Today has been one of "those" days.
I over slept my alarm.
I dropped and shattered my phone an hour before I was planning on getting a new screen protector.
I literally watched from across the street as my car received a parking ticket (and was incredibly tempted to ask the officer to "refund" my ticket as he was ticketing the next car, but… I chickened out last minute).
To top it off, following each of these events I kept tripping on the laces of shoes again, again, and again.
After each of these instances I pitied myself, thinking "Man, what ELSE could possibly go wrong? This day probably couldn't get any worse. The sun has yet to come out, these darn shoes keep coming untied, my eyes look puffy and tired, heck, I am so tired, shoot I still have 6 assignments to do, GAH this stupid phone screen is cracked now and I can't even read what I'm even typing because all of these stupid cracks are blocking the words, oh wait I forgot to email my professor that I'll be gone from class next week, GAH now a darn piece of glass from this stupid cracked screen just sliced my finger, gosh Reyna why did you have to be so clumsy in the first place? and and and ANDDD...
Whoa Reyna, stop. Just stop.
Girl, take a step back.
“fyoof… mmm. Kay then.”
Do you ever catch yourself beginning to spiral into a negative mindset such as this? You begin to have one negative thought, and it quickly spirals into a downpour of ongoing negative thoughts. You become so caught up in these somewhat “annoying” moments that you allow yourself to become consumed with negativity, choosing to focus on the bad rather than the good. Consequently, a negative mindset begins to permeate your day. You slowly begin to realize that the longer you allow yourself to dwell in such a mindset, the harder it becomes to get out of it. Sure, you can fake that you're "great" (and perhaps this will cure your attitude!) but eventually you come to the realization that if you don't make the choice to switch your mindset, you'll soon slip back into that same funked up mindset. And the longer you linger in it, the harder it becomes to get back out of it. You become rutted in a funk. And ultimately, the truly sad fact is that this negativity is not only contagious within yourself, but it also spread to those whom you are around.
Sadly, I found myself gradually slipping into such a funk earlier today. I allowed a few annoying events to permeate the rest of my day. I felt tired, weak, and bogged down by everything I had yet to do. I began to view the coming hours as simply "surviving" instead of "thriving".
However, around 4:00 pm (approximately 12 minutes after receiving that lovely parking ticket) I found myself sitting in the driver seat of my newly re parked car, and for the first time in my day –instead of running to the next thing- I took a few moments to simply breathe. In those few moments of quiet, I began to reflect on my day and started to laugh at how ridiculous it all was. Taking these few moments I allowed myself the time to readjust my perspective, and to come to the realization that this burdened mindset wasn't going to help anything, that it was only going to slow and drag me into a further darker place. Consequently, I realized I had a choice:
I could choose to focus on those seemingly bad moments from earlier and label today as one heck of a grim day.
I could choose to laugh at myself in these moments, forgive myself, and remind myself that God only made me human, and that He didn’t create humans with the intention of them of being perfect for good reason. Instead, I could choose to focus on the great parts that came from today.
And boy, once I decided to readjust my perspective to see my day from that latter view, I realized that my day had been yet another beautiful gift from God.
So now, for the other perspective ~
Right now as I write this I am sitting in Anderson Commons eating a delicious ham and cheese sandwich with carrots (Note* carrots on the side of my plate, not on the sandwich. That would be gross).
Today has been a GREAT day for many reasons:
1. I made a new friend and mentor during a two hour coffee date.
2. I had a great conversation about Haiti with my bible study leader.
3. I caught up with a friend who I had not seen in many months.
4. My belly enjoyed many delicious foods throughout the day.
5. I received many smiles and continually felt loved on throughout my day.
6. I listened to the "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones" soundtrack in the car while driving (PEOPLE, if
you did not already know this, John Williams is a musical GENIUS).
7. I had multiple opportunities to seek God and to practice patience.
8. And many, many, more reasons.
I feel so incredibly blessed and thankful for THIS day - both the good AND the bad.
Life is not perfect friends; we all know this fact. But today I was reminded of the seemingly cliché life lesson about lemons, but with a little spin on it:
When life throws you lemons, remember that you also have access to sugar. With this sugar you have the choice of whether you want to add it to your bitter lemons in order to make lemonade. And if you so decide to make this lemonade and drink it, you can choose to focus on the sweetness of the sugar or the bitterness of the lemons. AND (here’s the punch line)…
If you choose the latter, you allow yourself to ignore the bitterness in order to enjoy the joy, beauty, and sweetness of your lemons that was there all along, with or without the sugar.
Point being: Choose to focus on the beautiful parts of your “everyday”. There will undoubtedly be hiccups, trials, and blunders scattered throughout it; but keep on rolling. Seek God and choose to focus on the beautiful moments. Granted, in the moment it can be an extremely difficult thing to do, but…
I promise you will not regret it.
currently lives in Fargo, North Dakota where she works remotely as a Policy and Communication Manager for the First Lady of North Dakota. Photography and writing are a passion that help her better appreciate the details of the world.