I have this rule for myself when life just doesn’t seem to be going my way – I call it the 24-hour rule. According to said rule, I allow myself 24 hours to sulk, be upset, pissed off, or whatever other negative emotion I might be experiencing about a situation, and then I force myself to make a plan to get the hell over it.
I’ve been known to press this rule on my friends and family as well. Too often I get invited to pity parties – those things fucking suck – where I immediately present the rule and let them know that I’m happy to support their terrible attitude for the next full day but I expect a plan for how they’re going to move forward tomorrow. Some have fully appreciated this, others don’t take to kindly to my “lack of sensitivity.” But, it’s not for everyone I suppose.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule – like a death in the family or other devastating news that requires a full-fledged grieving process. I’m talking about your everyday run of the mill issues, like getting a talking to from your boss, or even bigger things like minor car accidents, injuries, even an unexpected change in career path, that inconvenience you and piss you off, but aren’t enough of a travesty to ruin your spirit.
I’m a believer that time heals all wounds, and that most over-reactions in life can be prevented by sleeping on it before taking action – especially on an emotionally charged situation. That said, sometimes it takes a little effort to get yourself back on track.
That’s where the 24-hour rule comes into play.
Give yourself time to grieve, to hate, to cry – whatever you need. But then, make it a point to move on. This timeframe may not work for you, you might need 2 days, a week, whatever, but then find ways to keep your mind productive. Make a plan for getting back on track. Have an injury and can’t do the things you love most? Okay, that sucks, be pissed. Then, figure out how you’re going to spend your recovery time. Read that book you’ve always wanted to read. Take up photography. Volunteer. Push yourself out of your comfort zone so you still know what it’s like to experience living. Whatever it is, do something to get your head out of the negative and be happy with your situation right now. Don’t let life turn you into Debbie Downer, no one wants to surround themselves with that kind of negative energy.
Of course, this is all easier said than done. It takes practice, persistence. You’re still going to have moments of missing whatever it is that was stripped from your life, but if you’re determined to not let the twists and turns of life bring you down, you’ll come out on the other more complete and fulfilled than you could have imagined.
Love and Blue Skies!