Friday, March 18, 2011

Attitude and milestone

So last night I was talking to the Mr. (okay, crying to the Mr.) about how exhausting being a pessimist is.  There is a friend of mine who is always positive, inspiring to others and I never hear her complain (at least not about anything that she doesn't instantly turn around into a positive somehow which while inspiring is frustrating to someone with my personality.)  The Mr. immediately said "you don't know her story.  Maybe something happened to her that she feels like she HAS to be that way or maybe like many people she's pretending to be that happy but isn't."  I started laughing through my tears and said "that was pretty profound!"  It's true.  I don't know her story and she may not have always been that positive but I'll tell you, I'm downright jealous of people who *seem* to have that natural tendency toward the positive.  Some would say it's a choice, just choose to react differently.

That sounds good on paper but when it is engrained in you since you were a kid that life is going to poo on you, it is a part of your personality.  I suppose if a shrink were to label it, they'd say I have "abandonment issues."  A dad that didn't find out until a kid came along that he didn't want to be a parent and left when I was 8.  Then various friends who dropped out of my life with no explanation leaving me devastated and feeling unworthy because if they were truly my friends they would've given me a heads up that they were leaving.  In talking to some of them casually about their decision to leave without warning years later, they said they were just in a bad place and thought of no one but themselves.  Well, I get that but hello, you don't get how that devastates people in your life who care about you!  I was conditioned from age 8 to present day that people you care about leave.  Unfortunately the Mr has suffered from this attitude at times because I was just waiting for him to leave too.  He seems to be sticking around.  ;-)  I would've thought that by now I could conquer this feeling but as people seem to continue to drop out of our lives with no explanation (and it seems to be easier for people to do these days), I find myself still deeply effected.  I don't take connections I make with people lightly so it stings when people cut and run.  It's caused me to be very guarded and leery of trusting people initially.  I mean why bother if they're just going to drop out of my life? 

I'm sure we've all read that email forward about friends being around for a reason, season or lifetime.  My problem is I go into every friendship hoping for the lifetimer and always seem to get reason or season, leaving me with very few "true" friends.  It's a crappy way to live and feels like a constant set up for disappointment which means putting myself out there isnt' really high on my priority list given my history.  Once you're a friend, I am loyal, thoughtful and there for you but seem to never get the same effort in return from anyone in my life.  Seems like I should be cueing the Debbie Downer theme song.  I bummed myself out!  LOL 

But along with changing my weight, I am trying to change my attitude.  I know I will never be a Pollyanna, I don't want to be.  But I would like to not immediately fly off the handle or assume the worst.  There are people who things just always work out for and always seem to expect good things to come their way.  There are people who cheat, steal and work the system, always land on their feet and never seem to have to work for everything.  It's not fair but that's life.  If we ever were unethical enough to try shortcuts or to work the system, we'd get caught every time.  I suppose it keeps us honest and I'd rather be honest and have to work for good things than have them fall into my lap and be unappreciated.  (But holy hell universe, could you throw us a few more bones now and then!?)  I don't know if I can ever truly change my attitude.  I have changed when given the proper motivation and was actually much worse at one time which makes me cringe.  But I don't know if it's possible for a leopard to change its spots.  I don't know if behaviors that are so deeply engrained in your personality are able to be changed just because you hope they will.  It can be exhausting being irritated by small things (this is why when there are billing mistakes and things like that they get delegated to the Mr because I would go off because I feel like I was being wronged whereas he's more laid back).  I also don't want to lose my natural suspicion of people because it's proven to serve me well.  I don't want to be naive.  It will take a lot of work to improve my attitude and I know this.  I hope that I can make tweaks to my personality for the better so that I can ultimately be a happier person but without sacrificing the parts of my personality that have made me who I am.  If you've read this far you have GOT to be bored!

So I'll leave you with this positive is 2 years of never having missed a scheduled workout!  We kind of rock.  Hee hee.

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  1. I am sometimes jealous of "those" people too....and then the pessimist inside comes crawling out saying "yeah she's fake!!"

    We are who we are. Don't feel bad for being yourself. Muah!

  2. I'm with you girl on those "happy go lucky" people! Sometimes I just want to slap them upside the head but alas I don't. I try to strive everyday to be upbeat but I can fly off the deep end real quick. It doesn't help that I live with someone that is negative a lot of time but he is trying too!

