This is not some elaborate scheme to change your poor circumstances or switch your life around. I think switching our perspective is a lot easier to do than we think and harder to believe than we understand. But anyway…
Several days ago it was as if I had taken a page from the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Nothing – and I mean nothing – was going the way I was expecting and it was barely noon. Someone had backed their car into my bike, ruining the entire wheel and I had shut my bedroom door a little too vivaciously, causing the mirror hooked on the back to fall and crack. I spilled coffee on one of my most comfortable sweatshirts and I was going to be more than one minute late for class (which is past my tardiness limit).
The day continued in a spiral of negative attitudes and uninspiring classes. To finish it off this bitter-tasting day, I was determined to make the next day better than this one by picking out my best outfit the night before (this usually seems to help). During this process my entire world of clothes fell as the hooks holding my clothes broke. An avalanche of clothes toppled down.
That was it. The last straw.
Can I get a break here?
All I could do was sleep off the day as soon as possible. It wasn’t worth fixing immediately, I had met my boiling point. What do I do then? Cry? Scream? Punch the wall? As appealing as those seem, I just crawled into bed with no reaction. I was ready for a new start.
The next day a friend stopped by my house and discovered the broken pieces from a day I was glad to have over. I had taken my bike in to get fixed – that was one thing off my list. My friend said the closet was fixable, so alright things might be looking up. To save a shred of dignity, giving myself credit for not collapsing over this broken mirror I challenged Mr. Fix-it to this unsolvable item.
Without hesitation, he flipped the mirror upside down so only the bottom was cracked now and the top three-fourths: flawless.
Come on now! How had I panicked my way through a miserable day, only to be recovered by flipping a mirror around?
All I had needed was to look at it from a new perspective.
The closet: I should’ve been happy the poorly installed closet rack had fallen! I could have a new, properly screwed one now.
The bike: With the $50+ I spent on the new wheel, the bike repair place gave my entire bike a very necessary tune up!
The sweatshirt: I can now have a spill-your-coffee-on-a-bad-day sweatshirt. Who doesn’t want that?
The mirror: Well, the bottoms still cracked but it was redeemable.
Maybe my fix-its were simply and situational. Maybe these terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days will come again. But, my hope is for next time. Next time I hope to see my circumstances as fixable, rather than a messy, sinking hole. Now, I can’t chose what happens all the time, but what I can do is chose how I respond.
And might I add: this coffee stained sweatshirt is still the comfiest.