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I have been told that I am sometimes perceived at work as being pessimistic. This was a bit of a blow, as I don’t generally see myself this way. But in thinking about this, I can see that I may be less than positive at times. I know that I don’t always make the best first impression. It is not that my intention is to be negative, but I observe procedures and rules and try to see the pros & cons. Apparently, people hear me speaking the cons more than the pros. It is something that I am working on.

Recently, I had a minor tiff with a co-worker/friend, who I trust and whose opinion I value greatly. And when he reminded me of this negative perception at times, I was hurt and upset. Of course, I dwelled on it for several days, because I spend waaaayyyy too much time in my own head. And I realized why this was so upsetting to me….. I do not want to be my mother. The fear of many people, becoming my parent.

I have said before that I mean no disrespect to my mom. She is not a bad person. But she is not the most encouraging, touchy-feely, Leave it to Beaver type mom. She never has been, so this is not new to me. She has good traits but being the first person that I would turn to for comfort is not one. Sometimes when I spend too much time with my extended family, I can feel the negative energy, and it is not a good feeling. This is not something that I want to be known for.

So, I have been trying to focus on more positive thinking. Small things here and there. November is a good month to do this because you are already supposed to be thankful for things, right? I have started my daily FB post of what I am thankful for. That is positive. It may be something as simple as the Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte being back, or that my husband (despite being a frustrating pain at times) is really amazing and perfect for me. Maybe it is cheesy, but I like it and I will continue doing it every November as long as I am on FB.

Then, I came across a meme on FB that challenged one to try not complaining for 24-hours. In theory, it is the start of being a better person. Okay, sure, I can give this a try.

So I make the decision to be cognizant of my complaining. I think that the first try lasted about an hour. And then there was something silly that Ed did or didn’t do. You know that complaint that couples have about a chore at the house being neglected (Ed- I know that you are reading this. Please do the dishes.) So there went that challenge. So I give myself a break and decide that I will give it another shot.

So the next day, I get up with a fresh start. I am getting ready for work, and all is going well. Until I get downstairs to find a “gift” that one of my sweet little Dachshunds has left for me. (Dog Shaming moment- Otty, everyone at our house knows it was you.)

Okay, minor set back. We can keep this up! And then I get in the car to drive to work. I am realize that I am a failure. I am unable to forego complaining whilst driving…. My name is Jenn and I have a teensy problem with road rage.

So I finished the challenge at work the rest of the day. And I have proven to myself, that I am unlikely to go 24-hours without complaining once. Try it! It is not easy. But by making the effort to complain less, I am feeling less weighed down. The day went better. And birds sang, and clouds rolled by. Wait, never mind, that was not me, but a nice thought regardless.

I am me and this is not going to change. But I can be a better version of me. I just need to aware of what I am giving off. Am I going to seem too focused at times or too serious? Yes, that is the same Jenn that I have always been. Will my first impressions seem a little better? Perhaps. Will it still take time to really get to know me? Probably. But just trying to be aware of the world as a whole and not just my own little realm is a good place to start.

The people who really know me will tell you that I am loyal, reliable, kind of airheaded at times, a little snarky and that I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy. But not every one gets that from me. It takes time.

That same co-worker/friend that I had the tiff with recently told me that he has “no bad days.” That is truly an awesome way to look at life. (Thanks B, For your unique words of wisdom! As crazy as it makes me, you do have good insight at times. And I truly could not appreciate you more. I will give him credit when it is due!) I am not sure that it will always happen but if the good days outnumber the bad then the world is a better place. Even if it is just my own world. Things could always be worse.

The holidays are fast approaching, so it is just a good time to make these changes in thinking. Make the world a better place a little at a time. It is not going to always be easy, but if each day a little less negativity pops its head up in your life, it is progress!