Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Jul. 28th, 2010

Every month another one of my magazines has some blurb or article about how negativity can damage one's health and how having an optimistic outlook can not only lengthen life but up the quality of it, too. Since I'm trying to be an all-around healthy person, I realized that working on my physical health isn't enough; I have to work on my emotional health, too.  I'm such a curmudgeon so much of the time, and I know it can't be good for me, so with that realization, I decided it was time for me to start being nice, not just on the outside, but on the inside, as well. 
     In my quest toward finding the positivity within, I started with my mother because, as much as I hate to acknowledge it, I'm meaner to her than to anybody.  For the past two days, when I've wanted to snap at her or point out some obvious truth at the expense of her feelings, I did the opposite of everything I've ever done in the past: I did nothing.  I let her kvetch until the cows came home without once pointing out her hypocrisies or shortcomings; I listened to her talk about people I absolutely cannot stand without saying one bad thing about said people; and I kept quiet when she passed judgment on people who really don't deserve to be judged right now.  And I have to say, it felt good.  It felt good not to fight, of course, but even better than that, it felt good not to get all tense and on edge inside, to not feel like a balloon floating too close to a rafter, precariously ready to pop at any second.  
     Since phase one of Being of Better Kel went well, I was ready to move on to phase two, put positive energy out into the world/don't judge. So this morning while I was on the treadmill at the gym, this oldish, heavy man was on the treadmill two treadmills down from me, trudging along like something akin to Frankenstein. Sometime during my five-minute warmup, he turned his treadmill off, and really, the only reason I even noticed is because a girl wanted to get on his treadmill, and he was just standing there with the treadmill off, doing nothing.  Okay, fine.  He just finished, he was catching his breath (because trudging along like Frankenstein takes so much out of a person), and he was going to get off the treadmill.  Except he didn't. Every time my eyes fell on him in the mirror, there he was, just standing there, either mildly stretching some random part of his body--ankle, hip, leg, neck, arm, wrist-- or doing absolutely nothing but breathing with his head down. Ten minutes into my run, fifteen minutes into my run, twenty minutes into my run, twenty five minutes into my run--there he was.  Monopolizing the treadmill whilst doing nothing.  Nothing.
     Now let's not forget that I'm trying to be a better Kel, and because I'm trying to be a better Kel, every time I focused on the man and my first instinct was to be annoyed, I told myself that I was being silly.  The man monopolizing the treadmill had nothing to do with me--I mean, I was already on a treadmill of my very own--and so there was no reason for me to let him bother me.  His standing there like a big, dumb galoot was none of my concern, so why waste energy thinking about it? Why put negative energy out into the world with uncomely thoughts? And so I stifled.  I stifled and stifled and stifled. All during my run, I stifled, and what happened? My run suffered--big time. I struggled through a run that shouldn't have caused me any trouble at all.  The usual groove I fall into during the ninth minute never came. I blamed it on being tired, lengthening my intervals, slightly increasing my speed, but it wasn't any of that.  It was the stifling of my annoyance.  
     How do I know? Easy.  A little more than twenty minutes into my run, three youngish blonde girls in short shorts and tank tops came in, and despite my vow of positivity, I couldn't contain myself.  I turned to my husband, made a retching noise, and proclaimed, in my typical curmudgeon-like fashion, "Look at those girls.  They're exactly the kind of blonde girls I can't stand.  They're all like, look at me everybody, I'm so blonde, I'm so pretty.  They sicken me.  And what the fuck is wrong with that freak of a man? Who just stands there on a treadmill like that? What the fuck is he doing?" And just like that, I felt better.  I found my missing stride, and when it was time for me to quit running, I felt so good that I ran five extra minutes.
     What did I learn from this experiment? Being nice has to be more than well-meaning; it has to be genuine. Being nice to my mom felt good, but that's because I love her and don't want to hurt her.  Thinking positive thoughts about that man felt awful because he was an idiot, and he deserved to have me think bad things about him.  I may not be the nicest person in the world (understatement of the year, I know), but I'm me, and clearly being me, no matter how fucked up and grumpy I am inside, is healthier than trying to be someone else.


( cry-cry )
( cry-cry )



Latest Month

November 2010
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Katy Towell