A Change of Attitude

Intro by Andrea; Post by Christina Noll

I love meeting new people… and I really love it when I meet someone who I instantly connect with. Christina and I met as many moms do – through our daughters. Christina immediately struck me as someone that I just knew I would connect with. She made a sarcastic remark that I think I was actually thinking at the exact same time… and I giggled, knowing that in a room full of other moms, there was one lady with my same thought process. I apologize to you, Christina, if it offends you that I think we might think alike.:)

Anyway, as all new friends do these days, we became Facebook friends. While looking at her profile and the pics of her three adorable kids, I noticed that she blogs. Ahh… a woman after my heart, for sure. Her blog (http://copynoll.wordpress.com/) is fabulous… you simply must check it out. Before you do, though, read on!

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“Oh, yesterday’s over my shoulder

So I can’t look back for too long

There’s just too much to see waiting in front of me

And I know that I just can’t go wrong

With these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes

Nothing remains quite the same…

If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane;

If we weren’t all crazy we would go insane”

–Jimmy Buffett, 1977

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I really wish this were a post about the beach. A change in latitude would be nice right now. Tropical breezes, warm water, cold drink in my hand…wait. Come back! You can go back to dreaming about the islands in a minute.

This post is actually about a change in my attitude.

Remember how at the beginning of the Flintstones cartoon the whistle would blow at the rock factory and then Fred would slide down the dinosaur’s neck to clock out of his job at the rock quarry?

Well, a few weeks ago I started having this huge pity party. Having been a stay at home/work from home Mom for so many years, I became very bitter about now being “trapped” in my office all day until it was time to clock out and slide down the dinosaur’s neck. (Not really, but there has been talk about getting a rope ladder for the window.)  I conjured up a fantasy of how perfect life had been then, and would be now, if I quit my job. In short, I convinced myself that the grass was greener on the other side.

I conveniently chose to forget that I had been restless after the kids had all started school and weren’t home with me anymore. I ignored the fact that we had struggled financially the entire time I was at home. I pushed aside memories of the worry and the loneliness—of all the reasons I went back to work in the first place.

I started making plans to quit my job. It was going to be tough, but we had done it before. It was going to mean sacrificing and an unsure future, but I was fine with that. As long as I had my ‘ME’ time to do whatever I wanted all day and not have to be somewhere at a specific time, and…..ohhhhhh.

And then it dawned on me.

I was being incredibly selfish. I was willing to have my entire family sacrifice all sorts of things, just so I could do what I wanted. Even worse, I didn’t even know what I wanted. Suddenly, everything came into perspective.

Did Fred Flintstone like going to the rock quarry each day? Despite having best friend Barney there to pass the time, I would dare say Fred did NOT like going to work all the time. I think he went to work, though, because it meant on Friday night he could stop off for some giant barbeque ribs on his way to the drive-in movie. (But what was up with the ribs tipping over the entire car? And why did Dino always poke his head through the roof of the car? Why didn’t he just get out of the car if he couldn’t see?)

Anyway. Clearly I was overly emotionally invested in the Flintstones. But I saw this on Twitter and it sort of summed it all up for me: “If you don’t appreciate the situation you are in, just remember—someone else is waiting to appreciate it instead.”

I took that to mean: “Hey Christina, you dumbass: If you quit your job doing what you love (writing) then someone else will be happy to take it. And then that someone else will be doing what you love all day, and getting paid for it, while you do…what is it you want to do exactly? You want to write and get paid? Yeah. Thought so.”

I thought that changing the situation would make things better, but what really needed to change was my attitude. Whether I go to work each day, or stay at home, my happiness is not based on my location (unless I am on a tropical island—then there is a direct correlation). Happiness is a choice. I choose to look forward, to embrace the place I am now. I choose to laugh, and I choose to write, and for now I choose to get paid for it. Most of all, I choose to love this crazy life, so I don’t go insane.

Side note: I do not choose to buy so many barbeque ribs that they tip over my car. But ribs do sound good right now, don’t they?

Christina Noll is a creative writer, excessive talker, bourbon drinker, lucky wife and delighted mother of three from Lexington, Ky. When she’s not writing serious stuff for clients, she sharpens her sarcasm skills describing her own version of reality on her blog at http://copynoll.wordpress.com/

 

 

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