L!fe Notebook

May 7, 2019 | Filed Under Things I Think About | No Comments

I have been grumpy for a while. Seriously cranky and irritable and generally displeased with everything since mid-March, when I caught a cold on a business trip, and spent 12 days in Europe, unable to breathe and running a fever and not having a good time in any way, while doing business and missing out on a lot of wonderful experiences because I was too sick to leave the hotel.

My friends have been kind and patient (far more than I would expect anyone to be), and listened supportively as I express my dissatisfaction with myself, my life, and the world at large.

But, oh, my gods, I’m sick of it, and I’m tired of hearing myself be unhappy and dissatisfied with everything.

There’s nothing wrong with venting about real problems, but I realized I had become stuck in a permanent state of “I hate everything and nothing works and everything sucks and I’m tired”. And, most of all, I was tired of listening to myself.

I have a gratitude journal practice, but that wasn’t helping. On the spur of the moment, I grabbed a small L!fe notebook given to me by my friend Cindy a few months ago. I don’t usually use tiny notebooks, but I stashed this one with the idea that I’d think of something to do with it.

So, on this particular day (May 1, as a matter of fact), I was tired of my own voice in my own head, and I grabbed this notebook, noted the date, and wrote, “The rose that was dug out from the back yard two years ago has resurfaced, and has bloomed unexpectedly.”

I felt better.

The notebook now lives in my purse, so it goes with me everywhere. It sits on my desk as I work at the office, and on the desk in my study at home as I write (or think about writing, or pretend to think about writing, depending on the day).

That the notebook maker is called “L!fe” is not a subtlety.

Now, when I have a cranky thought, I stop and write a note about one good thing in my little notebook.

“One of the neighbors is baking, and the breeze is carrying the scent to our yard.”

“There are clean sheets on the bed, waiting for me at the end of the day.”

“I polished my boots yesterday, and they are wonderfully shiny.”

Little things.

Good things.

Things that will make a difference only if I stop and notice them.

And they’re so wonderful, why would I choose to ignore them?

Then I go back to the cranky thought to see if it still matters.

It usually doesn’t.

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