  Add the fact that when I got to SBUX to get my coffee, there was a long line because I was so late...

MeGet to work in an extremely bad mood which sets the tone for the rest of my day and how it would go.

Add on the fact that a co-worker decided to take it upon himself to have a conversation with my boss (on my behalf) because of a conversation we had where I had been flipping out about an email that she had sent and she was subsequently upset with me.  Add on the fact that when I got home I had to clean my house, which was a mess after being out of town the previous week and my husband had not so much as attempted to clean, because we were having a Realtor over.  Add the fact that I snapped at my husband about said lack of cleaning.  Add the fact that I was annoyed that I didn't have time to exercise.  Add the fact that I didn't get to eat dinner until 8:30 PM and didn't get to shower until 9 PM.  Add the fact that as soon as my head hit the pillow, an hour later than normal, the baby woke up screaming and only wanting mommy.

Me- Go to bed angry.     

You get where I am going with this, right?  Basically, everything that happened yesterday was one big fat ball of angry.  Nothing was good.  Everything sucked.  Wah, wah, wah.  Poor me.  This super-negative mentality has been feeding into every single part of my life lately.  As I was laying there trying to fall asleep last night, I was dwelling on the bad, the sad, and the ugly.  I didn't even think about any of the good that came out of yesterday:  Even though the train was standing room only, I ended up with a seat when someone got off at the next stop.  I finished a large task at work, presented it to my boss, and thoroughly impressed her.  I found out that a place right near my work has excellent coffee.  The baby fell asleep, peacefully, right at 6:45 PM.  The Realtor's first impressions of our house were extremely positive and she actually said that we had made a great investment.    

I am not sure if the key to creating a more positive outlook on life is to figure out what the cause of the anger is so that I can resolve it or if its is to forget about figuring out why (and therefore making excuses) and just focus on how you can improve your attitude.  I have thought about going back to a therapist because it was nice to have a sounding board for my problems.  The therapist was someone that had to listen to me bitch about my husband, my family, my job, my friends, my life, etc.  A captive audience.  The thing is, I know that I have a bad attitude and I don't necessarily want to indulge myself in hour long sessions of spilling my guts to a stranger about what I am annoyed with and/or angry about on any given day.  I am getting incredibly annoyed with myself (if that is even possible).

I want to start making a concerted effort to become more positive.  I want to be a positive force for my son.  I want to be a more positive presence for my husband.  I want to be more positive influence on my friends and family.  Even more important though, I want to be positive for myself.  I have one life.  This is it.  You know what?  It is a good one.  I am so lucky to have so much and to be so blessed.  So many people in this world would give anything to have my "problems" and sources of anger.  I have turned into a bitching, moaning, self-entitled, brat (for lack of a better word) and it has got to stop.  STOP.  RIGHT.  HERE.  RIGHT.  NOW.

We all have bad days and sometimes things don't go the way that we planned them out in our heads.  Such is life.  It is what we make of it.  We can choose to wake up each day with a scowl or a smile on our face.  We can focus on the negative or the positive.  It is up to us.

That whistling building maintenance man doesn't know it, but he very may well have have changed my life...for the better.

Today is sunny.  It isn't as cold and it isn't as windy.  My train was slightly delayed, but in the scheme of things, who cares?  I still got to work, safely.  Today is going to be a good day.

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