I had a really rough Monday and Tuesday. Probably the hardest couple of days I've had in a while. I was feeling really raw and sad. I got 3 hours of sleep on Monday night and 4 hours of sleep last night. I cried once at work yesterday - but only in front of 2 co-workers. Overall, I was able to make the work parts of my day the best part of my day - which is typical. I enjoy smiling. I enjoy my job. I enjoy talking to people. I enjoy challenges. I take pride in the fact that I can do my job without letting my personal stuff get in the way.
Yesterday, a co-worker was talking about death and funeral planning and was trying to explain how overwhelming it is to deal with...and I was like, "Yeah, I know. I just did it."
She literally stopped moving, her hands flew up to her mouth and I actually watched her eyes fill up. "I totally forgot who I was talking to, " she said. She grabbed both of my hands while she said it. Apparently, I'm so upbeat that she forgot my husband killed himself.
This might sound strange, but I take that as a huge compliment.
I like to be the person who can make others smile. I like to go on living with purpose. I like to keep a smile on my own face as much as possible. I like that it can be real and not a facade.
The progression of the positive Arielle is interesting. It is not always what meets the eye.
My typical day goes something like this:
I wake up to an alarm and lie in bed for a few minutes, petting the cats and envisioning a good day. I try to breathe normally when realization hits that I'm moving through yet another day without Rick. I check my phone for a few minutes to connect to the world before leaving my bed. I pick out a new positive quote to write on the daily Positivity Board I made for the Rehab department at work. Then I get out of bed.
I say "Thank you" as my feet hit the ground, because gratitude for a new day goes a long way.
I feed my cats, which is more of a production than it sounds like, because one is high maintenance and they eat separate food, but try to eat each other's food.
I go back upstairs and put on music to fit my mood. I get dressed to improve my mood. By that I mean that I often cheer myself up with an outfit I like. If you give me a compliment about my outfit one day at work or I'm a little bit dressier than usual, chances are I'm trying extra hard to have a good day because of how I feel inside. I put on makeup. I do my hair.
Usually I cry before I put the makeup on. Not always, but usually. Not for long. Not too much.
I make coffee. If I don't have the energy to wash my travel cup, I buy coffee on the way to work. Not very cost effective, but somehow easier at times.
I take vitamins. I drink water. I talk to my cats. I tell one to be good and I tell the other one to babysit.
I check my phone again. I get in my car. I drive to work. As I drive, I feel the weight of the world. The music in my car swirls around me and I am sad. I miss my husband. I want to cry. I feel so lucky to have so much friendship and support. It's so awesome that I want to cry. I give myself a pep talk. Sometimes I don't want to keep driving.
When I park at my job, I sit in my car for a minute or two. I take a sip of coffee or let the song I'm listening to finish out. If I cried, I wipe my eyes. If I didn't, I tell myself the opportunity to cry has passed and now it's time to work.
Today will be a good day, I say, because it's what I always say. I don't hope or wish or wonder. I state it.
Then I get out of my car and I walk inside. With the first "Good morning" or the first smile at whoever I see when I walk through the doors and down the hallway, I'm ready to roll. I have work to do. Positivity to spread. And a life to enjoy.
Sometimes I want the morning process that leads to that moment to become easier more quickly. But I know that its difficulty will ease with time... and I know that my morning process serves me well. The progression of the positive Arielle is one that no one gets to witness.
I think about my morning process when I look in the eyes of the other people I see throughout my day...because we all have a morning process. They don't see mine and I don't see theirs. We don't know what goes on below the surface. So everyone gets a smile from me - because I know you have a morning process.