This morning I hopped on Facebook, as usual. I drink my coffee, watch the local news, and check my email/Facebook/links/etc. I posted a very sweet video of Jack last night right before bed. I had some likes and comments on that. It was what I checked on Facebook first. Then I decided to look at my news feed. That was kind of a mistake. A ton of people had negative/complaining/judging posts/know it all rants. I thought “geesh, these people never change” It tends to always be the same people in my Facebook feed. They post different “topics” but it is always the same theme. It is always negative or righteous or better and smarter than the rest of the world. I need to start using my delete or hide button more liberally.

I do not claim to be perfect. I know I have had my periods of moodiness in life. There was probably a time that I could fall under the above categories when it came to my posts. Then I got pregnant. Then I had a baby. Then I became a mom. Then I got rid of some negative influences in my life.  I think I have changed a great deal since becoming a mom. My world changed because I realized I was responsible for another tiny little human being. My outlook in life would have a great impact on his outlook in life. I made an effort to be positive, happy, and content.

As I scrolled farther I came across a beautiful link from Mind Body Green. The Not-To-Do List: 15 Habits to Stop Now. I thought how funny it was that I should come across it this very morning. I opened it and read. It was perfect.

  1. Don’t be mean or snarky. (Instead: Be kind.)
  2. Don’t judge. (Instead: Be receptive and open.)
  3. Don’t compare. (Instead: Recognize and celebrate others achievements.)
  4. Don’t disrespect. (Instead: Be respectful of other people, situations, time and things.)
  5. Don’t hold grudges. (Instead: Forgive people, situations and yourself.)
  6. Don’t be selfish. (Instead: Be thoughtful of others, life is not a game of solitaire.)
  7. Don’t be ungrateful. (Instead: Be content with what you have: it is always enough.)
  8. Don’t deny responsibility for the quality of your life. (Instead: Be responsible for your thoughts, emotions, body, and actions.)
  9. Don’t lose your sense of humor. (Instead: Be funny, laugh a lot – even at yourself.)
  10. Don’t assume the worst. (Be positive, hopeful and assume the best.)
  11. Don’t be stingy, (Be generous with everything especially your time, love, and money.)
  12. Don’t lose interest. (Be curious, creative and actively filled with wonder.)
  13. Don’t stop listening. (Be an active listener and hear what is not being said—and not said.)
  14. Don’t get stuck. (Be open to change and new perspectives.)
  15. Don’t act conceited and think you know everything. (Be a life long learner.  Never stop growing and humbly expanding your knowledge.)

I make an effort to be all of these. I may not be them all daily, weekly, or monthly, but I do try to pull a few into each day. I have my moments, like I said. I certainly didn’t know about this list until this morning, so for the most part I just came to these conclusions on my own. I have made a big change where I avoid posting negative things on Facebook. No one really cares, unless they are just as miserable. If I am having a tough time I turn to my husband, best friend, or mom. They really are the only ones who know how to listen and help. Since they know me so well.

My big problem on this list is not holding grudges. I am awful at that. If someone hurts me I rarely am able to totally look past that and forgive them entirely. It is something I have been working on. It has gotten easier as a mom, unless someone messes with my kid. I guess some habits die hard.

I just felt that people should think about these things more before posting all of their drama and garbage. Mostly because all of the posts above think shared link were so unhappy and negative. I have about 4-5 people on my friend list that I can think of off the top of my head that could use some reflecting on this subject. Is this judging? Number 2 on the list? Maybe. But the proof is in the pudding and I see the posts regularly and sometimes I am exhausted for them. It is exhausting being that negative. So I am not judging them but really wishing they could find that rest and relaxation of their soul/heart. That they could not feel all of that negativity, because it is so destructive to your own self. I had a period in my life where I was that negative. I was going through some things and working through some awful things that happened to me. It is not an excuse to treat people badly but I was not myself. I know that they may be dealing with darker deeper things, I totally understand that. I was there. It is tough and self destruction is easier than healing. Healing is hard work. I survived and got through it. Yesterday I was able to discuss it with someone I met a few months ago. I found a comrade in arms, unexpectedly. That is a big step for me. I was feeling a little anxious about it all last night but this morning I woke up feeling fine. I slept through the night, which I was unsure if that would happen, having drudged up all the past thoughts. So I woke up feeling positive, happy, content, thankful, etc. That is a huge deal and step! It is easy to have moved on and not think about things. To be happy now. but after talking about things, those memories come back and well, it can bring up past fears. For me, this time, I was good! I just wish more people could feel that way. Work through whatever demons are in their past or present and be happy. It isn’t easy. It wasn’t over night, but it is possible.

My huge wake up call was becoming a mom. Life is so much bigger once you are a parent. The thing is, most of the people I am thinking about are also parents. So I suppose they would need to find their own change trigger, but becoming a mom was mine. Things are more important that my little selfish world. Also, getting rid of certain negative influences in my life really changed me. To the point where my husband was happy that I had stopped talking to these people. He made comments on how the normal me was back. Negativity feeds negativity. It is a dangerous cycle. All of the things on the list can easily be fed by another influence in your life. It is incredible how easy it is to stay positive when something isn’t whispering in your ear to keep on being negative, self pitying, unhappy, etc. I think that would fall under number 14, to not get stuck in this routine/rut/friendship/relationship/etc. If it is unhealthy for you, don’t get stuck. Take responsibility for your life, number 8, and change, move on, eliminate the negativity.

I like being happy and content. Like I said, I am not perfect. I have crabby days. We all do. We are entitled to have a cranky day or a bad day. Truly we are. We have so much responsibility that it is impossible to be all 15 things of those every single day of every single month of every single year. The difference is, it doesn’t have to consume you. It really doesn’t. Have your bad day, be grumpy, but the next day be resigned to wake up happy. Find the joy in something during that bad day. A child’s smile, a funny joke, a hug, etc. There is always something good going on. Jack was about 5 months old. I had him in my Ergo carrier at the grocery store. We were checking out and there was a woman in line behind us. He was already a charmer and smiling, cooing, and giggling. She asked me about him, how old he was, etc. She then said to me, “thank you. I was having an awful day and he really really brightened it up.” I will never ever forget that. A total stranger found happiness on a crap day because of my baby. She would never see him again, never know anything much about him, other than he was a sweet infant. But his smile and his innocence brought her the joy she needed that day. It is possible to find one small happy thing in your bad day. She really opened my eyes to that. She did something for me that she will never know about. I think about that often, even though all this time has passed. I may have cheered up her day by being in that store at that moment with my son, but her response and honesty gave me an outlook for life.

I am so thankful and grateful to have the life I have. I have 2 wonderful boys in my life. Last night Jack was walking around asking for me. I was at class. He went to the back door, that leads to the garage, which I exit through. He knocked on the door saying Mom over and over. Jason got it on video. My heart melted when I watched it. Yesterday was a great day, but even finding joy on a joyous day is good. It is good for the soul and the heart.

I am going to remind myself about these 15 things when my day seems impossible, because life in fact is good, and if you make the choice to see that, it gets even better! Have you found a way to live in the happy moments? To know that bad days happen but overall life is beautiful and should be embraced? Do you encounter a lot of negativity on social media? Do you ignore it and move on to the next post? Or do you comment? Have you come across lists like this before? Do you try to pull any of these into your daily thoughts?