I was struck the other day by a crazy thought. How much of our day is spent on negative energy? You know when you are driving down the road and someone cuts you off. You see an annoying big mouth on TV. Your spouse blisters you with an insensitive remark. Your stocks are dropping like rocks. Sometimes this ain’t fun.
More importantly it sucks the life out of your system. Depending how hard it rankles you, it might last for hours, even days. There is something visceral about negative vibes that far surpass feelings of euphoria. Is that innate or a learned talent? Dunno.
I looked over the newspaper this morning. Page after page of killings,hit and runs, wars all over, car bombings, tunnel collapses. It’s enough to get one depressed.
I was in Florida a few weeks ago. A good friend from the northeast laughed as I went around saying hello to people in the Publix supermarket. What were you thinking TTG? Some dude actually referenced that wonderful moniker for the Sunshine State, “God’s Waiting Room.” Oi Vey. An old lady glared me down in a parking lot for looking like I was going to invade her privileged position in a crosswalk. How do you say “Up yours” to an old lady? Sorry, I will have to try harder.
Think about how your day starts off? Does your spouse spit out a couple of nails and light up a Camel or is there a little more love in his or her heart? On your way to work is there traffic, red lights and some idiot who doesn’t know how to work the parking gate and the line behind is a block long? Then walk through the door to the office and Mr. or Mrs. Sunshine Boss is on a tear and your personna has a bullseye planted square in the middle. Nice.
I do remember years ago when we would come home to New Jersey from a couple of relaxing weeks in the Colorado Mountains. The first person to open my entry hatch Monday morning was the toll collector at the Holland Tunnel at 6:00 AM. Aaaargh! Next was the guy in the bagel shop who never looked up even though the emporium was empty and yelled “Next” What do you mean you don’t want a schmear or go easy on the butter? What are you a f…ing moron? Welcome back, Kotter.
Now some of these are just glancing blows and part of a thing called human nature. I have often wondered at the residual effects. There are some folks that can’t break a smile under any circumstances. There are some that just drive you crazy. Here’s a few you might recognize.
The Whiner. Nothing is ever right. Life sucks. He or she married the wrong person. If only is their mantra. Partly cloudy or sunny?Half empty or full? You know which.
The Wunderkind. Whatever your plan, theirs is better. Let me show you how to do it right. They have been everywhere,know everything. You are just okay. They are the best…and their kids too.
The Grump. Never says anything just always looks cranky. You constantly ask,WHAT? He is both non responsive and non committal.You don’t like kids. You don’t like dogs. Can’t be all bad.
The Gloater. Has never lost. His team is above the rest of the universe. We beat you but also let me take you through every play and nuance. Did you see how I hit that shot? 325 yards and I was only hitting a five wood. Usually hovers around the scorer’s table to ask everyone how they played…oh, you want to know my score?
The Patient. Can be man or woman. Don’t say how are you doing? They will tell you every last gross detail. You want to see my X-rays ? My scar? My abcess? They have been to the Mayo, Cleveland Clinic and Stanford….all in the last two weeks. This all gets exhausting for anyone in earshot.
The Head Patient. This one is really bad, especially after they have had a few drinks.You just have no idea what they have have been through. The life they have had. Look I feel for these people but not at a Broncos game or Christmas party.
So you see the road is fraught with danger. You can start your day off on a great note and then get derailed by any number of cannon balls. That is truly sad. But what if you are the villain? Perish the thought that you are not exactly a wonderful person to be around.
You run hot. You run cold. You go high. You hit low. Truth be told I speak from experience. At times I have been one of those dudes. Sometimes I think it is the curse of artistic or creative people. We get so wound up we expect everyone else to share the love.
But I also continually to fight the fight. I try to be the most optimistic person I can. Maybe it’s because it is just a hell of a lot more fun to be positive. My wife and kids have had to deal with both sides. Hopefully I have learned many lessons over the years. Maybe the best one is to just say thank you for sticking with me.
Most importantly I have learned your mood and demeanor is a learned talent. You and I can react to anything and I mean anything in one of two ways. You can be angry and wallow in self pity. You can be a genuine pain in the butt. Or you can choose to make any interaction you have with a loved one or stranger a positive experience.
It’s not always easy. But corny as it sounds if you take a deep breath and just pause you can realize just how very good life is. You will get it. Whatever is going on, you can survive. Most of the time you won’t remember what was so bad an hour or a week from now.
If you were struck by Sandy or have a loved one in harm’s way overseas you can cop an attitude. If you are homeless or dying you have my thoughts. But for most of us life is very good. Better yet let’s just call it POSITIVELY wonderful. I can drink to that. Hope you can too.
Ted The Great
The human brain actually generates 25,000 to 75,000 thoughts per day. No wonder you are tired.
Cognitive therapy, which is very successful in treating depression, actually teaches you how to react differently to life’s situations. The event doesn’t change but you are taught to handle in much more positive ways. You’ve got the power.
The human brain weighs about three pounds. Einstein’s was actually about 2 1/2 pounds. I guess size doesn’t matter.
On that line of thought, the myth about men thinking about sex once every ten seconds is totally false. It’s once every twenty seconds! Just kidding. Lighten up. Get positive.