Thursday, March 9, 2017

Needs Work vs. Work in Progress

As I was writing this post, the first headline I came up with was "Needs Work".  As in, Cordelia's egg-laying skills need work.

Maybe she sneezed...

That got me thinking about how what I say can have either a negative or positive spin to it.  "Needs Work" makes me think that I am belittling C's new egg-laying efforts.  If I said her egg-laying is a Work in Progress, that connotes she will be doing much better in no time.  She's working towards greater (bigger) things. 

I have had people tell me that they like to be around me because I am so positive.  Let me tell you, I am not, naturally, a positive person.  Far from it.  I have struggled with depression and low self-esteem most of my life.  I am cynical.  I am sarcastic.  BUT, somewhere along the zig-zaggy line of my trajectory through life, I realized that being positive was much better for me.  If I took a positive view of everything that I could, I would be happier.  I would be healthier.  I would be much better company.  As the years progressed, it did become easier to be positive (although it has been a major slog since last November) and it is one of the few good habits I have stuck to.  There are times when the cynicism and sarcasm bubbles to the top but, then, who wants to be stuck in positive all the time?  I'd rather be an onion than a daisy.

Speaking of conundrums (were we?), why is it that I can come up with a clever way to keep my torn tea bag from leaking leaf debris in my tea cup, but I can't remember why I was in the laundry room?


  1. Hi Susan :) That's a great tea contraption! :) I can relate. I still struggle with depression and anxiety, it's not fun and it makes a person lose their spirit. It's hard to change from onion to daisy. But I realized too that positive does help, even when I don't want to be. I've changed my language a little, what used to be hard is now challenging. What seems impossible to do is now something I'll see as rewarding and a learning experience. You know...just that little bit of change in wording does make the difference. I've been around negative people my whole life, that's probably why I decided to live like a hermit for so long. Anyone who caused me pain from their negativity, I just gradually let go of. I have enough to deal with on my own! I think you're a fine onion ;)

  2. Another good reminder that "Words matter." Have a great day, Susan!

  3. I have been working with a woman who has had a HORRIBLE life. She is extremely negative and I have been trying to get her to focus on the very few good things in her life. It is tough. My heart breaks for her. It makes me realize how lucky I am.

  4. Susan, If you looked in the mirror you'd see me. I struggle daily trying to keep a positive attitude, and keeping the black dog at bay. (Boy can I work myself up with negative thoughts!) I just stay prayerful and keep it moving. Think happy thoughts!

  5. I think negativity is a habit. And, boy howdy, what a hard one to break! But as you've demonstrated by your words and actions, it can be done. If only each of us could get a glimpse of ourselves (on the occasional days when the black bugaboos have hold of us) and realize the bad vibes we project which affect not only our own lives but that of OTHERS(!), I think it might give us a good boot in the butt to try harder to change. Some days all we can manage is to "play act," put on that smile and chirky personality . . . which actually works (if we hang in there) to change our mood. I grew up with a very negative dad and a mom who was a peace-maker. On my good days, I take after Mom, on bad ones . . . well, as my dear husband has said, "You are your father's daughter!" :o/

  6. The problem with chronic negativity is that it inevitably drives people away. Being positive, however, attracts people to you.

  7. Susan,

    Clever fix of the tea bag!!!! Depression and low self esteem is something I believe we all go through at different points in our lives. Having animals (like dogs) provides a person with emotional support, physical activity, and mostly that calming affect.