Tag Archives: attitude

Generosity Wrap Up

I’m wrapping up my generosity project, but I wish I wasn’t. Going from living around my friends and family and working at PBS Kids on a show I felt really made a difference in the community, to living in Florida, has left me feeling a little lost. Trying to really contribute to the world in a positive way has made me stop moving through it like limbo, biding my time.

An amazing part of really paying attention to how I treat people, is that I pay more attention to the people that do this really well: the person at the deli who always remembers peoples’ names, orders, kids, etc.; the woman in the office who sends the elevator back to the first floor in the morning, so others don’t need to wait for it; my dad who made a big batch of gluten-free waffles so I could have the stereotypical waffles and ice cream breakfast; the people who come over and help clean up before they leave; my mom getting me pretty cut-out mason jar toppers (i use mason jars as votive holders obsessively); etc.

On the other hand, I notice people that aren’t very kind. I’m not saying I did a great job of being generous. It’s especially hard to not be sarcastic at work, reclusive in the mornings and at night and un-selfish when I’m with my close friends and family. I have this awful Napoleon complex I developed in middle school when I was a lot shorter than everyone. It’s like this character that talks over people, but I can’t stop it until it’s too late. Even if people laugh at my jokes, I still feel bad. If you’re really concentrating on it, it feels like negative and self-involved people suck the air from around you, even when it’s you.

Next on the agenda is money management. Probably not going to be the most interesting project, but I need to watch what I spend in order to accomplish other things I want to do (like go to Norway next summer). There’s too many things I allow myself to spend too much money on, like: flying somewhere about once a month, getting massages and my nails done, oh, and a dozen other little obsessions, like my devotion to creating the perfect bed. Whereas most people my age are content with a set from Target, I have 4 sets of sheets (including nice egyptian cotton ones for queen and king size beds), a cloud like duvet cover with special hypo-allergenic filling, 2 duvet covers, and my new addition, a $200 quilt.

I’m sick. I need help.

Carried over from other projects:

  • Gluten-free diet.
  • More fresh veggies and fruits.
  • More hobbies and activities, less TV.
  • Avoid things that insult my soul
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Be more charitable and generous
  • Make my friends/family know they’re important to me
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The Pirates Have My Car

Last night Logan, Joe and I went to a concert in Stuart. Let me tell you, it’s easy to be positive when you’re surrounded by a bunch of friends and people drunkenly dancing to covers of Purple Rain and Forget You. Unless of course you don’t like Prince and Cee Lo.

The next day (as always) is a little more tricky. Logan went to bring me back to my car, since we so responsibly took a taxi home (the taxi driver liked us so much he did it for free). Somehow in the course of half a day though, the entire downtown Stuart had been completely closed off for something called “Pirate-fest”. Really Florida? Pirate-fest?

Logan had to go to work so I had to drive him and take his car to investigate. As I drop him off he mentions not having very much gas (roughly none). Fine. I get to the gas station across the street and I don’t know his zip code to use his card. Normally by now my reaction would be a crazy amount of frustration tears that would cause a scene in the lot of Sunoco. Instead of doing that I took a deep breath and walked in, only to find that the guy was more than willing to accept my line about the credit card belonging to my boyfriend, and also that this particular gas station appears to be a gluten-free mecca. An entire aisle had every gluten-free product I’ve seen in all the surrounding grocery stores, combined. Not only that, but there’s a Mediterranean restaurant in the back with plenty of gf options. Right on.

OK, but I still didn’t know the fate of my car. I headed over to the festival and literally shout “NO WAY!” when I spot my car–frightening a small group of children with face-paint next to me. Now, how do I get my car past the ginormous inflatable bounce house? I go up to the thin Italian boy handing out the tickets and told him the story. He laughed and said they had tried to find me, but I wasn’t an any of the surrounding restaurants (I’m starting to love small towns). I’m directed to the owner, decked out in a full pirate captain’s outfit. He actually apologizes for blocking me in and doesn’t seem to understand why I keep using the words “ecstatic” and “shocked”. He let’s me know I can come get my car tomorrow at 9pm, and we shake on it. Then I surprised myself by hugging him. I hugged the big bouncy house pirate man.

The day ended up being really hilarious to me instead one of hung-over frustration. What’s more, I feel proud of myself for handling life’s difficulties with a sense of humor, leading to a chain reaction of good feelings.