    Fantastic on the accomplishment of never missing a workout! I guess that gives me no excuse for missing mine today :)

  3. YAY! I can finally post. Now I forgot what I was gonna say. HAHA!

  4. Oh I hear you on this one with the friend thing. I try to be a really good friend and I do not seem to get a whole lot in return. Before I thought at least I have my crummy husband, now I take the drop offs much more to heart because there I am alone. But that is the thing. Most of the time with people like us, when they drop off it has very little to do with us and all to do with them and their issues. Easy to say but hard to accept. No one wants to feel like they wasted time on someone who seems undeserving now. No one wants to waste a part of their heart on someone who is just going to take it and run. I get it.

    I think when it comes to having a positive attitude you can change it, maybe not 100% but over time you can get more optimistic. I was the same way. I was raised in a negative, pessimistic world of my mother and over the last 3 or so years I have really tried to change how I see things. Does it work all the time? No, but I try to look at the good in any situation and focus on that. I still get crapped on quite a bit but like you said that’s life. Maybe I was always supposed to be an optimist but was raised by a pessimist, I guess we’ll never know but the more you do it the easier it gets (for me anyways). I think we all deserve to be happy and it’s hard when you are always looking at the bad to see that. It’s hard but I do think it can be done. I believe you are capable of doing whatever you put your mind to and really can do whatever you want. You are such a strong beautiful woman. You and the MR deserve nothing but happiness. Hugs!

  5. OK, I remembered what it was that I was going to say. I'm w/ you (and Buffy) on the friend thing. I am a damn good friend if I do say so myself. And there are very few (ie ONE) friend that returns the favor. All of the others, even people I thought were GOOD friends rarely offer much in return. It sucks and it does have a way of wearing on you!! It's only natural that you would put up the walls. That's your self defense. And that's ok. You have to look out for youself. But, at the same time, don't be too afraid. You could miss out on someone special.

  6. Oh, I am so pissed! I just wrote a long response to this and got an error message and it deleted everything! I'll be back later this evening to re-write it, if I haven't thrown my computer our the window (see, old behaviors ARE very hard to change!) =o)

  7. Well, there is a lot to sort through here!
    I have lost many friends over the years. I had one in particular that I realized one day I was always the one doing the contact...always. Months would go by and I would call her. So I decided one day to not call. That was over 10 years ago. I still miss her, but she obviously doesn't miss me.
    I always told my kids that to have a friend you have to BE a friend, but I also think at some point you do have to decide if the relationship is ever both ways...because if it isn' isn't really worth the effort.
    Oh...and I totally get what you were saying about some people can get away with tilting the universe and landing on their feet and others can't and that is life...and I agree...but it still irritates the socks off me! :)

  8. Hi!
    I lost a few long term friends in the past year. One unexplicably (SP?) and one by my choice. The first one just never called me again, then contacted me when she found out Hubby was sick. I asked her what happened and she said she was trying to tell me for YEARS she had a problem with me. Hmmm.....3 vacations together and many slumber parties and I never caught on? The second one was under the influence of alcohol and told me what she "really" thought of me (after 17 years of friendship). I don't take friendship lightly myself, I set the bar high and alot of folks fail. To be fair, I hold myself to the same standard. Good subject, I enjoyed reading this. See you on SP

  9. Ok, I'm back. This is now the SECOND post that I lost! I don't know what the heck I'm doing wrong, but I'll figure it out. I understand the abandonment thing very well. When my parents divorced with I was 7, I lived 2 weeks with her, two weeks with him (lived out of a suitcase the entire time). Then spent 3 months in a hospital when I was 15 due to my father. I always felt I had to "earn" my value and that carried over into friendships. I'd do whatever I could to not be left. I began to put up walls and not trust people because I was just waiting for them to leave. When I started to work on getting healthy for the first real time in my life, I was able to look at some friendships with a bit more clarity and have been able to let go of those that just stopped being give and take. Oh, it still hurts and still sucks, but they don't have the same kind of power over me as before. Maybe because I have my walls up and it takes a long time for me to trust, but more than anything I think it's I'm learning to become a good friend to myself. Sounds cheesy, but I always sucked at being my own friend. I think these ingrained behaviors and attitudes CAN change IF we feel they need to. I liken it to my weight loss journey. I never believed I'd *truly* lose weight and get healthy, but I kept working at it every day until my behaviors and attitudes about food changed. I think it's the same with any "learned" behavior. Perky only works if it's what you really feel. The cool thing is when we honor ourselves just by being honest with how we feel, perky or not. Oddly enough, the more I've gone on my journey, the less friends I have around me now. Hurt like hell in the beginning. Many weren't interested in my journey, and that's ok. Before I would have quit just to please them. But not anymore...feels pretty damn good, too!

