The Attitude Shift

8:49 AM Edit This 10 Comments »
In between hitting the snooze button in the mornings, I have a ritual. (I know, I know. My whole life is a ritual. I don't quite know how that happened.) I slowly go through the coming day in my head; obligations, things I might do at work, whether I'm going to a meeting later, if I have people I need to connect with, etc. Then I contemplate where the cat puke bomb is from the middle of the night retching and I say my prayers to The Universe. I really do decide what kind of day I'm going to have before I even get up. Because when I'm mostly all there in the head, it really IS a decision.
"They" used to tell me this. That I could DECIDE whether or not I was going to have a good day. Throughout nine years of therapy, "they" have proclaimed this. I finally get it. But I don't think that "they" get that when your emotions attack you from the minute you wake until the minute you take enough medication or drink enough vodka to pass out, that it's not possible to even regroup enough to make a decision, but now that my emotions are more even keeled, I do make this decision every morning.
That's not to say that things don't derail me or that when plans blow up in my face, I'm not a little perturbed, but for the most part, I decide how I'm going to face the day. It didn't used to be like that. I used to wake up with cold dread in my heart every single morning and I couldn't shake it. No matter how hard I tried. Some mornings, I'd just wake up crying. How do you do that? I used to think that sleep was what your body did to get you away from the pain, but turns out you can cry in your sleep too, and not even know it. But now that those days are past for the most part, I wake up and make a decision to have a good day. And then I leave it up to The Universe to make it happen.
I think it has to do with an attitude that I've developed over these last four years. That whatever happens is going to happen and since I've managed to survive so far, I have to believe that whatever gets thrown my way, The Universe will see fit to walk me through it with as much grace as It can muster for me. It's not always easy to hold on to that attitude, but it's one that fits me more and more each day. And for that, I am extremely grateful.


Kristin said...

You have no idea how much I needed to read a post like this this morning!

Anonymous said...

Attitude is everything. I used to cringe when people told me that.

Now I watch people cringe when I tell them that, then I smack them upside the head and tell them that they'll realize it one day, just like I did.

clearness said...

While I partially agree that attitude is everything........There is a big feeling of hopelessness when someone tells you something is wrong with your child....that no amount of attitude can fight.

KT said...

Whether I have a good day or not usually depends on if I got enough sleep the night before...maybe I should use your trick though! :-)

I have had mornings where I wake up crying. It's quite an odd sensation, but it does happen.

Helen said...

I don't believe attitude is EVERYTHING but I do believe it's a whole lot. I just think that sometimes you can make up your mind that it's going to be a great day and then honest and true feelings can overwhelm you and change the tone of the day. I'm only saying this because it's sort of what I've experienced as I've worked through grief over some recent deaths. I wanted to have a great day and I guess in the end they were great days but with some honest feelings mixed in. Still I think this is a great practice you've got going and something we could all learn to be better at.

Anonymous said...

I have a ritual when I hit snooze too. It involves sleep and pulling the covers up around my face. It's pretty life affirming.

I decided this morning that my bed is way too comfortable. Waaaaaay.

Also, electric blanket.

What are we talking about?

artemisia said...

Oh, this is wonderful. I still haven't managed to find a good way to start the day. I will try this. It sounds fantastic.

I am so glad you have found a way to greet your day. I understand a bit too well how sleep = hiding.

It sounds a bit like what I try to do during meditation. To learn to build "space" between a situation and my reaction to it, so that in that "space" I have room to decide how to handle it. It is certainly an ongoing project, that is for sure.

Ink Spiller said...

This post is so close to home for me that I feel like I could have written most of it myself.

Tay Talk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

Isn't it incredible? Once we truly believe that it is in our minds, that it is a choice, everything just shifts and we "see" it. It's brilliant if you ask me, just awesome.