Posts Tagged ‘Feelings’

The photo to the right was taken yesterday of my wonderful Social Media team at work.  That’s me on the left, our manager Lewis squatting and looking goofy, and then Patti and Chuck.  We really enjoy what we do and have lots of fun and laughs while still working hard every day.  Lewis bought the team the thumbs up gloves that we’re wearing, just as he has given us other fun items related to our world of social media.

While walking from our desks to where we would take the photo, someone mentioned that maybe we should start wearing our thumbs up hands to meetings just to be able to give a giant thumbs up or thumbs down as different ideas are presented.  They sure would have come in handy for Roman Caesars a few millennia ago when determining the fate of prisoners in the arenas.  I don’t think we’ll wear them to many meetings, but you have to admit that it would be fun and a very transparent way of letting your feelings known about something.

An interesting aspect of wearing these is that we all tend to smile and give a thumbs up to people rather than scowl and give a thumbs down signal.  It makes me wonder what we do in the absence of the big hands.  I think we still give more thumbs up to folks.  I suspect, though, that you know some people who always tend to give thumbs down signals verbally or through body language regardless of what the topic is.  Such people missed their calling of being firemen since they would have excelled at throwing cold water over anything and everything.

I think the world can use a few more thumbs up signals between people – family members, coworkers, neighbors, strangers, political parties, friends and acquaintances.  We have too much negativity and criticism dominating the news, various media and interpersonal relationships.  We can do better.

Leap Year lesson #177 is Give more thumbs up than thumbs down.

“Pity, party of one, your table is ready.”  Every now and then I need someone to quote that back to me.  In fact, today would have been a good day for that.

What’s going on when we wallow is self-pity?  Probably an unhealthy focus on ourselves.  That doesn’t mean that we should never have thoughts about parts of our lives that we wish were different.  Such thoughts are normal for thinking people who care about life, their situation and their future.  What is unhelpful is when some aspect of life that may actually seem small or not so bad to an outsider begins to consume our thoughts and emotions to the point of near obsession so that we cannot see the bigger picture of what is good in our lives.

Today is Father’s Day.  I am blessed with two grown sons whom I love with all my heart.  I am blessed to have the most wonderful Dad on earth who lives about 90 miles away and whom I get to see about once every 4-6 weeks or so.  Any of us can talk to each other as often as we wish.  I get to see my youngest son and his family every week since we only live five miles apart and we work for the same company.

Yet, what did I wake up this morning feeling all sorry for myself about?  That I wouldn’t actually be present with my boys or my Dad today.

Then I started seeing posts on Facebook from those who no longer have their dads in this life to talk to.  On the way home from church I saw more people than normal driving into a cemetery, presumably to visit the graves of their dads.  I thought of my father who only has one of his three children left.

If the thing I want most on Father’s Day is to see my boys, I bet the same is true for my Dad.  I blew it this time.  Even though I spent yesterday with him, instead of today’s pity party, I should have been with him.  I won’t make that mistake again.

Leap year lesson #164 is Self pity is such as waste of time.

Several things made me smile today – not laugh, just smile – with a contentment and joy that is more important than a momentary laugh.

The first came at 5 a.m. when my alarm went off and my dog Callie did what she always does when she hears my alarm. She crawled on top of me, laid down on my chest and started licking me until I was fully awake and got up to let her outside. We usually lay there and wake up together for a few minutes. She makes a little squeaky noise when she yawns which is cute because she so rarely makes any noise at all. Even though I had only gone to bed 2.5 hours earlier, it was a good way to wake up. It made me smile.

Then throughout the day at work I could not help but smile when I saw my computer’s wallpaper which is the picture shown here of my 10-month-old granddaughter Abby. She is playing with an empty bottle of my favorite hometown soft drink, Ale-8. When I see her sweet face I can’t help but smile, and as much time as I spend on my computer each day, that’s a lot of smiles.

The last I’ll mention is the slightly abnormal cause of smiles which is simply doing a job I love. I shake my head in disbelief regularly that I am blessed with the opportunity to spend my days doing work I am passionate about and want to do even more of when I come home. It’s good to smile when you think about your work.

I suppose it’s possible to smile about things that should not make you smile, but only if your heart is not where it should be in terms of what is best for others or yourself. Assuming, though, that you don’t get enjoyment from what hurts others or yourself, smiles tell us something about ourselves. They tell us what we enjoy, what we are passionate about, and who we really are as individuals.

Be thankful for what makes you smile. Enjoy the moment.

Leap year lesson #25 is Know what makes you smile.

At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man longing for the good ol’ days, I think it’s true in general that current American society is more inclined to act according to how we feel at the moment compared with acting in accordance with prior commitments made about what is right and necessary and good.

That was a dangerously long opening sentence, so let me explain…

At work I have a choice between (a) waiting to see how I feel each day and fluctuating my effort accordingly, or (b) working hard and giving it my best daily regardless of how I feel or what may be bothering me. In my most significant relationships in life, I can (a) choose to act according to how I feel at the moment toward each person (which opens the door to being mean and hateful and spiteful or negligent), or (b) be kind, respectful, loving and generous because that is who I choose to be whether I feel like it or not.

Surely there are days when you don’t feel like helping someone else or going to work or a myriad of other things you may have on your schedule. But what is usually the best cure for that hesitancy and, in fact, the best thing you can do in those situations? It is to do the very thing you don’t feel like doing.

Life shouldn’t be lived based on the whimsical, fleeting and very unreliable basis of feelings in the moment. Sure, we need to be open to random opportunities to take a quick detour along our daily paths to enjoy those serendipitous moments that come along. We need to listen when our bodies tell us to slow down or take time off. But we should not neglect those commitments we have made in the past simply because we don’t feel like it in the present.

So think about the commitments you have made. Acknowledge, where applicable, the temptation to abandon them. But then consider that those commitments are still  important to keep. If necessary, follow the advice of leap year lesson #17 – Act your way into the right feeling.