    Ok, that was a rambling one, but as close to the original post as I could remember!

  10. I'm a pessimistic person too, and funny thing is that I find it must LESS exhausting than trying to look at the bright side.

    Congrats on 2 years of not missing those workouts. That is just amazing to me!

  11. much to comment on here! LOL Okay, first off - I'm kind of one of "those" people that is usually pretty darn positive. Most people say they use me as their in if *I'M* in a bad mood, then there MUST be something wrong in the world. But let me tell is a curse too because people truly do expect you to always be happy and when you aren't, they kind of look at you like you just sprouted green tentacles from the top of your head and basically give you the "how DARE you have any emotion other than HAPPY" look. It would certainly be nice sometimes to just be a raging bitchoholic and have it be okay, or even expected. LOL

    Okay, so now that I've admitted to being one of "those" people, I hope you can forgive me for always being positive. LOL I'll try to be a pessimist sometimes if that helps. ;-) j/k of course...

    Alright - I also can't help but comment about the friends thing. I have probably ONE good friend in my life and then my absolute best friend in my hubby. But you know, sometimes I want that "girlie" know the one where you can do girl stuff like watch a rom-com or something. I don't know, I can't even say I know what it really means to have a really good girl friend anymore because even though I have my bestie, my time is primarily devoted to my family. But any time I have put myself out there for girl friends, they have unfailingly stabbed me in the back or become someone that I can't sustain a friendship with at that level. Case in point, my last closest friend for over 12 years has become someone I don't even know anymore. My grandbaby was born 6 months ago and she hasn't even bothered to meet him yet even though I have invited her over more times than I care to admit. And every time she does bother calling, I don't think even once she has asked how I am doing but instead has spent the entire time complaining about work people and providing reasons for why her life is so miserable and not a single one of those reasons is because of her. Before that my two closest friends decided together that they couldn't handle the fact that I was so dedicated to my family but their reason was that my "husband was controlling me". Ummmm...yeah...right. This from two people that have been unable to sustain any kind of relationship for more than a couple of years??? Anyways, not really the point. My point is that I think when it comes down to it, 99% of women are incapable of being a true friend. Now if the 1% of us that ARE could only band together outside of time and space, can you imagine what might happen?!?!?

    One of the reasons I have enjoyed Spark is because there are so many women that actually DO support each other. Something that is close to unheard of in real life.

    Anyways, let me wrap up this novel now. I have no doubt that if proximity allowed it, we might end up being one of the classic "odd couples", a yin to a yang, a tigger to a rabbit, a SpongeBob to a Squidward...oh all right - enough analogies! LOL

    Just know that there ARE some women out there that understand what true friendship means. True, they are few and far between, but they are there...and sometimes all it takes to find them is an internet connection. :-D

  12. Bored by the end? No, but you did make me cry. lol Two opposite sentiments in one sentence? Hmmmm Anywho. The tears (and the nodding that I didn't note) came because it sounds like me. I tend to be the listener and the rock, but feel like there's no rock or listener when I need it (other than hubby...who is a great hugger when I need it if he's home {stinkin' work}). I have a few what you call true friends, but a lot of seasonal ones or for a reason. One I thought was (what Tyler Perry calls) a root, I am starting to believe is a reason one. When I needed someone the most, she was there. Now? She's moving on (literally another state/area).
    One another note....I agree with your hubby. Just because someone acts all Polyanna doesn't mean they are deep down. Me? I tend to be smiley and rather upbeat around others. Home? Well lately it's been...."Ugh! I don't want to be around others and smiley and upbeat." Most of the time I am because it's "expected" even if I'm not.
    Sorry for the bummy message. I think it's the rainy, blah weather where I am.


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