Thoughtful Thursday: Struggling with a Bad Attitude

Welcome to the first ever "Thoughtful Thursday"!

I plan on making Thoughtful Thursday a theme focusing on the parts of life we deal with every day. The "Thoughtful" aspect of these posts will involve depth - wisdom, encouragement, and open dialogue about the parts of life we deal with every day.

I am very excited about Thoughtful Thursdays because I love thinking deeply about mostly everything.
I am one of those people who considers small talk to be a necessary evil. 
I dread small talk, but I know it is part of the structure of growing relationships.


Today I want to talk about something that I struggle with every day -
a bad attitude.  

This morning, I woke up still feeling like I had Chipotle in my stomach from the night before - not the best feeling in the world.
(My body is very sensitive to food. I can't eat a few hours before going to bed, or else I will have terrible nightmares, wake up the next morning with a physical pit in my stomach, and if whatever I ate is extra unhealthy, I'll wake up in the middle of the night sweating!)
Still laying in bed, I remembered that Michael made a 9am appointment for me to take our car to get its oil changed. 
I sighed.
"Are you going with me to Midas?" I asked Michael as he 
was getting ready for work.
"No, I was planning on going with you but I realized I have a meeting at 10am."
"Oh, okay." I replied.
I wish he were going with me. Now I have to go alone and deal with a situation I know almost nothing about and --
oh, great, the car is on empty. Looks like I'll have to leave here even earlier, I thought to myself.
In retrospect, I now see where my bad attitude started. 
Thoughts --> (choice of) perspective --> attitude.
Or something like that. 
One influences the other, and that influences the next, and so on.

So there I was, at Midas, and when the guy was checking me 
in, he asked me a question.
"The car you drive can take two different kinds of oil.
There's this one that is the lowest quality, and 
this one that is the highest quality. Which one do you want
to go with? The higher quality one will give you
twice the length of time to change it."
(he explained the types of oil to me in more complex  and mechanic-y terms, but this is how I interpret car stuff.)
"Umm... I'm honestly not sure. Leeeeet me call me husband and find out!"
I had no idea what to choose or what we could afford, so I called Michael and
took care of it.
The guy told me that the wait would be about 45 minutes. 
Ughhh. Michael said it would take 30.
And again... in retrospect, the difference between 30 and 45 minutes is hardly anything. 
It's like the distance between two teenagers booty dancing at prom.
About 30 minutes into waiting, I received a call from one of my managers at work.
"Hey Chelsea! You were scheduled to work at 10, so I wanted
to see if you're coming in to work?"
I checked the clock on my phone and it was 10am. 
What? I'm on a leave of absence. I had no idea I was on the 
schedule to work this week...
*Instant frustration because I know what happened*
"Hey! I talked to my other manager last week and asked about
some other potential positions and I later found out that she scheduled me for last Sunday. 
I never knew she scheduled me to work other days, too." I said confidently.
"Oh, well you were scheduled to work some on-calls earlier in the week. Did you 
look at the schedule at all?" She asked in a suspecting tone. 
*more frustration because of the suspecting tone*
"No, I didn't because I thought my manager only scheduled me
for last Sunday and I told her I would not be able to make that shift.
I never asked her to schedule me, so I was confused as to why she scheduled me in the first place. That's so interesting that I was scheduled." I answered.
"Well can you come in at all?"
"No, I can't unfortunately." I said flatly.
It was my other manager's mistake that I was scheduled. I thought.
"Okay, I think we should be fine."
"Okay thank you, have a good day!"
We hung up. 

I was really worked up because this issue has happened before and
I take work very seriously and I always try to handle 
things in the most professional way I can.
Even though it wasn't initially my fault, I still felt bad because there
was a miscommunication that was my fault.

By sparing you the details,  the guy from Midas tells me all this stuff that's
wrong with our car. And it's true - the brake fluid needs to be
changed, the tire sensor is wacko, the maintenance light is
flashing, the transmission fluid is supposed to be ruby red and 
it's black...
blah blah blah.
But it would have cost a fortune because these people want your money.
I was still feeling overwhelmed because I wished we hadn't gone so long without
checking up on our car.
There was something else that happened regarding a commitment I felt
pressured to make. 
Things piled up on one another.
 But I now realize that I set the tone for my attitude by initially choosing to see
the negative in the car situation instead of the positive.
I have been learning lately that it's all about perspective. 
The way we choose to see the world
influences our attitude
which influences the way we communicate and further think
which completely dictates how we handle relationships,
how reliable we are, how people see us (reputation is important
but people pleasing is caring too much about what others think),
and our relationship with God. 
And sometimes, because I haven't been consistent in my relationship with 
God, my attitude turns sour because I haven't kept my heart
in check for the day. And therefore, 
I become more closed off to God working in me continually. 
And the world around me and the world in me
gets an easier grip of me. 
When you can't control the situation around you,
there is one thing you can control -
your attitude.

Sometimes I'm really negative 
and I have to push myself through positive thinking
until things are only a little better.
But before I know it, I'm alright.
Things are only as bad as you let them
People are only as controlling and manipulative as
you let them
You are only as bad as you see yourself.
It doesn't have to be bad. 
But when we give into negative thinking,
You can ask yourself these four questions and/or write them down:
"Is this really as negative as I think it is?
Am I letting it ruin my day?
Am I letting it affect how I act towards the people around me?
What are the positives of this negative?"

You don't want to get to the end of your day
or the end of your life
and think,
"Things could have been better,
I could have been more loving
if I had only chosen to step outside of myself 
and change my attitude."




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