Featured: Linh Tran

The story goes that a 3rd grader named Linh sat with a 2nd grader (me) and a 1st grader (my friend) on the bus. Years later we recount the story of how cool we thought we were having someone older grace us with their presence, but in Linh’s version she just didn’t have any friends to sit with. That’s Linh though, she never dwells in any negativity, she makes herself busy with something else and moves on. Not only that, but she rarely let’s me wallow in my self-negativity either. After a particularly hard break-up, she (super-woman-like) busted in to my parents home and peeled me off my place in front of the TV. Then she set up an obstacle course complete with egg balancing and twirling around a baseball bat. By the end of the day we couldn’t stop laughing. Linh’s friendship has always been the main conqueror of  my self-pity, so I thought for sure I’d need to interview her.

EF (Me): How do you keep an optimistic attitude?

LT (Linh Tran): I always ask myself, how important is this right now and try to see things in a larger perspective rather than just my own.

EF: What activity makes you most happy?

LT: Being involved, staying busy.

EF: When you’re feeling down, how do you cheer yourself up?

LT: Me time. Regrouping and re-focusing on what is important like family, work, friends, my faith.

EF: Is there something that you thought would make you happy but it didn’t?

LT: Being away from the people I love.

EF: I agree with you there. How about something you thought would make you upset but actually put you in a better mood?

LT: Stress.

EF: How do you cheer your friends up when they’re upset?

LT: Sarcasm works wonders.

EF: What was the happiest moment of your life?

LT: Every time someone tells me they love me and I know they meant it.

EF: What are your observations on what makes other people happy or unhappy?

LT: People choose to make themselves happy or unhappy, it takes a conscious effort to tell yourself you are happy or not.

EF: What’s something you do regularly that get’s in the way of your happiness?

LT: Not saying how I feel when it matters the most.

EF: If you were going to the electric chair, what would be your final meal?

LT:Spaghetti with meat sauce.

EF: What would you have even done to receive such a punishment? I feel like I’m getting too dark for an interview on positivity.

LT: Covering for someone who committed a crime and I believed they had a purpose here and was truly a good person.

EF:What would you tell the 12-year-old you?

LT:You will be challenged, things will be tough, but you will be successful and you will be happy in your own shoes.

EF: Who do you admire most in the area of music?

LT: Beyonce.

EF: In the area of sports?

LT: Joe Mauer.

EF: What’s your dream job?

LT: To be it all; a career woman, a wife, a mom, but to be good at all three.

EF: That sounds exactly like an interview I just read with Beyonce… If you could give someone advice, what would it be?

LT: You can do whatever you set your heart to, and I believe in you.


Hard To Be Light

It is easy to be heavy; hard to be light. (G. K. Chesterton)

Things I’ve had trouble keeping a “light” attitude towards this past week:

  • I order a movie from On Demand but Xfinity is telling me it can’t access it. After getting the run around for an hour (and hung up on once), I was told to simply unplug the box and plug it back in. It took all my composure to remind myself that she is not to blame for the whole process. Then I said “I’m glad there’s such an easy solution! Thanks!”
  • When I needed a developers help on a project at work, but people are trying to leave for the holiday, so they say “not my problem”.
  • I thought Logan and I had plans to hang out (since we’ve rarely been home at the same time), but instead of coming home from rugby, he went out with his teammates until early morning. I was able to force myself to text him something about being glad he’s making friends and to have fun.
  • When I didn’t feel well on Friday but no one was there to bring me water and medicine.
  • I was in the airport bathroom and a cleaning woman moved her supply cart so I could get the paper towels. I was about to say “thanks” and ask her how her day was going, but as I started to say it, she was midway through hocking a loogie into a garbage near my arm. I wasn’t able to maintain a smile for that one.
  • When I had to end my vacation for a 6:30 flight and didn’t even know if anyone was able to pick me up on the other end because Logan’s phone was off. He picked me up, and I was able to see how blessed I was to have been able to visit my family and friends for as long as I did.

I noticed the thing I get the most angry about on a regular basis is when I get home from work and the house is a mess. Instead of getting mad this week, I’ve instead just been doing the chores around the house. The result has been that I’ve gotten way more help on a regular basis than when I get mad. I also am more likely to receive (I must admit) much craved praise for my hard work, and dinner made for me, etc. I also noticed that if I let people do things their own way, on their own schedule, the world doesn’t end.

Shocking. Completely shocking.