Friday, March 2, 2012

“Many an optimist has become rich by buying out a pessimist.”

March is National Optimism Month! And while I've long considered myself a realist (never getting too overexcited), I have what I consider to be the gift of finding the silver lining in things, and the ability to not let petty shit bother me when there are so many other things in this life for which to be grateful. Below are a few tried and true steps to help you on your way this month. These are things that I find help differentiate me from my co-workers and a number of acquaintances:

Act like an optimist. 'Fake it to make it'. Not in the sense of being "fake" per se, but try and trick yourself into being optimistic when you really feel like you are unable to. Use the word choices and body posture of optimistic people. Use "upbeat" words instead of "upset" words - Challenged vs. Overwhelmed. It's a lot like smiling when your unhappy. As soon as you force a smile, it's nearly impossible not to be overcome with good feelings, or to reflect back on a time when you laughed so hard it hurt. (Go ahead, I'll wait).

Move quickly from problem-identification to problem-solving. We all get angry and upset, but the challenge is to move past these emotions and start looking for strategies and solutions that will help you to deal with that challenge. WAY too many dwell on shit that absolutely DOES. NOT. MATTER. Will that Facebook comment have any affect on you 10 years from now? How about 10 days from now? Didn't think so. By identifying if the situation you are dealing with can even be remotely considered a problem, you can easily lean to stop 'sweating the small stuff' and get back to living YOUR life.

Avoid emotional leeches. BOOM. Easily one of the biggest pitfalls I see in my everyday life. Co-workers, friends, and strangers are constantly oozing negativity. Pessimists suck the life energy from those around them. These are the people who swarm to one another in the effort to commiserate how 'tough' everything is. They've never once come together to explore the opportunities available that will serve to help them move past the 'problem' they seem to be facing (see above). Minimize your contact with those who look on the down-side of everything; trust me, this is harder than you might think. Perhaps you are doing it yourself...?

Reflect back on the first bullet point and start each day fresh. Dragging yourself down because of things you have no control over, or things that can't be changed, will get you absolutely nowhere - fast. Optimism is not a disposition people are born with. It's a learned skill, and one that takes consistent practice. Give it a shot. You just might come out a little happier in the end.

Friday, January 13, 2012


My 2012 resolution is simple. To get a god damn Clipper card and start taking the bus instead of paying out the ass for a taxi to take me 10 blocks. I mean, I've been in this City way too long to have only taken the bus a handful of times (maybe 6?) pre-2012. Ridiculous.

Anyhow, I also stumbled upon this little post from The Frenemy talking about resolutions for 2012. It's pretty well stated, and the blog/site is always entertaining. Here's the takeaway (it's written for women, but you should be grown enough to figure out how to change it, right?):

2012 will be my year of the “no big deal.” You’ve got one life, remember? If I was a plant in my last life I don’t remember it, so right now it’s me and this and it’s what we’ve got. It’s not worth spent in moments of self-doubt, so one has got to get pretty zen about this shit. You think something’s so awful? It’s probably not. Will you die alone if this guy doesn’t like you? Definitely not. Grow up. Rationalize. Remember what you have and cherish and love-your family or your friends or your favorite fucking pen. And also:

1. Give It Up

There are people I should be distancing myself from, there are insecurities about myself I know are just cattle prods to make myself feel like shit. There are toxic things in my life that aren’t worth the time of day, arguments I shouldn’t start or have, the last drinks at the bar I should cut off, attitudes that are indulgent because they are self-pitying. The judgements I am quick to make, the bad moods I am too eager to partake in, the bullshit sarcasm in serious situations, the moments I dwell on somebody—there are too many things I hold onto that drag me down. Lighten the brain load. Free yourself from the worst parts of yourself. You can give it up. You can let go of the things that dragged you down for so long. You deserve to be rid of them and it’s about time they stopped you from moving on to new, better things.

2. Go For It

Here’s a fuckin’ fun fact about me-I’d like to meet a cool person that I want to hug and kiss and shit. I’m not good at expressing this at all. There are times in my life where I should have made a move but I didn’t, or said something and didn’t. That sucks, because it only makes me want to punch myself in the dumb baby face for being so silly and childish. So now, I’m just going to try to go for it. Make some moves. Woman up. Get rejected or not. Feel things other than ‘being on the Internet,’ real things. If it’s not a romance kissy thing, it’ll be telling my friend when they’re making me feel like shit. It’ll be moments I get up early and work harder and write more and do more and feel more and just get some fire under my feet. Plenty of fire under these tiny feet, much of which I have yet to ignite.

Reminder: you are the only person responsible for your happiness. There are plenty of people who will let you down. Don’t be one of them.

So hey! Here’s to a year of mistakes and kisses and drinks and laughter, you guys. A year of dancing till your feet hurt and good crys and new friends and old friends and a whole mess of good and bad things. Let’s start this shit now. Good luck.

Now get out there and live. I'm most likely going to disappear from this blog for another 4 months. So, yeah.