Wake Up Call

I’ve always liked to think of myself as someone who sees the glass half full.  However, if I’m being honest I have yet to find the plus side of being stuck in traffic on my way to work or school, or the benefits of having to wait in a ridiculously long line at the store just to purchase one or two items.  It’s easy for me to say that I make the most out of every situation because I like to focus on the things that I know I’m good at being optimistic about.  Yet, there are so many tiny things in my every day life that truthfully don’t matter, but they still manage to annoy me beyond belief. 

One of the most annoying sounds to me is the sound of an alarm clock.  I had the idea that maybe if I switched from an obnoxious, beeping alarm clock to a song I like on my phone that it would make the waking up process easier.  After putting this theory to test I found that instead of growing fonder of being awoken, I actually started to dislike the tune I picked to wake me up.  Of course, it’s not actually the sounds of the alarm  that bothers me, but more accurately it’s what it stands for:  Another rude awakening to surely be followed by the monotony of my typical weekday routine.  Life is so hard.  Poor me.  

 A couple days ago my alarm went off, but I didn’t look at it the same way.  In that moment an idea struck me.  I heard a little voice in the back of my head telling me, “This sound is one of the most miraculous and beautiful sounds you could possibly be hearing right now.  That sound represents the fact that you have been blessed enough to wake up today.  That you have been blessed enough to live to see another day.”  Something I’ve never been very good at is listening to God, but in that moment I knew that he was speaking to me, and it was such a humbling experience.  I didn’t have to wake up that morning, or this morning, and tomorrow certainly isn’t guaranteed.  Yet, that alarm went off, signaling the start of another day. 

Life is such a beautiful gift, one that we often take for granted as we  forget how precious it is.  Suddenly, that alarm clock isn’t such a horrible sound.  I’m not saying that I’m going to wake up every morning and dance around my room as birds help me get ready, but I’m definitely going to look at it differently.  I know that come Monday I’m probably going to still be bothered by the traffic, the loads of work that have accumulated over the weekend, and many other annoyances that are sure to arise, but I’m also going to challenge myself to find the good in those situations.  Optimism is defined as seeing the good in every situation.  Not just the ones that are easy for us to deal with. 

What’s your alarm clock?  What is that one thing that always makes your heart sink even the slightest bit whenever you hear it, see it, etc.?  Sometimes things are hard, life happens and we find ourselves discouraged and exhausted by our daily routines.  But take comfort in the fact that things could always be worse. 

Monday morning our weekend will be over.  We will be thrust back into our daily routines of work, school, or whatever else we have going on in our individual lives.  Things might not go as smoothly as possible and your day might not go as planned.  Life is going to test you, but the cool thing is that no matter what situation you find yourself in, you always have the power to decide how you respond.

 

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One thought on “Wake Up Call

  1. Cool, another optimist! I too practice this approach to life but in my experience it isn’t a mindset…….it’s an action. In one of my blog’s essays called “What I believe” one of the statements says that optimism is wasted unless it’s tempered by action. If something annoys me (and YES things still do) it means I’m taking the wrong actions. If I find myself stuck in traffic it means I should have left earlier. When I have plenty of time there’s the radio, a nice chair, heat and air conditioning, scenery, and freedom. When I’m late all that goes out the window and I start judging the world around me. Yuck. As far as waking up goes I do this every morning before I get out of bed, try it if you like. After I awaken I lie there and say to myself “Wake up, have fun, and be productive.” The reason I do this is when I say to myself “I’m sleepy, just five more minutes” then I begin the day with that mantra in my mind, and the brain does what we tell it do to, so now I’m sleepy all day, duh. Do I have fun and am I productive all day? Dang right I do. There are ways, or rather “actions,” that counteract every feeling. Long lines never bother me either because I always give myself something to do while I’m waiting. I’ll think about what I want to write or look for inspiration for new ideas in the world around me. If it’s really long, like the DMV, then I’ll definitely bring something that equals a productive use of time with me, paperwork or whatever. Boring? Yes. But it does keep thoughts of complaint out of my head. Am I constantly optimistic? No. Last year I had phenomena for two months. I lost a lot of work and my mind set was at the lowest in years, mostly from inactivity. THAT took some strength to recover from. Good luck on your journey through life. Check out my blog if you like at http://www.danielandrewlockwood.com
    Take Care, Daniel

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