For my part, the day was a mixed bag. There were some successes and some failures. That’s fairly typical output from me in the challenge department.
My humble overall goal for the day was to be “joyful” and remain positive for an entire 24 hours. Let’s see how I did by reviewing each item on my Top Ten list of ways I would be positive.
10. Start the day with clean clothes and a shave. Even for work!
Result: Success. I hate shaving. Even more, I hate shaving in the morning. And even more than that, I hate shaving for work. But I got ‘er done.
9: Refuse write down and save negative thoughts in my notes for tomorrow’s tweets. They shall instead be set free into the ether.
Result: Partial success. I did jot down a few thoughts negative thoughts for “later.” But only a couple. Some will claim this taints my grand experiment. So be it.
8: Surprise the office with coffee and donuts.
Result: Qualified success. I ran out of time (like I do every morning) so I couldn’t stop for the donuts. I did go to the fast food joint at my morning break and brought back a little something for everyone in the office. I also said, “Good morning,” to everyone when I got to work. That’s a huge departure for me. Fact: The boss snatched my gift out my hands without a word of thanks (or a word of any kind) and ripped into like a pack of piranha on a live cow that had just been dropped in their river. And that’s exactly what he eating sounded like, too. You’re welcome, douchebag.
7. Wave hello to the annoying mascot guy on the sidewalk.
Result: Failure. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I had two opportunities, morning and evening commutes, and I just could swallow that ugly lump of hate long enough to lift my hand and gesture (in a friendly way). On the way home I made the most effort but the guy was looking off into space so I figured what the hell. If you don’t know the schtick from Liberty Tax Service (people dressed up like the Statue of Liberty and waving like idiotic clowns) I’ll say this: I hate this sidewalk form of advertising and I have vowed that I will never use Liberty Tax Service for anything as long as I live.
6. Set aside time before work for meditation.
Result: Epic failure. I’ve been trying to get this done for months and I utterly failed. Again. The mornings before work are not a good time for me. That’s the understatement of the millennium.
5. Crack a smile at least once.
Result: Indeterminate. My mood didn’t really ever follow suit to my brief moments of success in behavior. I phoned it in. But one may have gotten by me. I’m not sure.
4. Forgive WordPress for eating this post by making me re-login (for no good reason) and forcing me to reimagine this list.
Result: Failure. Every once in a while WordPress will force me to login again at weird times. Like when I click the “Save Draft” button. Naturally after I logged back in a huge chunk of my creativity was gone. Apparently I was logged in enough to start a post but not for any of that auto save shit to work. Good to know. I never could remember all the items on the list so I made up new equally meaningless ones.
3. Perform a random act of service and/or kindness. #karma
Result: Partial success. I didn’t accomplish anything truly worthy of being called RAOK, but I did do a lot more than normal to help my wife with chores, cooking and such. I’m going to be greedy and call getting up off my ass a win.
2. Act nice to the boss.
Result: Partial success. I think I did pretty good, but his continued existence wore me down and I got weak. It felt a lot like God was using him against me in an effort to write a sequel to the Book of Job in the Bible. He always feels so deliberate in his button pushing, like it’s personal. So yeah, there were some moments of failure here.
1. Be friendly.
Result: Partial success. I gave it the old college try. There were some good moments, but there were also moments I found myself reverting to my tried and true methods.
At my age my neural pathways are a lot like cholesterol-choked arteries fried with eggs in butter. Especially when the skillet is powered by the fires within Mount Doom. (Yep. That’s where I like to cook my arteries.) Like my psychoanalyst tells me, any movement is a pretty big deal and should be regarded as a good thing. So some small progress was made, but overall, the universe remains mostly unscathed from the experience.
More fun than trying to be positive was the effect the small improvements I made seemed to have on others around me. Apparently I’m pretty set in my ways and tiny changes provoked rather larger reactions.
The most fun was probably in tweets, were I found it a bit easier to change the tone of my messages even if I didn’t really feel like it.
Probably the funnest part of all was hear the reaction of friends, old and new. Thanks for the comments and interactions!
Now, let us never speak of this day again. I have to maintain my Guru cred.
It was good to get away, but I have to say, it’s even better to be back. There’s no place like home.