weekly perk. #24

weekly perk.

You may have noticed [or it may have gone completely unnoticed] that I didn’t post a weekly perk again last week. [It’s Sunday, so in my mind, I’m in a new week.] I didn’t skip it intentionally… or because everything sucks. I’m okay. Don’t get me wrong… I still think everything sucks. But I mean that in a more overall, general sense. Not in an I’m-having-a-meltdown sense. Because I’m not. Not right now anyway. I’m alright.

But it’s time to review…

I posted my first weekly perk on January 26th. I’ve now begun the sixth month and I have some thoughts about what it has and hasn’t accomplished.

quote-openI need to try to develop a little optimism. A little. Maybe it’ll stick. Maybe it won’t. [Honestly, I feel pretty negative about this whole endeavor. Yes, I see the irony.] But what the hell… just because the bad things outnumber the good things at least tenfold, that’s no reason not to try. Right?

God, this seems like a lot of work.

I have committed myself [should have committed myself a long time ago] to post something good, something positive, something happy – once a week. Not some link or quote or cliché. No. Something from me, my brain, my life. Once a week. Whatever day I feel like posting it.

My intention was to train my brain to naturally think more positively… to focus on the good, not the bad… because I struggle with that. It’s not as pathetic as it sounds. I am not constantly miserable. But my moods, my thought processes… they just do not work in that positive way. And despite my best efforts, I haven’t noticed any change.

Yes, the perk has forced me, most weeks, to think of something good.

But… that’s just it – it’s forced. And it feels totally fake. And it’s become a chore. I was right 24 weeks ago… it’s a lot of work. Fruitless work.

Even if forced was okay (and I think it was… in the beginning), I only truly think about the ‘good thing‘ for as long as it takes me to write about it. Then I’m done.

It’s all that think positive bullshit.calvin-brain-kill

Maybe referring to it as ‘think positive bullshit’ is part of the problem. But that’s exactly what it is. You see, if it feels completely forced and fake, it’s not positive at all. It’s just me… putting on a show (faking it… which I hate)… to prove to someone (don’t know who) that I’m not a miserable waste. And I’m not. [Well, not always.]

But this forced positive isn’t real. After many weeks, I don’t think more positively or see the good more than the bad any more than I did before.

[Aside: Isn’t it normal to focus on the bad more because you want to make it good? The good doesn’t need ‘fixing’… Maybe it’s just me. And my mom. And a bunch of other people I know…]

Most of the time for the perk, I post something good that just happens to be. My kids… my birthday… a random free cup of coffee. None of which have anything to do with how my brain works. None of which change how my brain works. I’m merely recounting something that didn’t suck. Hell, the birthday one? Huge parts of my birthday totally sucked! Most of it actually. So not only was I not thinking positively… I was lying. Because I didn’t know what to post. Because I didn’t want anyone to think I was whining or ungrateful. How is that helping me be more positive? It’s not. It’s the opposite, actually.

The one tangible result of this exercise is that I now have confirmation that my stance is right – justified – on this charming piece of advice I’ve heard about a million times:

Think positively and eventually, that’s how you’ll really feel. Look on the bright side and it will become second nature. Act happy and eventually, you will be.

That is the biggest load of crap. I’ve tried to do that for years… this weekly perk thing being one of the most recent attempts… and it does not work. Not even a little. That ‘advice’ (and I use the term VERY loosely) is just another dumbass cliché people like to throw around so they feel good… for having such a brilliant suggestion. But it’s not brilliant. And it’s not helpful.

[Disclaimer: Maybe this whole fake-it-until-it-feels-real thing works for you… for someone. I don’t see how but hey, whatever works… more power to you! But for me, this is crap. Listing shit that’s good in my life… that I like about myself? (Which was essentially the purpose of the weekly perk…) For me… proven time and time again… pointless. And difficult. And therefore giving me even more anxiety… So in the end, making things worse.]

Yesterday, I had a small household accident that really fucked up my morning. And then I sat in way too much traffic for a Saturday. But finally, we arrived at Mom’s and enjoyed a day in the pool (in my new swimwear, a size smaller than last year)… ate fresh veggies from her garden… and came home with a stash of blueberries she’d picked the day before. This morning, I made blueberry pancakes. Of course.

Most of that was good. Is that my perk for the week? It has nothing to do with me thinking positively or seeing the good more than the bad. It’s just me writing about the good instead of the bad. But my brain is still twisting around thinking about (and trying desperately not to dwell on) the bad.

I’m not sure where to go with the weekly perk. Most of the time, it feels pointless. When it takes me hours… days… to come up with something to write, of course it feels pointless… and forced. It’s not that every moment of every day is miserable.

No. It’s not.

It’s that this whole exercise is accomplishing nothing.

Should I continue? Do you like to read these posts? Would you miss them? Just because I feel that it’s not helping, does that really mean it’s not helping? Should I do something different? Something else that’s supposed to make me feel super great about myself? Or some other weekly thing completely different from this? Talk to me…

☼ Perky is grounds for dismissal.

About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, sometimes blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Italy, but she would settle for a non-oceanfront home in Italy. She loves books, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
This entry was posted in the perk, weekly perk, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to weekly perk. #24

  1. Plectrumm says:

    ..are you familiar with Eckert Tolle? His works have brought peace into my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Never heard of him. I’ve never found any help or value in any sort of “self-help” stuff. (And I’m just guessing that’s what this is… maybe I’m wrong.) Self-help… and even therapy — it’s always the same tired little “pin it on your wall” clichés or “list good things blah blah” exercises. I don’t deny that these things may work for some but for me, they don’t. Believe me… I’ve tried it all… at least whatever’s in my grasp.


