n the 90s, Kris Akabusi (the most smiley athlete in all the land, nay the world) told us we had to have PMA to succeed.
Positive Mental Attitude.
OK, so he was trying to flog us a certain brand of washing powder but it’s always stuck with me, if in a lighthearted way. When stuff is a bit tough or if someone has an interview I’d declare “PMA” but I didn’t really think anything of it. Until now.
I’ve mentioned a couple of times I’ve been doing a lot of positive thinking of late. It was a conscientious decision, which I appreciate is a bit weird, but bear with….
Every day, when I wake up I spend a couple of minutes thinking about the things I am grateful & thankful for and the things I want to happen, both big and little.The obvious things like my children, Rory, my health, a decent nights sleep, a well behaved child.
Then throughout the day, in (rare) moments of quiet I think again about the things that have made me grateful, thankful and happy that day.
The dogs in the car that made me smile, the stranger who said hello, having a good catch up with a friend, the sun shining, making five minutes to chat to the neighbour rather than dashing off, Seth trying to say ‘squirrel’ (seriously, it’s too cute), a friend having happy news, a good cup of coffee.
Anything and everything that has made me smile or feel thankful I have listed mentally (and sometimes physically).
I know this sounds simple but at first it was incredibly hard to do. It really shouldn’t be, it should be so easy to walk along the street, see something that makes you smile and be thankful but it is hard.
Maybe because I’m such a negative ninny. Maybe because we all tend to overlook the small things as inconsequential when actually they are as important than the big things. But now I’m well into it and you know what?
I swear it works.
I generally feel better and happier. I catch myself with a small smile on my face for no reason. I feel more positive about life and now life doesn’t seem to have quite as many tough moments. I feel like I can actually achieve something (I don’t know what yet but it doesn’t matter, I CAN FRICKIN’ DO IT).
I even (and this is the big one) seem to have a better attitude toward myself.
I used to look in the mirror and say to myself
“My God, you disgust me. Look at you, you’re awful. Why do people bother with you?” (I was pretty mean)
But just the other day, I looked in the mirror and I said to myself
“Crikey, you’re looking old but today you look OK” and that felt good!
I know this approach won’t work for everyone, everyone has different issues and things going on but speaking about me and for me alone. This works.
I’ve realised I was surrounded by negative people, probably because I was so negative myself, and it got me stuck in a loop. I’m still there for my friends and I will be always, night or day but I’ve realised I can’t be responsible for their happiness and I can’t take it all in and dwell on it on their behalf.
There are still massive difficult moments but instead of just getting down and thinking the worst I know try to turn a negative into a positive. Aoife having a massive meltdown is not fun but I am grateful that she has the intellect to vocalise her opinion even though it may seem cheeky and sassy (and sound a LOT like something I would say)… A friend might be having a hard time and I feel powerless to make them feel better but I am grateful that they feel they can tell me they are having a hard time as that itself MAY have helped them feel a bit lighter or just like someone cares.
So yes, that’s all the hippy shit I’m up to but it’s working. I don’t know who I’m telling or thanking.
It could be God, the universe, life, nature. I suppose that’s for us to decide personally.
But I would definitely suggest you try it, just for a week.
Write down everything, be amazed at how the small things define your mood. Believe that good things will happen.
I now try not to say “I might” instead I try to say “I will” even if it sounds ridiculous.
I appreciate everything and everyone I have.
Except you, yes you there, at the back (Kidding).
That fact I can look in the mirror without (mostly) feeling self loathing and the fact that for the first time in five years I can actually see myself as a decent mummy is enough for me ?
I do, however, worry that my new found optimism will render me humourless, because, you know, I was pretty funny before……
Just a note here, I had written this post earlier today, before I spent an hour at the hairdresser in front of the most unflattering mirror EVER.
I noted my cheeks are too wobbly, my jowls are setting in, my roots need colouring, my chins are too many, my hips too wide and I’m almost certain I see the makings of a moustache.
Given that lengthy list it was pretty tough to find a positive. I did find one though.
I am grateful that my hairdresser clearly didn’t do maths at school and mistook 2 inches for 4 inches as it actually worked out OK for my head in the end.
Also, I hope you all like my new blog. Got me my own name in a website (it is almost like my name in stars) and I think it looks cleaner.
Feedback would be appreciated, unless it’s mean.