Simple Living Tips: Seeing the big picture

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seemed to go right? Take yesterday, for example. I definitely had a bad case of the Mondays, although I’m certainly glad no one said that to my face.

To start things off, I woke up way before I was due to get up and of course couldn’t get back to sleep. “It’s going to be one of those days,” I grumbled to myself as I crawled out of bed. My foul mood worsened as I realized I was out of orange juice and had a glass of water with breakfast instead. I typically work from home on Mondays but had to go in to the office yesterday so I could get into our budget system. This idea didn’t thrill me.

When I got to my car I saw that it was caked in ice. The ice scraper I own is pathetic. I’d be further ahead using a credit card on the windows instead. So after way too much physical exertion for 7:30 in the morning, I gave up trying to chisel a peephole through the ice and got in the car.

Then I couldn’t find my sunglasses. So I ran back inside and searched the kitchen only to discover that the sunglasses had been in my inside pocket all along. Awesome. Back to the car.

I was now running later than usual thanks to the inordinate amount of time spent scraping my windshield and searching for the sunglasses in my pocket. As a result I got caught in some snarly traffic getting into Mississauga.

My Miserable Monday continued:

  • The budget system went haywire.
  • I realized I was wearing a dress shirt with little flowers on it (It was a “new” shirt and I hadn’t noticed the flowers when I put the shirt on that morning).
  • I went to the bathroom and cringed as I sat on the dreaded “warm seat”. (A courtesy flush from the co-worker in the stall next to me would have been nice too).
  • I forgot to buy salsa on my way home from the office.
  • To cap things off, Stockie got into more coyote poop on our walk through the woods that evening.

However, it was also on that same walk that I got to shake off the annoying funk I was in. I started to question how bad my day really was and came to two conclusions.

  1. If you start off the morning telling yourself “It’s going to be one of those days,” guess what? It’s going to be one of those days. My sour outlook put me in a negative frame of mind so that of course everything seemed to go wrong. Bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy I guess.
  2. The math doesn’t add up.

One of those days where nothing seems to go right. Really? Compare as we dare, shall we?

What that went “wrong”:

  1. Bad sleep
  2. Ran out of orange juice
  3. Icy windshield/crappy scraper
  4. Misplaced my sunglasses
  5. Stuck in traffic
  6. Wore a girly shirt to the office
  7. Computer on the fritz
  8. Smelly bathroom
  9. Forgot to get salsa
  10. Dog ate poop

Now compare that to everything that went right:

  1. Roof over my head
  2. Food to eat for breakfast
  3. Running water for a shower
  4. Electricity working in the house
  5. Clothes on my back (flowers or no flowers)
  6. Beautiful sunny day
  7. Safe drive to work
  8. Co-worker announcing he and his wife were expecting again
  9. Got my work done (fritzy computer or no fritzy computer)
  10. Lunch in my belly
  11. Made plans to go camping with my friends
  12. Remembered to buy everything else besides salsa
  13. Money in the bank to pay for my groceries
  14. Mini-Wheats on sale
  15. Safe drive home
  16. Feeling healthy
  17. Got to watch the sun set as I walked my poop-eating dog
  18. Found a jar of salsa in the back of the pantry
  19. The Office reruns on TV
  20. Supper in my belly

And the list can go on and on.

The point is that the good far outweighs the bad. We just need to remind ourselves of everything awesome we take for granted.

My friend, Julie, sent me a link to a cool website called Happyrambles that encourages people to write down on a daily basis the things they’re grateful for. Neat idea.

If you find yourself having a bad case of the Mondays, consider the bigger picture and remind yourself of all the good stuff you got going on as well.

What simple but often-taken-for-granted stuff are you grateful for today?


Funny stories. Good advice. Josh Martin is the author of the book “Simple(ton) Living: Lessons in balance from life’s absurd moments.” Click here to learn more and to purchase a copy.

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One Response to Simple Living Tips: Seeing the big picture

  1. Pingback: Hay Bale to the Head: A lesson in work-life balance | Josh Martin Ink

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