Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Focusing on the Small but Positive Things on a Bad Day At Work

Some days just fight against positivity. This is one of them. My small pleasure for the day that I’m focusing on is that I get to leave work and go home. It’s not much but it’s definitely seeing the positive in a vast array of negativity.

It was just one of those days. If something could go wrong, it did. I’m not going to bore you with the details because, well, I don’t want to bore you with the details. It was just the type of day where I found myself wanting to hide in the bathroom in case that made it get better or I just kept counting down until I got to go home.

I’ve had days like this before. I’m sure you have too. They’re unavoidable. Even when you try very, very hard to stay happy and positive and tell yourself that ‘this too shall pass’ and ‘well, it could be worse,’ it’s hard to remember that when the next annoyance occurs.

The nice thing is that this type of day will pass and it could be MUCH worse. It’s nothing that can’t be solved by going home, scooping up a dachshund and hugging her, making something good for dinner and drinking a glass of wine.

The trouble is that while you’re at work and the domino effect of frustration is in full-swing, it’s all you can do to not put your head down on your desk and either weep with frustration or beat your forehead against the desk repeatedly. Either way, you’re going to look strange to coworkers.

I didn’t do either. Instead, I focused on the fact that the day would be over eventually and tomorrow would be a whole new day.

Also, it wasn’t all bad. Despite the fact that my one candidate I had to interview today got lost on the way here and was almost an hour late which really screwed up my schedule…he was a nice guy and I was glad I got to meet him.

I suppose it’s all about seeing the sunshine instead of all the clouds it’s shining through. It’s all about perspective. My bad day was a haze of rejections and mistakes but in that, there were things I did right as well.

It goes back to what I’ve been saying all week. It’s all about the small things. If I focus on the small positives, the day doesn’t seem quite so bad.

In my case getting to go home is the biggest ‘small’ positive. Yet the day had a few others of those. I got to make a terrible “That’s what she said,” joke and have my coworker walk away, rolling her eyes. I got to leave my Diet Coke out of the fridge all day and enjoy it’s room temperature-ness at the end of the day. (Yes, I find that a big positive).

And then there are the non-work things that helped me get through the day. The fact that I’m going to make salmon with asparagus, sautéed spinach and a baked potato for dinner is a positive thing. The fact that the “Top Chef: All Stars” reunion is on tonight and the start of “Top Chef: Masters” is another. The fact that I can call my mother to complain about my bad day and know that she’ll listen, sympathize and be there for me is a big ‘small’ positive.

Finally, the fact that no matter how bad the day is, it’s never enough to make me hate my job and not want to come back tomorrow. That’s a HUGE small positive.

So, what it really comes down to is do I want this day to defeat me or will I conquer it and start it all over tomorrow?

I think that answer is pretty obvious. That, in itself, is the biggest small positive of all.

Happy Thursday!

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