Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shifting My Perspective

Monday, September 21, 2009....

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an entry about a passage I read in Lovely Bones (Crayons) which had me thinking of why I was basically stuck in status quo.

I've noticed that I have a tendency to quickly access a situation and before I even start, I always imagine the worst possible outcome and give up before I even begin.

Ever since I wrote that entry, I've noticed I actually enjoy focusing on just the 'process', but have still yet to shift my perspective on anything.

Until today.

As part of my infamous birthday week, I spent yesterday afternoon writing in my journal for close to an hour. I've been keeping journals for 3 decades and although I do not write in them daily, I can't imagine not writing in them on a semi regular basis. It's a great place for me to rant, work out a situation or just cry on a page. After each entry, I'm always left with same feeling I have after I meditate. Today was no different.

Today, after I finished, I realized that I needed to shift my perspective on how I view a situation. Lately, I've only focused on the negative and have forgotten the positives of a situation (e.g., unemployment).

I could easily list all the negatives of being unemployed, but I need to shift my perspective and realize that I've been given a great gift; the gift of time. Time to explore what I need to be happy.

Granted, I miss traveling, but I also realize there was so much I took for granted because money afforded me the opportunity to buy or do something. I honestly don't know if I ever really stopped to think if what I bought or did brought me happiness.

While I'm enjoying my stint of early retirement (sounds more positive than saying unemployment), I will think pay more attention to what I really want or need to be happy. I will begin to see what I have instead of what I don't.

I am hopeful by shifting my perspective on this one issue, I will be able to do it on all issues.


The Peach Tart said...

Happy birthday week. I always look at my birthday as "the new year" and journal about what I want the next year of my life to look like. Sounds like you're on the right track.

P said...

i've practically already posted this comment elsewhere today but i have been unemployed before and looking back on it i think i would have enjoyed the time so much more had i just known there was a job at the end of it.i wish i could go back now and enjoy it MORE knowing that once i found employment again i was going to hate it!

blueviolet said...

I could take a lesson from you on that. I am guilty of taking a pessimistic point of view all too often.

notthatkindofgirlblog said...

Good for you, finding happiness in the situation by changing your view! I've been going through a bout of part-time employment (with delightful little dollops of full-on unemployment) since I graduated from university a bit over a year ago, and I've got to say, it's a situation that definitely has some perks. You can devote energy to taking care of your body and mind! Take more time to save money by doing things the Great Depression way! Get addicted to all the trashy Candian pre-teen soap operas you want!

...or. Maybe not that last one.

JennyMac said...

Happy Birthday Week!!!

And I love introspection..its vital and an important part of living your best life.

NINA said...

Nice thinking...being positive will help you in many ways...and enjoy this free time.
Happy B-day week!

New England Girl said...

What a wonderful shift in your thinking. I too find myself focusing on the negative lately; it is so draining! Like you, I have been trying to shift my perspectives, which is so much nicer once it occurs! I am glad you reminded me to look towards the positives and banish a majority of the negatives.

La La La Leah said...

Happy Birthday, again!!! Did you know you can print out your blog and have it bound into a book?? I think you should do that.... Also you should do a Thankful Tuesday once in awhile that always makes me feel better. Have a good one and I think you are awesome and that is all that matters.

a corgi said...

tomorrow is the big day right? happy early birthday! I see where you are coming from and I think it is wise to change direction so to speak. you may never have this opportunity again to have the time to pursue different hobbies, volunteer work, etc. I think it is wise to focus on that rather the negativity of not having a job; looking forward to seeing what positive ways you decide to spend this period of your life :)


Titania said...

Happy birthday week!! I think I understand having a negative outlook on things, it makes the pain when things do not work out less bad and the surprise when they do better... yet, I also see how it can condition us to drive the bad results... Hang in there...

Children of the 90s said...

Ohh happy birthday week! I love your positive attitude. Early retirement does have a nice ring to it...:)

Green-Eyed Momster said...

I'm so happy for you! I don't know which birthday this is for you but I'm sure it'll be a great one because of this post and how you've shifted your perspectives!

I like to think of my unemployed friends as people on a vacation who are also on a budget. I love my days off and they are never long enough. Find joy in whatever you do to fill your days. I love my writing and I should journal or hand-write notes more often. The only time I see my writing is at work anymore. I do still hand-write thank you notes though. I just had my 43rd birthday in July. I haven't written much since.

You GO, girl! I just noticed that you have twice as many followers as I do! You obviously ROCK!!



being happy with what you have instead of focusing on what you WANT is difficult for all of us - if we worked on this one aspect i think we'd all be much happier people! great post!

visiting from SITS and new follower

LiLu said...

I'm with blueviolet... thanks for the reminder. :-)

Karyn Bernard (French Charming) said...

What a lovely and thought provoking post! I'm always running around like a maniac trying to fit in everything that I want to/have to do.

I love your perspective on being given the gift of time and realizing that money does not equate happiness!

Thank you for being so open and honest...kind of makes me want to be unemployed for awhile!

Hugs to you!

Karyn Bernard (French Charming) said...

So sorry, I wanted to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Captain Dumbass said...

