Just recently, I was told that my positivity, is downright irritating. It wasn’t just one person who mentioned this to me, it was at least two and perhaps a third was nodding in agreement. If you are a fairly recent friend or colleague of mine, you may be nodding along. Also, you may be right.
I laughed when this was relayed to me, but as with anything, when I am the common denominator in any story, there is likely some truth to what others are saying. So, it became immediately clear that it was time to check myself and then, refine my communications skills. (And yes, that is a positive action in the right direction. Go me! oops. Sorry, I slipped.)
I have evolved into someone who is generally pretty positive. Sometimes, I’m aware that I seem like the newest graduate of “Up With People.” While I won’t get into all of the reasons why I am this way, I wasn’t always this way. There were peaks to climb and sinkholes to jump over. It took enormous sweat equity and several near death experiences to get this positive. Each day, I am so grateful to be alive. THIS is the crux of it, I think.
Still, I don’t have to communicate my gratitude so overtly. I imagine me 22 years ago meeting me now. The youthful me would have punched the current me in the face.
Last night, I worked very late. After a long day, I stopped at the drive-thru at a famous donut store who I’ve blogged about before years ago, so they’ll remain nameless. My daughters had friends over, so I had to arrive home with the goods. Here’s how the conversation between me and the drive-thru employee went:
Donut Dude: May I take your order?
Me: Hi. I would like a toasted bagel with JUST egg on it, a cheese and egg sandwich on a PLAIN bagel, a turkey sausage croissant, a veggie, egg white wrap and half a dozen donuts. Oh, and hash browns too.
Donut Dude: We don’t have hash browns tonight.
Me: Okay. No hash browns. Do you have chocolatey donuts?
Donut Dude: No ma’am. We do not.
Me: Do you have blueberry donuts?
Donut Dude: Nope.
Me: What about those pumpkin donuts or peanut donuts?
Donut Dude: We don’t have either of those.
Me: What donuts do you have?
Donut Dude: We are out of donuts.
Me: REALLY? (laughing) Are you serious?!?!
Donut Dude: Yes, and we only have a few Munchkins.
Me: (Still laughing as I play along with him, knowing the answer that’s coming), Do you have chocolate Munchkins?
Donut Dude: (So over me) No ma’am. We have no chocolate and no donuts.
Me: Okay, I guess that’s it.
Donute Dude: $21.06. Drive up.
So, why am I telling this story? Well, for a few moments, I thought about driving to a whole other donut shop to get my daughters and their friends the brown frosted items they wanted, but instead, decided the extra 12 minutes could be spent WITH these people and taking a load off of myself. This made me feel great and not guilty, but rather, evolved from where I once existed.
I love to please people, but I have become pretty good at avoiding unhealthy and unhelpful people pleasing and have grown to finally exercise decent self-care.
I never imagined I could feel this at peace. Never.
My daughters and their friends and I had a fantastic time together, and the sandwiches from the donut shop were pretty gross. We all had a terrific laugh together as we found other things from our kitchen to eat.
I am extremely respectful of other people’s feelings and opinions. This doesn’t mean I’m going to turn myself into a pretzel because people are irritated by my positivity. I will, however, adjust my expressive nature around how happy I’ve become after many years of utter misery.
What is likely not to happen, however, is that I won’t join the team that refuses to see and celebrate the azure sky because they are too busy focusing on the one minuscule cloud that’s in it. Yes, others’ feelings matter, but it wouldn’t be helpful to anyone, for me to join in the sadness and/or obsession of focusing on that cloud.
Now, I am off to work for another really long day at an organization and position that I absolutely adore. I am not skipping to my lou about today’s workload, but I am looking forward to heading to the drive-thru donut shop beforehand, just to see if they have any donuts.
This, I will make time and space for. because I have the time and the space. Incidentally, there is not one cloud in the sky this morning. Not one.