Today, my oldest and I were playing badminton. When we started playing before Christmas she was really bad, worse than I thought she should be for someone who’s played badminton before in school. But that isn’t the point. The point is that she has really improved over the last few months. She isn’t ready to win any tournaments (neither am I) but now she can serve and we can rally for quite a while without missing.
Today she was focused on the bad though. She was so frustrated with how she was playing and the fact that she isn’t ready to win tournaments yet. I shared how much I thought she had improved but she was having none of it. As a matter of fact, her tirade turned into how much she sucks at everything. We pretty much had to stop playing and I made her list stuff she was good at. Of course it started out lame like “I’m good at breathing, I’m good at brushing my hair”. As we turned it into a bit of a joke it got slightly better.
The thing is, I think she is good at so many things. She is at the top of her class, she is always winning awards for something or other, she is creative and fantastic at drawing. But she is only mediocre at sports and that drives her crazy. It drives her so crazy that she extrapolates it to everything else and then all of a sudden it becomes “I’m not good at anything”.
In her defence, she is almost 13 and the moodiness and hormones have kicked in full gear. It’s a time of life when everything is always the worst thing ever. And yet as I was hanging out on the couch tonight, thinking about how I feel I have made no progress in my Revitalize Me project I realized that I was doing the exact same thing that she did earlier. And what is my excuse? I’m definitely way past the teen years and yet when I do a quick evaluation of myself it is that I have made no progress in almost 2 months. When the truth is, upon closer reflection, I have made some progress.
I certainly am not eating 4-5 fruits and veggies/ day, there are some days when I am lucky to consume 1. But there are days when I am hitting this goal, I just need to try and make them more frequent now. I also have not made a whole bunch of new friends, but I have had lunch and dinner dates with old friends, keeping up a connection even through unemployment, and I did go play badminton with a bunch of strangers and I intend to go again. I have blogged here even when I didn’t want to and tried hard to accomplish the items on my 52 Actions list. Although I’m not happy each and every day there are usually portions of the day where I am feeling pretty good about things.
So why do we, my daughter and I (and probably loads of other people), just kind of gloss over the good things and assume that we suck at everything when that definitely is not the truth? How do we get into a state of negativity that is so engrained? And how does it happen so early in our lives?
I really need to refocus on the happiness portion of my goals. I was reading lots of books on it and feeling really positive but somehow I have gotten out of it already. It’s so easy to slip back into bad habits and hard to establish positive new ones. Luckily I did give myself a year to work things out. I think I may need to revisit my short term goals but there is no reason why I cannot revitalize my life. I need to keep my eyes on the long-term goal and set up super simple short-term goals that are easy to check off the list. I can do this!!