Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Being positive

So here's what I've gotten done today so far.
-Mowed the front and side lawns
-Worked with M. on creating and planting a flowerbed
-Watched a movie with the kids (City of Ember) so we can take it back to the library; discussed how the movie compares to the book
-Washed the dishes
-Cleaned the bathroom floor for the first time in I'm-not-going-to-tell-you-how-long
-Washed, dried, and put away a couple of loads of laundry
-Made banana-chocolate smoothies for the kids and me

And here's what I haven't gotten done today so far.
-(Insert list here of 9,827 things that really need to get done soon)

Why is it so hard to focus on what has gotten done and so easy to focus on all the things that haven't gotten done? Looking at the first list, I think it's been a pretty good day. But I can't help thinking about all the other things I wanted to accomplish. I need to figure out how to be productive and positive at the same time. Any advice?


Cori said...

You should've just bagged it all and gone swimming with us! HAHAHA! Actually I don't have much advice because I am the same way. It does help to write down all the things you did accomplish and be proud of that list instead of the to-do list stuff you didn't get to. I think you got a lot done today!

Lisa said...

I just read a summary of a study (which I now can't find the link to) that talked about how people overemphasize negative occurances at the expense of positive ones. For example, somebody gets ripped off and loses $20. That person will stew and stew over it. Same person gets a refund check in the mail for $50. Brief moment of happiness or relief, but nearly no lingering happiness.

I know this is true with me. If I accomplish something good, I'll celebrate it in my head for maybe a minute. But if I mess something up, it will keep me up all night.

I read an interview with Stephen Sondheim in which he said his therapist had gotten after him for the same thing. The therapist said something like, "You just won this huge award! Take some time and celebrate it!" but Sondheim just couldn't. He needed to get back to agonizing over the next problem with the next play.