The Tyranny of Positivity

Negative Nellies – that’s the term people use to describe those embroiled in negative emotion. But is that fair? Are we judging people before we know what life is like for them? For example, my husband is very sick. Lately he has been battling a cough that makes it next to impossible for him to sleep at night, and consequently, me as well. He has a slew of health issues and is on several medications, which makes taking something for the cough problematic. Medications can interact with one another to make a bad situation even worse. It’s hard not to be negative when you’re sick and not getting the rest you need to recuperate.

And for me, lack of sleep combined with worry has made battling my negative demons even more of a challenge. Sometimes the societal demands to be positive when just putting one foot in front of another seems like a herculean task. Speaking for myself, it feels cruel. I am tired! So, can we cut one another a break? We don’t know what is going on in the lives of others. Can we set aside the judge’s robes and the demand for positivity?

Yes, positive emotions are easier to live with and a positive attitude is preferable to a negative one. Yet, we are all only human. Sometimes life is hard. Placing demands on people to be positive when we don’t know their situation or what issues they may be struggling with, is, frankly, inhumane in my view. Kindness and compassion will go a lot further to help people become more positive than the judgment and labeling of them as ‘negative nellies’.

Let’s be a little more gentle with ourselves, and with one another.

Pretty Blue Eyes

Is there anything as beautiful as the love of a pet? When I was younger I could not understand why people would go on and on about their dogs and/or cats. I used to think it was quite silly. Now I am one of those people! I hope I don’t bore others to death with my stories about Callie’s antics. But she really does bring light and laughter to my days. She loves to play and I end up laughing so hard at some of the crazy things she does. If I am not out of bed at my usual hour she will come and jump on the bed, put her nose on mine and meow quietly. She’s not rude at least. And it makes me smile to wake up to her pretty blue eyes staring into mine. And how can I get annoyed when she is so happy to see me?

I am grateful for the love of all the pets I have been blessed to share my life with, but Callie truly is special.

Rest this Labour Day

“Come to me all who labor and I will give you rest.” Mark 16:17  Today is Labour Day in Canada and also in the U.S.A. It is a day set aside to celebrate the work we each do year in and year out and recognizes humanity’s deep need for rest and relaxation; for renewal, rejuvenation; for time to recharge our mental, physical, and spiritual batteries.

I cannot help but think of all the people who are working today though. All the people who work in the food industry – the servers scurrying to bring us our meals as we lounge in comfort. The retail workers who stock the shelves or stand on tired feet at cash registers. Or the nurses, doctors, and administrative people working in hospitals today.

In Canada today is a stat holiday – which means everyone should be getting the day off. Unfortunately, that is not even possible in today’s world. After all, who would make our meals, or ring up our sales, or bandage our wounds if everybody took the day off.

Still, I hope all people get a day of rest, if not today then a day of their choosing. To rest from our labours is such a wonderful thing. Wherever you live on this great continent, I hope you take time to rest and rejuvenate and to fully enjoy life.

Negative Ions in the Air?

I had a woman come to the front desk to ask to use the phone this morning. However, policy does not allow us to give people access to the phone. So, before I could explain that she got very angry as soon as she heard “no” and huffed off out the door calling out to someone not within my view, “see, I told you they wouldn’t help me”. Then she looks back at me gives me a very dirty look accompanied by a hand gesture (you know the one). Had she given me a chance I could have explained that she could go to guest services to use the phone there. Oh well. I had actually wanted to help her, but she did not afford me the opportunity.

No, this is not the end of my little story. There were a few grumpy adults today – perhaps there was an over abundance of negative ions in the air? But then again, I also was treated to the smiles and pleasant demeanor of several little people today – maybe they are not affected by negative ions?

I love working with the public. I really do. But today it was the little ones, the babies and children who brought their gifts of laughter, love, and lightness that made the grumpiness of a few adults of no real consequence. Their negativity melted away like fog on a summer’s day thanks to the sunny dispositions of my smallest patrons.

I am grateful. I am grateful that though I may have to deal with a few grumps now and then, for the most part people are friendly, understanding, and kind. Perhaps the ones who aren’t are struggling with something that is getting them down. I think the important thing to remember when faced with such a situation as I described at the beginning is not to take it personally – who knows what that person may be dealing with. But I am hopeful of a better day tomorrow – one without dirty looks and ‘sign language’. Cheers!