Friday, April 26, 2013

And it begins...

My work life ended on a sour note at the end of 2012. I was miserable, and I was miserable to be around. I had poured my every effort and too many hours to think about into a project that had been delayed - twice - with an ultimate revised go-live date over a year and a half later than the original date. I felt like I had sacrificed my happiness, my health, and nearly my sanity for the job - with my family at the short end of most of those sacrifices - and not only had it been unsuccessful, but I was faced with repeating much of that work all over again since the revised date was so far away. I felt cheated and bitter and scornful. And everyone knew it. 

In a rare moment of clarity and self-awareness (probably this is going to be happening more now that I've turned 40 and have to start acting like a real grown-up), I stepped back from myself and realized that I could not go into the restart of the project and all of the new work coming in 2013 with the same attitude and expect to mentally survive and to have my family make it through intact. I deserved better and, more importantly, my marriage and my children deserved better.

One of my co-workers, who has become a friend and someone I look up to in so many ways, has a habit of saying, "The good news is..." when trying to find some glimmer of hope and light in the latest onslaught of bad news or unrealistic assignments, so I used that as my inspiration and started actively looking for something good or uplifting or positive or happy to say about all of the things I had been complaining about and feeling depressed about.

At first, it was AWFUL. I felt like I was flat out lying to people when I was spewing all of my Polly-Anna comments. I had to almost physically stop myself from saying the negative things and make myself come up with something good to say. I didn't believe even one of the positive words I was saying and most people could tell, and would call me on it.  Even so, most of them also acknowledged that I was trying to see the brighter side, and I kept at it. 

Before long, I noticed that it got easier to find something good to say. It felt less forced, less of a conscious effort, and less of a lie. To get a little bit of an extra push, I found some positive sayings on Pinterest - positive AND pretty! - and I hung them up on the walls of the meeting room in which I and my six peers spent the majority of our time. And they loved it!

I took that little bit of appreciation and I ran with it. I started spreading my new positivity to everyone in my division and they gave it back to me, which encouraged me to be more positive, and so on. 

So now I'm here in this little blog to figure out what all of these little sayings really - REALLY - can mean for me and how I can not only help myself, but to find a way to get out of my own head and spread this love to everyone else. I can't be the only one who needs this, right?