I used to suffer from a medical condition known as early adulthood – my 20s. Without going into gruesome detail, I knew myself well enough to know that there were predictable days when all I could cope with were the most ridiculous, administrivial, mind-numbing, routine, easy tasks I could find, like filing. I’ve even posted about that propensity, an entirely valid coping mechanism which I use to this day, before. And I’m using it today.
But today the acknowledgement that “Yup, attitude makes all the difference,” is hitting me with a searchlight’s intensity. In my post The Happiness Project, a Gretchen Rubin inspiration, I was grumpier than Grumpy Cat. Today all the busywork feels productive. All the same kind of sorting, plodding through nonsense like closing down my duplicate personal Yelp account feels like the time-honored “checking off the boxes on the list” – which, by the way, I don’t do! And that’s as OK for me as having the list by categories and color-coded is for someone else.
So why am I cheerful about the minutia today, when the last major push, fuhgeddaboutit…? I don’t know. OK, to be fair, when I was writing the Gretchen Rubin piece, it was about taxes paperwork. If I ever meet someone who’s cheerful about taxes, s/he better be getting a refund. But besides the obvious? I don’t know.
Which makes it super-important for me to figure out. Because I sure want to always harness the factors making me feel productive. We all can. Start a daily journal if possible, keep it for at least a month. Jot down everything from the weather to what you ate to how much sleep you got to how awful allergy season was that day. Don’t be shy about noting positive or negative interactions with other people, what music you might have been listening to, what intensity of care your pets or kids or spouse or parents or colleagues or neighbors or friends needed, anything you think might have created an effect. It all makes a difference. If you see patterns – good influences or bad – take a deep breath and do what you can to maintain the positive and decrease the negative. Realizing you have SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder or above-your-head neighbors who run the vacuum at 11PM – empowering.