Turning That Frown Upside Down

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This morning I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

Not literally, you see I seem to stick to the left side (never been a starfisher) but I woke up in a vile mood. Grumpy. It was 6am, I was tired, Hux was shouting about wee wees and all I wanted to do was go back to sleep.

I got up, grabbed milk for the children and heaved myself into the shower. It was cold and I wanted to get back into bed. I tried on four tops, two pairs of trousers and three pairs of shoes before deciding that everything looked rubbish anyway so it didn’t matter what I wore. On Hux’s demand I got the iPad for him and he demanded “Toy Story, no TANGLED, mummy, but I want FROZEN!!! Where’s Toy Story?”.

I huffed that I could only find two pairs of clean pants for Hux because I think his nursery aren’t offering him the potty often enough and he’s going through multiple changes a day (#mumlife) and wondered if I’d get judged for Elfie’s choice of outfit (yellow shorts, red tshirt, knee high school socks – I think we were having a similar wardrobe crisis). We drove to nursery and both children wailed as I left, I could see their fat tears running down their cheeks through the window and it felt dreadful.

Driving to the station I worried about a situation that’s been weighing heavy on my mind. I muttered over the fact my favourite parking attendant wasn’t there so I had to walk across the car park to buy my parking ticket. My tea was too hot, the station too busy. It was going to be a bad day.

But then I sat down on the train and read a Facebook post from my friend Stu.

Stu is one of my oldest friends from High School and we went through a lot of things together – most notably Reading Festival 2002, and our weekend jobs, right Stu?. He lives in Melbourne, Australia and works for The McGuire Programme, a company that helps individuals overcome a stutter to become ‘articulate, well-spoken people’.

Stu’s post said:

I had a call from a recruitment consultant this morning, she wanted to ask me some questions about a guy who came into her work looking for a job.

He’s a grad from The McGuire Programme and has been working on his speech for about a year, so I answered a few of her questions about how I knew him, how he had been progressing over the past 12months and how these traits (commitment, ownership, punctuality, etc) were translatable into a work-environment. After 15 minutes of chatting, she started telling me of her encounter with this Grad:

A couple of weeks ago this young man had walked in to her office unannounced, with a resume looking for work; he’d had a brief chat with her and his stutter/stammer had been noticeable.
About 10minutes after he’d left the office, she was talking about the meeting with another lady in the team when the same guy came back in. “Oh, have you forgotten something..?” she said.
“Actually, I wanted to be honest with you about my speech and by doing that I’m cancelling out any negative feelings I might have about the speaking situation…” he replied.
She told me how inspired she felt at his courage and bravery to come back to the office and explain his work with The McGuire Programme Australia so she immediately decided to bring him back for the full interview process.

Again, he came back and demonstrated his work ethic, determination and commitment to overcome the speaking challenge, despite any fear, anxiety and uncertainty about what the interview process comprised of, which left her with the impression of a great young man, full of character that she would be confident to put forward to her clients for a role.

Not only that, but she actually said “I’m determined to find him a job through our company and I’ve already been ringing around other branches to put his name and resume forward, he’s such a wonderful young man.”

So thank you to Owen Westwood for bringing a big ray of sunshine to my dreary, cold Wednesday morning. You have a fervent supporter at Adecco in Dandenong and she simply can not speak highly enough of you or your commitment to improving yourself.

It really made me think.

Have I really just wasted the first part of my morning feeling sorry for myself because I’m tired/cold/my bulging wardrobe isn’t suitable/the sun was too bright?

The kids cried at nursery but I know full well they’re fine 30 seconds after I leave.

My tea will cool down, I will enjoy my day at work in a job I love.

I felt like a total dick for whinging when there are people out there doing actual inspiring things, overcoming obstacles in their life to be the best version of themselves.

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I knew it made sense when The Universe emailed me this morning to say:

Appreciating what you have little of is easy, Alice.

Appreciating what you have lots and lots of takes a spiritual master.

And you so have lots,
The Universe

I spent five minutes counting my blessings: I have two beautiful children who are being played with and educated at a great nursery while I work in a job I love that allows me to spend time with them. We have food on our plates, a roof over our heads and clothes in our wardrobe. The sun is shining and there’s a man out there who wants to treat me like a Princess and surprise me with flowers after work. Yes, a couple of things are wobbly but I have a life full of courage, motivation, love and excitement.

Isn’t that amazing that I have these things in my life?

Take five minutes to think about your lot: what are you grateful for today?

16 Comments
  1. I’ve been trying really hard to let the bad stuff wash over me and highlight good things, even small things. Had such a shit night on Sunday, had too much caffeine and a non sleeping baby and Monday morning just felt like hiding under my duvet and magically teleporting kids elsewhere. Luckily later that day I got to catch up with you and meet your gorgeous kiddos – watching them all rampage round soft play while we munched on PomBears was brilliant. Highlight of the day, the rest of the crapness is forgotten! Plus bringing a bottle of champers home with me was the icing on the cake.
    Bad days can sod off. Happy moments rule.

  2. Thanks for this post, Alice! I’ve had a shite day with my two (hello, 4.50am wake up call!) and they’ve been really hard work. I’ve grumped about the house most of the day and being tired has affected my mood and made me feel really negative. I really need to appreciate what I have, as I know I am luckier than most. Roll on snuggles with them on the sofa, before dinner out with my man and friends. Life is good, I just need to learn to snap out of the grumps quicker on days like these! x

  3. You know how much I love reading things like this Alice. Embrace Happy baby! You are so very right. I hope your day is brighter tomorrow and that you get loads of lovely flowers from a special person because you are very special too!

    Karin

  4. It’s so easy to wallow and focus on the small shit things, isn’t it? Your line about your kids being played with and educated at a great nursery while you do a job you love really hit home. I often beat myself up about G being at pre-school while I work from home, but the reality is that she loves it and is so happy there. And there is no way I could work and look after her at the same time (hello, nervous breakdown). Thanks for writing this Alice x

    1. I’ve attempted to do the work at home/kid wrangle thing simultaneously and it just… NO. The kids get bored and the work doesn’t get done, total nightmare! x

  5. This is a wonderful reminder of being more grateful for our lives. It’s hard, life takes its’ toll and we’re all stuck on this hamster wheel and we forget how amazing life can be.

  6. So I’m a ‘glass is half full’ kinda gal, i think i probably drive people a little nuts by smiling too much & always trying to see a positive in things. But for some reason this light has faded over the the last few day: I still count my blessings daily, & the smile? Well, thats a permanent fixture on my face as otherwise i feel i may just ball my eyes out! Sometimes we need to have a little moan & grumble to remerge with a fresh outlook i guess *has a little sob* Reading this has made me teary, it’s a lovely sentiment but also makes me feel that I’m not alone in those daily struggles, thanks Alice Xx :)

    1. So sorry it’s taken me ages to reply to you Katrina! I sometimes wonder if being chirpy (which I do always try to be!) comes off to people as being slightly annoying. But you’re so right – if you smile you’re about 80% of the way to being happy, even if you don’t feel it. And I always hope that smiling at strangers imparts a bit of happiness into their day :) x

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