Now, you'd probably think that the people being put in my path to help me find joy are positive, uplifting people, but they are not. Those people are in my life for a reason as well, but usually in more of a supportive role. The people that I'm talking about are the people who forget to see the good. The people who take things for granted. The people who complain about everything. The people who don't enjoy life. Let me be clear, these are not bad people, they are just people who have forgotten, or never known, how to be grateful for what they are given in life. They are the people who expect things rather than work for things. They have forgotten that each day is gift from God and life has lessons that we need to be taught. These people help me see the good when I listen to all their complaints and think, "Wow, they are just not happy" and that's not how I want to be.
I was chatting with a friend the other night about this subject. She, jokingly, said, "Am I on of those negative people?". Now, she asked this because she often times feels sad and down, but she's not one of those people. She may be figuring things out with finding her own happiness, but she always makes it known how much she truly appreciates the gifts she's been given in life. We all go through hard times. No one can be happy and grateful all the time. Twelve years of Catholic school may not have taught me much, but it taught me that even Jesus complained and felt let down. No one is grateful and happy 100% of the time. If someone appears to be, they are hiding something.
There is a difference between complaining about things that are making you upset and complaining about everything in your life. There's a difference between acknowledging the bad parts but being able to see the good parts. It's those people who never find the positives that help me to remember to find the good. It's also those people to which I need to limit my exposure. Negativity breeds negativity and that's not the kind of person I want to be. Even though I come away from situations where I'm with these people with a renewed sense of gratitude, I also come away exhausted. Listening to people who don't appreciate life is mentally draining.
Last night, I was thinking of all the things that did not get accomplished yesterday. I got frustrated with myself for not being superwoman. Then I stopped. Know what I did get to do yesterday? I was able to go on a field trip with my son. I was able to watch him laugh and play with friends while learning about pond and forest ecosystems. I was able to spend a simply beautiful day outside. And then after school, we got to spend time outside just playing in the magnificent autumn sun since we had no activities to run to that evening. The dishes in the dishwasher eventually got put away. The counters eventually got wiped down. A load of clothes eventually got washed. Dinner was made. The family played Uno before the kids went to bed. The vacuuming missed a day. I still have laundry to do and errands to run. It was all worth it. There are parents who would love to go on field trips with their children but they can't because they are working or physically unable to go. Plus, Monster is still at the age where he likes me being involved. I'm going to savor that for as long as I he'll let me.
Even if every negative person in my life reads this and decides to change, there will be plenty more negative people willing to fill in. That's the thing about today's society, more people focus on their disappointments rather than their happiness. That means that there will always be someone there to remind me to see the good so I don't end up bitter about life. We're all just figuring this thing called life out, and that's OK. Being sad and complaining is normal. Going through life angry is a choice. I'm figuring out how to go through life with more joy than anger. It's a choice I have to make every single day. It's not easy, but I'm a work in progress.