Years ago I was a tragically negative person. To the point where a co-worker and friend said he was going to start calling me Pam. At my confused look, he explained... P.A.M. is short for Piss And Moan. (What can I say, I attract straight-talking people. Someday I'll tell ya about another friend of mine, Larry, who wouldn't let me get away with anything.) And whenever I would start being all negative around him he would refer to me as Pammy. As in "Okay, Pammy, whatever you say, Pammy."
I don't know if that marked a turning point in my life. I know I still get into moods where I am totally PAM. but they're less frequent than they used to be.
Unfortunately, it seems like more people are turning into PAM every day. Or maybe as I get more positive about life, I notice the negativity more.
One thing I do know is that negativity never gets you anywhere.
Sure, someone situations suck. Sometimes your whole damn life can feel like it sucks... HARD. But letting yourself get lost in all that suckage doesn't make the suckage any better. Hell, most of the time, it makes it worse.
Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that you shouldn't be bummed out because other people have it way worse than you do. That never helps either - and it just makes you feel shittier. Yes, there are people who can top your personal heartache with a royal flush of pain, but that doesn't mean you aren't entitled to feel like shit. I'm just saying it doesn't help.
Lemme tell you a little story...
Once upon a time there was a silly girl who'd just been in a car accident. Everything hurt. She couldn't think straight. She couldn't walk. She couldn't remember stuff. And every morning was just as sucky as the next. Some chick she didn't know would roll her out of bed, into a wheelchair, and roll her down to physical therapy where she would have to undergo a serious increase in her discomfort. And all she could do was bitch about it. To anyone who would listen.
Then this dude ambles over to her one morning while she's bitching about how much PT hurt and how she COULDN'T walk so just stop making her try... DAMMIT. Now at this particular moment her therapist had gone off to get some
thing or other, and she was just sitting there, waiting to bitch at Blondie Therapist some more. This dude who ambles up he was wearing one of those erector sets that keeps you from moving your head. And he gets in her face - as much as he could for a guy who couldn't bend, and tells her "Will you QUIT WHINING." He said some other things about how if she spent more time working and less time bitching, she could get off her ass and walk.
Turns out he'd broken his back in a motorcycle accident. But that wasn't the point. He never said 'Look at how bad off I am and I'm not bitching'. He just said 'Look at how good off you are, so quit your bitching.' And he was right. I mean, at first, she was totally shocked and offended, but by the next day, she saw how right he was. She started actually trying, and learning to use the walker, and getting more active by rolling herself to therapy. All of it got way better after I... I mean SHE got more positive. (And okay, so I wanted to show that know-it-all nosypants that he DID NOT know everything.)
It's all in the attitude. You can choose to be PAM or you can choose to kick PAM's ass and be Positive Polly instead.
It's like this weekend's golf tournament. I don't know how many of you watch golf, but it was the US Open. And there was this guy - Erik Compton. He'd never won a major tournament in his life. he wasn't even on anyone's radar for being in the top 10... 15... 20 players. What he was that made him kinda noteworthy is a two-time heart transplant recipient. One heart transplant when you're 12 is awesome enough, but surviving a second one when you're in your late 20s is spectacular. That alone is an achievement. He could've waved the flag right there and spent the rest of his years kicking back on his laurels. But he wanted to play golf. He wanted to thrive at golf. And he tied for 2nd. His attitude was phenomenal all the way through. And every time he went in the weeds, he could've shrugged and given up. Every hole he didn't birdie could've made him walk off the course. But he didn't. He kicked ass.
Attitude people. If you don't like what's happening in your life, you have the choice of complaining and being all PAM about it, or you can choose to change your attitude. Life sucks? Well, it's better than the alternative. Ya know?
Or you can sit and bitch. Cuz, like that's the most fun thing ever. (Not really, but if you spend enough time on social media, it sure can feel like people think that some days.)
Now, what's something you can change your attitude about today? Personally, I have an upcoming 'big thing' that I can't talk about online* but that's making me all negative and nauseous, when I should be looking at it as an adventure. And since Friday, every time I start to get all Negative Nelly about it, I sing this in my head: Think Good Thoughts by Colbie Caillat. And I actually slept the last few nights straight through! Wow.
*It's not anything crucial, but like everything else I tend to think ahead of time of all the bad things that could happen. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best - that's been my screwed up philosophy for years. Problem with that is that in preparing for the worst, I think of every potentially awful thing that could conceivably happen. Which is also why I wasn't sleeping, btw.
Now that's what I call motivational speaking! Good to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I always hear my Mum's voice in my head saying "there's always someone worse off than you and if you count all the good things in your life, the bad things lose the power to hurt you". Admittedly when I had a very bad tooth extraction recently, it was hard to hold on to Positive Polly but see, now I'm fine and back to bouncy! Thinking of inspirational songs, try "If Only" by Hazel O'Connor - brilliant!ReplyDelete
I could have written this post word for freaking word. I've never heard of it put this way as PAM (but my husband will LOVE YOU for that) because he says the exact same things as your co-workers. I'm naturally a very negative person, but trying to change that. It's nice to know there are others who struggle (and WIN) with this too! Thanks for sharing :)ReplyDelete
Ugh. PAMs drive me crazy, even when I'm falling into that trap. I just wanna b!+chslap myself. *nods* That said, I'm a lot like you. I always assess worst case scenario, weight options, makes enough plans to scare a Pentagon strategist, and then jump in with both feet. Usually, my fears are unfounded. When they aren't? I'm prepared and the "hit" isn't nearly as bad as it would have been if I'd been caught flat-footed.ReplyDelete
My hubby tends to be a Negative Nelly and it drives me insane. Though I think he does it deliberately so I don't push him so hard.ReplyDelete
Whenever we come up on a problem (lately it's been all house-related) he sees it as a huge obstacle that we won't solve without a lot of sweat equity or money.
Me, all problems are just bumps on the road. Go around it, crawl over it, or flatten it. I don't want to hear the job is impossible. I want to know what my options are, and then get it done.