Realizing you need to do it is a good start.

Helen McGinn said...

I'm loving your birthday week.

I've been aware for some time now that it is all in the perspective. It's an excellent tool in life, to be able to shift it at will; it takes a little practice but it's worth it.

For me, it doesn't mean I can't feel negative or annoyed, angry etc. but how I deal with those feelings and how I perceive the antecedent, the behaviour and the consequence all comes down to my perspective.

I'm delighted for you, it's a great step and a very positive one. x

Midtown Girl said...

Sometimes its necessary to shift to the positive, just to get a better take on things...I think I need to do that now as well...



Ink Obsession Designs said...

This was a great post. I needed to hear this myself! :)

Little Ms Blogger said...

The Peach Tart – Thanks! I love keeping a journal, but have never really used it as tool to where I want to be; only where I am right now. Hmmm…food for thought.

P – It’s easy to say once working again, but the stress of the unknown wears on me a bit. I’m just trying to let it not consume my every waking minute.

Blueviolet – many or most times it’s easier for me to do that too when frustrated, but ya know, it gets exhausting after awhile….

Notthatkindofgirlblog – LOL. Canadian pre-teen soap operas and here I was thinking you were from Boston/Brookline MA area.

JennyMac – Thank you. This past week has been very introspective for me…I actually have tomorrow’s post in mind and, again, introspective. I think being introspective is like Spring and Fall cleaning, sometimes painful, but the end results are great.

NINA – Thanks! I know it will.

New England Girl – I admit it is hard and I start every morning writing 5 things I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal. I’ve done if on and off for years, but decided to do it again for an entire year. It helps shift my thoughts for the day.

La La La Leah – Thank you – again! Really, you can print out your blog?? I’d probably want to write a romance novel because it so completely out of character for me to use all the flowery adjectives. Btw, I actually keep a daily gratitude journal – it helps a lot.

A corgi – Tomorrow is the big day. You’re absolutely right. I’ve volunteered in the past and was even on a committee this past Spring, but am very selective about giving my time. People in my neck of the woods have a tendency to volunteer for the wrong reason (getting to the right person to get a letter of reference into a golf club—true story).

Titania – I’ve never looked at it that way, but you’re right. The sting of disappointment is less painful.

Children of the 90s – It does have a nice ring….it would sound so much better if it were early retirement + lotto winner.

Green-Eyed Momster – I’m turning 44 tomorrow (which Otin believes is one step in the grave ---misguided soul). After 17 months, I’m on a EXTREME budget (my life has many obstacles where $$$ was being sucked out all too often so the cushion was pretty worn down when I started). Congrats on turning 43!

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB – You’re right. Simple to say, but hard to do. You have to be in the right frame of mind and I’m happy I’m there.
Thanks for stopping by and I will definitely come check you out (hmmm…that would get a person’s face slapped if in a bar).

LiLu - And here I thought you were with B :-) – only kidding. It’s definitely hard to do, but isn’t most everything worthwhile doing hard?

French Charming – I’m trying to learn to let things go I wasn’t able to accomplish and add something on the list that will make me happy. It could be a Starbucks coffee – anything – just as long as I remember to do one thing for me…..You’re welcome. It’s actual a challenge for me to be so open and honest, so I really appreciate the feedback.

Thank you for the birthday wishes. I’m looking forward to taking off tomorrow to celebrate.

Captain Dumbass – yes it is.

Helen – Loving your comment – very insightful and very TRUE.

Midtown Girl – If you do, let me know if it works for you. Thanks for the well wishes.

Ink Obsession Designs – Thanks.

Chef Eureka said...

ooo an "infamous" birthday week. Do tell :)

I was unemployed from October of 2008 until July of 2009. In that time, i got divorced, sold my house, found someone new, moved my kids to a new school, etc....

Talk about a rough one. Anyway, there is always a brighter side. Sometimes it is just in the shadows.

I hope you have a good week.

otin said...

That is a great start! Shifting perspective can be like dieting, sometimes it is hard to stick with. I think you will be successful!

Dreamgirl said...

Happy birthday...
Shifting your perspective is not easy. Good work.

Just stopping by from SITS to say hi!

Sunshine Mama said...

Alright, that's it! I'm doing a happy birthday week too. Oh, happy birthday week to you!

I totally know what you mean about shifting your perspective. With the way this economy is, you do have to change the way you look at things and do things. And a positive shift in focus tends to inspire a feeling of hope rather than despair.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Happy 44th tomorrow! My sister's birthday is on the 30th and she ROCKS too!


Little Ms Blogger said...

Chef Eureka - a little busy or what?

otin - thanks! I appreciate the kind words.

Dreamgirl - No it isn't, but I am able to recognize and stop myself from going down the negative path, so that's a good step.

Sunshine Mama - You definitely do and you're definitely right about inspiring hope and not despair.

Green-Eyed - The 30th? Happy bday to your sister.

miss rambles said...

firstly HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY-hope you had a lovely day/week!

and i like this post some1 said tht too me a while ago and i had forgotten thts how i should look at this time i have cos seriously i doubt i will ever get it again...thanks for the reminder