Playing The “Glad Game”

I’m learning how to do a new position at my job. You know how that goes, there is an undercurrent of stress while you learn new routines and flows and plenty of time to pull your hair out thinking “I have no idea what I’m doing.” So that’s my baseline these days, which is fine, it won’t be forever. The rest of my life is calm and nothing crazy is going on (HA!) but it hasn’t been too hard to manage.

Until today.

I felt a little out of whack when I got up for work this morning. I had a long day yesterday that ended with a frozen margarita and way too many tortilla chips and salsa (Man! I’m struggling with a clean diet lately) so I’m sure that had something to do with it. But then I spilled my cup of coffee all over the floor. Then I was thinking how happy I was that it was Thursday and that I am off of work on Friday, and NEWSFLASH: it’s only Wednesday. Buzzkill.

I got to work and had a minor computer setback that made me want to bang my head against the wall and I had trouble with a task that should have been really simple, but instead was a giant, hot and time consuming mess that didn’t resolve itself at all. And then I had to go run a meeting.

On the way to this meeting I was feeling really sorry for myself and what looked to be my impending Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very-Bad Day. It was 9:20 am and a week’s worth of stuff had gone wrong already so I was thinking about how I was going to tell everyone in the room that I was having a bad day and that I didn’t really want to be there and OHMYGOD I WAS SICK OF MY EXCUSES BEFORE THEY EVEN LEFT MY BRAIN.

Growing up my mom, a life long Hayley Mills fan, loved the Disney movie Pollyanna. She did her best to make me love it too but unfortunately I’ve never really been a Pollyanna kind of gal. Even as a child I sort of rolled my eyes at that type of unbridled optimism, and I rolled my eyes even harder when I’d be in a sad mood and my mom would say “Let’s play The Glad Game!” Do you know this game? If you feel sad, you just list all of the things you are glad about and it just makes it all go away.

Oh, Pollyanna, LIFE IS NOT THAT SIMPLE.

So obnoxious sounding, right? Except that on my way to that meeting I stopped and gave myself a little bathroom pep talk and damn it if I didn’t just stand there and list all of the awesome things I am grateful for today. And you guys? IT WORKED. Polly — frickin — Anna worked. And I walked into that meeting and smiled. And I walked out and felt accomplished and no one had to listen to my bad attitude. And all of a sudden, the entire tone of my day has changed. I had a great conversation catching up with a coworker, a friend asked me if I wanted to go out to lunch, I got a nice message from Garrett on my voicemail when I got back to my desk, and it feels like a fresh start.

Since it’s so close to Mother’s Day I had to share this for my mom’s sake. You win, Mom. The Glad Game worked, okay? But more immediately…has your day started off on the wrong foot? Quick, tell me three things you’re glad about right now! See what happens. Play The Glad Game. You know you want to…

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