I’m trying to be more positive these days, I really am. Not Polyanna-ish sickly-sweet nice but just the same me but with a slightly brighter outlook on my life. I started small since I thought that way I could test the waters before plunging in completely. So, as step one, when someone would ask the usual, “Ann, how are you?”, I would not immediately go into a negative diatribe about creaky bones, impending destruction of my neighbourhood by greedy developers, my endless complaints on the injustice of aging and post nasal drip (my latest). Instead, I have started to try a different approach by saying something like, “I’m really good,” or even a “Great!” The first few times I tried it on friends, there was a look of suspicion in their faces, as if they were saying, “Oh sure. Now how are you really?” I am known for having a somewhat sarcastic bent to my conversation so I understand how they could have misunderstood my genuine attempt at positivity. But, and this is the important thing, I did feel better and even believed what I said.
Gradually, I added other minor additions to my Be Positive Trial. I started to try to dress a little better. If there was a stain on the front of my shirt — I always wear my food — I wouldn’t wear it anyway pretending I just did it if anyone mentioned it. Then I’d try to remember to put a little lipstick on before leaving the house and practice all the “good” posture exercises that Christina has been trying to drum into my head over the past too many years. I knew I was becoming a cliche but if it helped keep me out of the negative pit I can so easily slip into, I thought, why not, eh?
I decided to do this now as a test to see if an upbeat approach to life would calm down the screaming Chicken-Little Catastropher in me (see my blog from a couple of weeks ago). If a little touch of lipstick when I left the house and smiling at clerks as they snarled their way through my groceries make me feel better, then I’d do it. It would certainly be a step to letting me enjoy myself now and not ruin now by fretting about the future.
Even though it was in its trial stages, it got tested out last night. Some neighbours came over for a meeting which eventually turned into a gossip session. They have lived in the building for many many years so knew a lot more juicy tidbits than I did. At one point, the talk turned to The Future in our neighbourhood. I felt twitches of the Catastropher coming alive inside me. At every mention of The Developer and who owned what and where it was all going to end up, Ann the Catastropher was ready to start wailing her “Oh woe is me, Oh woe is me.” But, instead, the fledgling positive me, smiled and stopped listening to the gossip and sipped my wine in the now.