I was running with my daughter-in-law yesterday and said, “No offense to your birthday on the 30th, but I am SO GLAD April is over. That whole month was rrrrough.” She concurred, her birthday notwithstanding, and we ran on.
It wasn’t until later, in that way that happens after a run, that the thought floated in from the side, in the way that ideas do especially after a run, that actually April was pretty damn amazing all in all. Don’t slag off April, I suddenly thought. It was a month of roller coaster, YES, but also a month of firsts and accomplishments despite all that.
So easy to lose sight of the wins when we’re making shit happen all day every day. Extra hard when there’s drama obscuring the viewfinder.
Truth: there was definitely some drama in my last month. FOR SURE. There was real drama, in that my father-in-law passed away (RIP, Juice) in late March and so April included lots of family time, the service and reception, the interment. It was a good time, too, of tightening bonds, of comforting each other, of deepening ties of love. And many tears and lots of looking at old photos and thinking about what a man my father-in-law was, how one-of-a-kind, something I’d lost track of as he wandered down the halls of Alzheimer’s over the past decade.
There was also some small-d drama last month, in that something I’d been working on with a partner blew up. I don’t mean, “blew up,” as in went viral or brought in big sums. Nope, I mean blew up like croaked. Like dead. Like 100% over. Um, yeah, another kind of death, it occurs to me as I write this. The death of a hope, of a wish, of a friendship. Even that small-d drama can drag a person down. And actually, as I describe it, it doesn’t seem all that small-d, really.
Which is why I was running along in Golden Gate Park with my daughter-in-law, super-grateful that the month that contained all that was behind me.
And yet wow, what a load of firsts in that difficult 4th month of the year: first time speaking on a panel at a conference; first time making an audio recording of my blog; first time producing a Welcome Packet for my business (YES, finally!). And some other big accomplishments: making serious headway on re-vamp of my website (can’t wait to unveil it!); adding Receipt Bank to my practice (stay tuned, monthly clients!); all while bringing on a second part-time person to help me, and growing my revenue to another monthly high-water mark. AND it was April, for crying out loud, so I was just frayed by tax prep.
It’s such a weird mix, right? Hard stuff, both big-D and small-d drama, reversals, unexpected twists and turns, and ALSO so much good, so much to be content with and proud of and motivated by.
What’s weirder still is how easy it is to let the sad, heavy shit that happened dominate, just keep turning it over and over, and totally ignore all the other good stuff. Both of those together – the obsessing on the negative, the ignoring of the positive – are a really sneaky double-edged form of resistance, of staying stuck, of putting a cap on my own happiness and productivity and success. I not only stay mired in a loop of woe about something I can’t change, I don’t even really feel the joy of my accomplishments.
So, I stopped. I remembered that if I just ruminate on the negative, then that’s ALL THERE IS. Which is so lame and ungrateful considering all the amazing shit that happened last month. It’s like this study I read about -- that venting, rather than allowing us to blow off steam and feel better, actually makes us feel worse. Dwelling on the crappy parts of April was crowding out all the good, and harshing my buzz in a huge way.
When the run was over yesterday, I felt great. And with my mind relaxed, I felt even better once this thought arrived, that actually April was pretty great. Do I miss my father-in-law? Only forever. Am I sad about the change to that partnership? Of course. Is everything great anyway? YES.