Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com
Recently I have been hosting a very negative attitude due to the fact that I was passed up for a new position within my job. It wasn’t a promotion, there was no prospective pay increase, and in fact, it would have required me to work in close proximity to people I felt less than enthusiastic about. However, it was my dream job. Boring to most people but an absolute dream-come-true for me. It was given to someone who had more experience than myself and I harbor no ill feelings about this; this is how things should work. My grudge came from asking repeatedly to be allowed to train one day a month in order to expand my knowledge within my career field and work with different departments, particularly the department where this recent position became available. I asked for over a year for this to happen and was consistently either ignored or shrugged to the side. Had I been given the opportunity that I asked for, I would have had time to learn what I needed to know in order to qualify me for the position. Would I have been chosen? There’s no way to tell. But the fact that the opportunity was taken away from me had started to really wear on my mind. That’s when the what ifs began to creep into my thoughts. What if I had pushed harder? What if I had demanded or gone to HR to inquire after their reasons for denying me the additional training I had requested? What if I had said some of this during my interview?
I am here to tell you that “what ifs” can eat you alive. And they’re not worth it.
This post is almost as much of a therapy session for me as it is an encouragement for those who might need it. Every day I go to work, there’s a part of me that dreads it. I deal with the public daily and I’m becoming less of a people person over the years in public service, but I can’t let my negative attitude affect my job. I am a servant of the community in which I work and I need to remember that.
Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT here to tell you that everything is hunky-dory and that “everything will work out.” That’s a cliche and I’m not here to offer that. I’m here to be realistically positive. Do I need to put my heart and soul into everything I do? Maybe, but I probably won’t. Faking happiness only gets you so far and at some point, you will burn out on it. Find little joys in life and take each day as it comes. Things will go wrong and they’re not going to fix themselves overnight. You might be miserable for a while before things start to change, but that doesn’t mean you have to FEEL miserable.
I am all about being positive but I’m also about being realistic. Do you have to be happy all day, every day? Of course not. That’s not natural and to those of us watching your insatiable happiness, it’s annoying. Find things that make you smile throughout the day. A text with a friend (have that bitch buddy who can listen to you vent a time or two during the day and who can make you laugh when you need it). A meme on Google (something that may be immature or silly but it’s just what you need to see when you’re ready to hit someone). A book (something on your lunch break that can distract you and transport you to a different time and place). A project (something you enjoy doing, like a hobby, that can also take your mind off the stresses in your life). Whatever it is, enjoy it and make it last. Share it with others if you have to. Don’t expect unrealistic positivity to smack you in the face, but also don’t focus on the negative. Let’s face it, none of us have time for that.
Thanks for listening and I hope you have a terrific Tuesday!