Lately I’ve been working on this theory I have – if you choose your attitude, no matter what, your day will be a good one.
People often think of me as this bubbly, perky person. I have no idea where this idea came from. I’m kinda of an a-hole. I try not to be, but I have some a-hole tendencies. When I’m frustrated or if the “triumvirate” occurs: hungry, hot tired – then the a-hole tendencies show up in spades.
That said, I’m determined to work on my interactions with others, and my overall outlook by choosing my attitude each day. I make a conscious decision to be pleasant and friendly to others, to smile, and to be a positive force wherever I go. Mostly to work on being myself, and occasionally just to eff with people. I am an a-hole after all. 🙂
Some day positive thinking works, and some days I get home with a desperate need to bang my head against the wall. I’m doing my best to get up everyday and just keep trying again. My hope is eventually the positive days will outweigh the crappy ones, and I’ll lose less brain cells and make fewer holes in the walls of our new condo.
Yesterday and today are perfect examples of the dichotomy of my positivity efforts: I was fully prepared last night to write a blog about how my experiment in positive thinking was totally working. Yesterday I had a great day at work, was incredibly productive, smiled, felt good, headed over to the Whole Foods where they were playing “Barracuda” in the grocery store which put a little wriggle in my step, joked with another lady that was shopping about how, since it was her birthday, she should just get TWO cupcakes instead of agonizing over which ONE cupcake to get. I walked out of the store feeling just as energized as I had all day.
I got home and had a great dinner with the BFE, we talked about our workdays over dinner, worked out together later, and just generally had a great evening. The positivity from my Awesome Day carried over into my morning today, and I tidied up our condo before I left for work, made myself breakfast, and bounced out of the door to work – ON TIME (sort of). Today had a great start!
Then – it happened.
This WOMAN in a RED SUV zipped out from behind a slow-moving school bus and cut me off on my way to work. This wouldn’t normally be a big deal, but I almost rear-ended her because of how close she cut it. If I had, it would have been the 2nd dent left in her bumper – clearly she’d tried this crap before. I honked at her, to express my displeasure, and she FLIPPED ME OFF! WTH? So I waved my finger in the air in a “no you di-in’t!” kind of way, and tried to let it go. I could see in her side rearview that she was yelling things at me, and then she slammed on her breaks. Seriously. I didn’t think people still did that kind of stuff.
I tried to get around her, but she haphazardly slid her car halfway into the other lane to block me then slid back over. I could see her in her side mirror, making faces like a maniac! It was unreal. Why exert so much energy and nastiness at a stranger? A stranger YOU cut off in the first place? This woman was a bully. A grown-up, ignorant, sorry-ass bully. In a red SUV.
Remember that scene in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes where Kathy Bates’ character goes nuts and rams the back of the little compact car of those two skanks that steal her parking space? She rams the car over and over while yelling Towanda!!! In my mind, I had an “Ally McBeal” moment just like that, where instead of slamming on my brakes to avoid red SUV lady’s already abused bumper, I slammed on the gas and went full steam ahead, crunching her trunk into her backseat. When she got out to yell some more and assess the damage, I simply shouted “Towanda!!!!!” while simultaneously punching her in the throat and kidneys. Onlooking drivers cheered for me from their cars, like I was a gladiator in the ring, grateful that I’d taken the middle school bully down a notch and taught her what happens to aggressive social psychopaths that ruin the morning drive for everyone.
In reality I slowed down and let her speed on. The truth of it was, I wanted nothing to do with her nonsense, I just wanted to get over it. The encounter left me shaky, my heart was racing and my palms a little sweaty. I do NOT like confrontations! And these days you never know what that person is going to do, or just how crazy they are. I remember a story back in Atlanta, where a road-raged-fuled driver would get so angry in traffic that he started baking potatoes every night so that he could throw them at the cars of drivers he thought weren’t driving properly. That’s nothing compared to drivers that prefer bullets over potatoes.
The whole point is, red SUV lady’s behavior kinda pooped all over my day. I mean, a massive Debbie Downer kinda feeling, all before 9 am. I struggled to find the bright side to any of what happened, and just couldn’t. I even thought to myself that harboring ill will wouldn’t do any good, but I hoped in my heart of hearts that I’d see her again and cut HER off to see how SHE liked it. Christ commanded us to love our neighbors. I struggle with that part sometimes, especially with the only “love” I have for someone is my “love tap” I wanna give their car, or how I’d “love” to slap them across the face. I said I was an a-hole. Look, I’m trying ok?
The poopy feeling carried over into the rest of my day, and the funk of crappiness just settled over everything for a while. It took several hours before I remembered to CHOOSE MY ATTITUDE and get back with the program. An evening with friends and the love of my life helped with that. By bed time, things were right as rain.
Seriously, this attitude stuff is a process. It’s hard at times, but I’ve found the more I try the better my days go. The urge to smile comes quicker, the laughter and the jests with the people around me. I’m less inspired to punch people in the throat and spleen and visions of Kathy Bates and her battle cry “Towanda!” are fewer and further in between.
Am I still an a-hole? Pretty much. But at least I’m choosing to work on it!