      • Plectrumm says:

        No…it’s not self help stuff. I’m with you on that. It’s about being able to calm our minds into the now. Sounds silly at first, but everything you share about your issues here, lends me to believe you might find him beneficial. Not investigating his work will surely allow you to continue on your path? Just a thought😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • I looked him up… and I read the synopsis of a few books. It sounds like self-help to me. Just more clichés and platitudes.

          Not sure if that last part of your comment was meant to be sarcastic or what but I’m feeling a little offended. Not checking him out means I want to stay on my miserable path? That’s not what it means at all.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Plectrumm says:

            It was not sarcasm at all. If you want something to change, action is required? “Self” and “I” are separate components of our consciousness, and are manageable with the proper measure of control of one over the other. That’s not to say, that if there’s a physical problem within the brain, you can overcome it without medical intervention. Enlightenment of the capacity to navigate our emotional states is more of his teachings. I was simply offering a suggestion that helped me. Take it for just that…nothing more.


  2. gigglingfattie says:

    I really enjoy these posts and I would miss them if they were gone. But i think what might be more important is what YOU are getting out of them. I can be kind of selfish and want you to continue juat because I like them, but sometimea life isnt always about me (its a shocking realization but no less true) I hope you come to a decision that makes YOU happy Sandra! Either way I will still love your blog

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder if I should keep these posts going just to continue sharing “good things” that might happen or come to mind… But I’ve got to stop putting pressure on myself… If I can’t think of anything to write, to hell with it. Sure, it has “weekly” in the name, but maybe I post it when I feel like it… stop trying to force it. Clearly, I’m not capable of changing the way my stupid brain works!

      Liked by 1 person

      • gigglingfattie says:

        That sounds like a great idea! Or just keep a draft saved that you just add to and when you think its got enough in it post it? You can always change the name to something else “sandra’s perks” or something

        Liked by 1 person

        • I feel like “sandra’s perks” might be a whole different kind of post. 😀

          Seriously, though, I like this idea! Maybe with less pressure on myself, it’ll be easier for me to write them anyway. Thanks for the idea… And for being a friend… And making me laugh. 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • gigglingfattie says:

            Hmmms maybe monthly perks? Lol even less presaure! And you are more than welcome on all counts and the thank yous are sent straight back 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  3. theturtle says:

    We do like them 🙂
    But if they put you into even more anxiety and/or you feel they don’t serve you at all , just forget about them for awhile . Maybe you’ll kind of miss doing them after the pressure is off for a few weeks , or you’ll find a new twist to them , I don’t know 🙂
    But I’m looking forward to read what your brilliant followers suggest 🙂
    Turtle Hugs ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I generally like everything you write. I feel like you’re being way too hard on yourself again. But it’s your blog to post anything you want, even reblog other people’s stuff when you don’t have anything of your own. It’s all good! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  5. The V Pub says:

    Yup. What Diane said. Way too hard on yourself. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Miriam says:

    In the end it’s up to you Sandra. None of us can tell you what to do/not to do. But personally, I always enjoy reading your stuff and I don’t think it can hurt to write positive words, whether the perk is “weekly” or “monthly” or whenever the mood strikes you. After all, don’t they say, “fake it till you make it”. 🙂 Hopefully, eventually, the it might become real for you. But in the meantime, what ever you decide, just be kind to yourself my friend. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Meg Sorick says:

    I agree with maybe dumping the weekly idea. You shouldn’t force yourself to write something positive if you really don’t feel that way. And if doing it feels forced or hypocritical, it kind of defeats the purpose… Bottom line: trust your instincts. If it feels right to write about it, do that. If not, don’t. It sounds to me like rather than focusing on the positive thing, when you try to do that with these ‘perks’ you’re actually stepping back and saying “if this is the only positive in my life, then my life sucks” instead of really focusing on the good thing. You’re actually looking at the good thing negatively. How can you change that view of things is the question. Narrow your focus? Oh sweetie….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s more like… “some decent things have happened during the week but nothing that’s made me feel super great so I have no idea what to write”… Maybe I’m missing something. I honestly don’t know. But when I’m struggling for days to think of something to write, either everything really does suck or I’m looking for better than what I’ve got or something. And I get frustrated when I try one of these things people claim will help (think it enough and it will become real)… but it changes nothing… and then people tell me I’m not trying. Ugh…all I do is try!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Marquessa says:

    As someone else said, if YOU aren’t getting anything of out it, break it down to monthly or if the mood strikes you. I personally like them but if it’s putting pressure on you or feeling forced, don’t do it! I’m all for doing what feels better in your core…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I have really appreciated hearing that people enjoy these. That makes me want to continue… in some form or another. It may not be “fixing” my brain’s messed up way of thinking but if I make it about something else… I think I’ll feel better about it. Thank you again! ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The beauty of all this writing and grownupping is YOU CAN WRITE WHATEVER YOU WANT. So my vote is – do what makes you feel better in the moment. This part of life comes with an edit feature!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: well… the (weekly) perk. #25 | what sandra thinks

  11. Pingback: the perk (the return!?) #34 | what sandra thinks

thoughts? talk to me.

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