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.
I 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.
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…