Mindfulness is all the rage these days, but being aware of the present isn’t a new idea. It’s been around forever! Like, all the way back to a few years ago when I worked at my neighborhood gym.
There was this guy who would go around finding the most depressed members. He’d chat ‘em up, learn a little about their past, and then drop some “profound” knowledge on them. “Of course you’re depressed, your father was an alcoholic!” Their eyes would grow wide, like they’d never put the pieces of their depression puzzle together before. They considered him some sort of guru.
It pissed me off because the ‘profound’ knowledge he was dropping was trite, but I guess the dumber you are, the more receptive you are to that sort of “everyone mourns in their own special way” mumbo jumbo. You share those “live and let live” memes on Facebook, like you’re so at peace with the world. Isn’t it interesting that the people who are often so miserable are the ones hitting share on those sorts of posts? You ain’t foolin’ anyone, DEBBIE. So take a deep breath and learn from mindfulness.
But. much like misery, negativity loves company. The more negative you are, the more negative things will probably come your way — like a motherfucking magnet of evil.
If you’re always bitching about how shitty everything is and you never get what you want, then you’ll always see the negative in everything. Even in GOOD things. If you win $10 on a scratch off lotto ticket and say, “That’s it? UGH! I never win ANYTHING!” like a pouty little bitch, you won’t appreciate anything.
Yesterday, I had one of those days where nothing seemed to go right. I spilled coffee on my shirt. I stubbed my toe. At lunch, I bit my tongue. I was overcharged. I didn’t realize the error until it was too late and I was back at work. Later, I got a car wash. I paid extra for Wheel Brite because I have a big fancy sports car; they did not apply said Wheel Brite. I asked and asked again, but came up empty handed, so I cursed and said, “Fuck this car wash!” and left.
When I got home, I parked under a tree and found my car covered in bird shit the next morning. Guess what that did.
So, I hit pause and I learned from mindfulness. I could do a few things to change the whole “bad things always happen to me” line. For starters, I can slow down while I eat. I’ll bite my tongue fewer times and I’ll enjoy my meal a little more. When the bill comes, I should spend a second reviewing it at the table instead of being in such a rush. At the carwash, I should have been patient and polite and asked as many people as it took to get the Wheel Brite instead of cursing and storming off in a huff. And, finally, to avoid my car being turned into a public bird restroom, I should park a little further away from home. Yeah, it’s more walking, but it’s a little more time I get to spend outdoors and a little more exercise.
The simple act of being aware that you are having a bad day means that you are on the path to changing that bad day into a good day. So stop and hit pause. It’s all mindfulness 101—easy to implement and so incredibly helpful.
Instead of being angry can we try to find the good in bad things? They’re things you can learn from to become a little more cool, calm, and collected. I’m thankful I can afford to go out for lunch and can afford the extra three dollars for Wheel Brite. I’m not saying you have to turn into some crunchy granola asshole, just appreciate the good shit a little more.