A few nights ago I fought with a roll of toilet paper and nearly lost. More accurately, I fought with gravity. I woke up just before 5 a.m. to use the bathroom. Using one of those toilet paper holders would have prevented this, but in the house we’re renting, the toilet paper holder is too far away for my daughter to reach it, so as I sleepily fumbled with the toilet paper roll above the open toilet, I saw my life flash before my eyes. Panic set in. Time seemed to move in slow motion as the roll bobbed back and forth between my hands before finally, thankfully, sprawling itself across the floor. But for about 3.5 seconds, I was a bit panicked. That’s all it takes sometimes, isn’t it. Sometimes that’s all it takes for us to come undone, especially when it’s not yet daylight.
One of the things I’ve learned is that sometimes you have to let things go. I know that many times this is easier said than done. Believe me, I know. I have been on both sides of it. I have been one to hold onto things and let them fester, but I’ve learned to also let things go. I’d like to say it’s easier to hold onto the things that hurt me, but it just makes me hurt over and over again. Life is much too short to be consumed with hurt feelings and anger. And, honestly, it doesn’t make me a very enjoyable person to be around. No one likes to be around someone who is constantly angry, complaining, resentful, or holding others to someone else’s actions. There are times when things aren’t going well when I have to remind myself to shut up and focus on the good.
Letting things go can be really hard, but it’s so rewarding. For everyone. I’m annoyingly optimistic. I know this. I’ve nearly always been this way. I try to let the crappy parts of my day roll off like my toilet paper across the floor. It’s freeing. It frees you to appreciate the good parts. But how do we do this?
Let it out. It’s good to have those friends that you can vent to and say anything to and know they’re not going to think less of you for it. Give yourself a window of time and let it all out if you need to. Allow yourself to cry, cuss, shoot Nerf darts against the wall, whatever you need to do to get it out.
Engage in the world around you. Go out in nature. Be with people who make you laugh. Listen to others. Encourage others. Pray for others. Help out in your community. Do something that gets the focus off of you.
Stop negative talk. Turn those thoughts around. Become aware of self-sabotaging chatter in your head, or even coming from your mouth. Don’t be a Debbie-downer. No one likes a Debbie-downer.
Reflect on the good. Think about your achievements. Think about the positives in your life, in your day, in your situation, and be thankful for them. I’ve had days where my “good” for the day was that I was able to enjoy a hot cup of coffee. Some days you have to dig deep.
Take care of yourself. Get enough rest and sleep. Do something for you. Take a bath. Partake in things you enjoy. Spend time on your hobbies. Spend time with those you care about and who care about you. Exercise. Avoid drugs and alcohol, which will actually make you feel worse and take away from your quality of sleep.
Sometimes things just don’t go as planned and you have to adapt, let go, and move on. Like this photo, for instance. I was trying to get a shot for my profile photo for my blog and Facebook page and the kitten thought I was there to play, and it actually turned out to be a good photo despite my furry photo bomber.
Go out and enjoy the moment, enjoy the good, let the not-so-good go. Sing the song if you have to. You know the one. And go live bravely in today.