Yet again, Laura Vanderkam made me rethink things...this time, with her post "The Stories We Choose to Tell Ourselves"
She recounts what most people would agree represents a pretty tough week. Yet amidst the toughness were amazing moments. Isn't that how it is? Nothing is ever ALL good or ALL bad. We can change how we remember those periods by how we tell the story.
When I think back on this summer, I could see it as the summer G & I fought all the time, had no money, and never made it to the beach. Or I could see it as the summer of picnics, library visits, swimming, and enjoying all the fun, free stuff our city has to offer. All of those things are true, but I'd prefer to remember the latter. And the more I remind myself of all the good stuff we did, the easier it is for my mind to automatically associate this summer with all those wonderful things.
I've noticed that I've been doing too much of the opposite---labeling periods of time as "awful", thus making it really easy to conjure up the awfulness whenever my mind thinks back on that time. "Ugh July was the WORST." "My maternity leave with B was AWFUL. It snowed all the time and he cried all the time". Yet, we had an absolutely amazing fourth of July. We had a lot of fun bonding with other new-parent friends in the neighborhood when we were all snowed in with our newborns. What's the harm in focusing on the good stuff?
I don't think its disingenuous to focus on the positive. I think there is enough focus on the negative in our society. I'm choosing to change my story.