So, my friend and I have had this running joke, for nearly a year, that goes a little something like this…
- Bad things happen (ie- lice, broken bones, flu, lung infection, cracked windshield, etc) BTW all that crap happened within 1 month of each other!
- We laugh and roll our eyes
- And then we say “Well, maybe next week will be better.”
And I know what most of you are thinking, what kind of joke is that? Well, I suppose it’s not a joke, and more so our way of coping with the madness around us. Can you blame us? You cannot tell me you haven’t deflected an actual feeling of distress with a quick joke! Humor is something that I always have resorted to in the face of pain. Why would I choose to feel an actual feeling when I could just laugh about it?
Well, I think by now, most of us know that humor cannot solve all our problems and that the best way to get over something is to go through it. You gotta feel to heal, trust the process; all those clichés. And so, I am not going to rant on about how to not deflect with humor. Instead, I want to address the current “joke” I keep telling myself.
“Maybe next week will be better.” Yes, there are worst things I could be telling myself. And yes, there is a nice sentiment of hope that maybe next week will actually be better. But also, by saying this, I am placing my better days in the future and robbing myself of the good I can be making out of today. This way of thinking is ultimately not rooted in hope, but rather in avoidance. There is something comforting…? in griping about the bad. But it gets me (nor any of us!) nowhere!
Ironically, the same friend who keeps this joke alive alongside of me, sent me a post on Instagram that said “Was it a bad day? Or was is a bad five minutes that you milked all day?” This was the refreshing slap in the face that I needed. I was also reminded of the gratitude that I intended to begin my 2019 with.
There is an acronym that my therapist introduced me to and that I now use with my own clients. It’s meant to be used at the end of the day (even the crappiest, sickest, most broken of days), and helps a person develop a new perspective. It is an act of gratitude, but it is also how we can stop placing all of our “better” days in the future. It is called G.L.A.D. and it can be used as a journaling prompt or just something you say to yourself before bed.
G- Something you were grateful for during the day
L- Something you learned that day
A- Something you appreciated
D- Something you took delight in
So I encourage you all to check in with G.L.A.D. and begin making THIS week better.