Sometimes I can be a downer without even knowing it.
Twenty miles in the rain yesterday morning left me tired and pessimistic.
I didn’t feel great during the run, and I had much higher hopes for what it was going to be like. Even some new BOA shorts (comfortable running shorts with fun designs) and a positive attitude weren’t enough. I finished, grateful but bothered by my underwhelming effort. Then I went to get a bagel.
While waiting for my breakfast, number 363 (I was 364) turned to me and said,
Rough one out there huh?
I responded, with a depressed,
Gonna be like this all week.
His number was called, which brought an end to our interaction, but I could tell I made an impact. After he left, I realized he wasn’t being negative when he addressed me, he probably just saw how I was cold, soaked, with legs caked in mud and was making conversation. However, I responded with undeniable, unnecessary negativity.
In the book, Think Small by Owain Service and Rory Gallagher, they discuss strategies for reaching goals. One of their main points of emphasis is, Break your goal down into manageable steps. Not a revolutionary concept at first glance, but it goes on to highlight how the process of ‘chunking’ can make seemingly unattainable goals, rational and reachable.
What does this have to do with my bagel store dialogue? Everything*.
Probably all #363 was doing by commenting on the weather was making small talk and passing time. Unfortunately, I took it as an opportunity to sprinkle a little negativity on what was really not a big deal.
So what, it’s raining one day. But now I come around and add that it’s gonna be like this all week, and all the sudden the issue becomes something more.
This might not seem important but who knows? Maybe he was in a pretty decent mood, got in his car with his bagels and coffee and started thinking about how crappy the weather was going to be all week. What a downer. I should have said something like, yeah but this chocolate milk certainly helps.
We all have these opportunities, small instances where we let our current emotional state seep into our interactions and we are tempted to make problems or situations more than they are – or we don’t, and we find a way to put things in perspective.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post – at times, the task of staying sober for the rest of my life seems daunting. However, focusing on the next 24 hours is much more manageable. It’s also something that can be celebrated daily (like paying attention to the chocolate milk).
It’s a big goal, but when broken down, it seems attainable.
So what’s the lesson?
For me – one conversation, one interaction, one day at a time.
Spread the positivity or try to say nothing at all.
Yeah, it’s raining today, gonna be like this all week, but there’s no need to dwell on that or even remind me or others of that reality.
Worry about tomorrow’s rain tomorrow.
Today’s rain is enough.