Crappy Days to Happy Days

Crappy Days... we all have 'em

The other day a client was telling me about her struggles with her teenager and it reminded me of this...

One evening a few years back, I was maybe 30 yrs old, we were all sitting around the dining room table at Mom and Dad's house. As we often do in our family, we were re-telling stories and memories and laughing and being exceptionally raucous. I piped up and said, "Man, Dad, do you remember that time you took me to The Braves baseball game in Atlanta? That was so awesome!"

My dad's jaw dropped and he became quiet... "What are you talking about??"

"You remember... it was that summer I was staying with Aunt Susie and you came and got me for a game when you had a weekend off work..."

Dad scoffed, "I remember alright. I remember that you were sullen and miserable and that I thought you hated every second of it. I thought that was one of the most crappy days of your life!"

wow. :-(

Actually, of all the memories of my teenager years- that's 2920 days from the time I turned 12 until I turned 20- I pulled that day out of my memory bank. It was that special to me. My Dad worked A LOT, a whole whole lot and any time I got to spend with just him automatically ranked in the top 10% of favorite days. Yet, in all my teenage teenagerness, I had managed to push him away and make him think I hated it. For 15+ years my dad had thought that spending that day with me had sucked.

I filed that story away in my head and vowed to always remember it for someday when I am a parent, and a spouse, and really just every day.

Crappy Days to Happy Days For Parents: (especially of teenagers) Your kids love to spend time with you. They may not love it in this moment but they will love it when it matters. Don't be pushed away from them. Choose to show them every day a good example of love, even when they don't. We were REQUIRED to sit at the dinner table every night of the week. Period. No questions. We moaned and groaned sometimes, plotted sneaky ways out of it (that never worked). I can tell you that now, today, when I struggle I can pull on every single one of those nights to know that at least 3 other people in the world cared enough about me to spend time with me every day.

Crappy Days to Happy Days For Spouses: Wipe that frown off your face! If you are lucky enough to be spending time with your significant other, choose to make it fun. Even when it sucks, MAKE it fun! Laugh, act silly, and tell each other that you appreciate them suffering with you! If you find everything wrong and point out the negative, the person with you will think you hate spending time with them..... and so they won't.

Crappy Days to Happy Days Each Day: Every day can be viewed from the perspective from which you CHOOSE to view it. Make a choice to make the best of crappy situations. When something turns bad, I try to always tell myself that the best stories told over a few beers are about awful situations. So really, you are actually in the process of making a GREAT story to laugh about with friends! Kia Ora, My friends!