Monday, April 2

Day 93: Give Yourself a Compliment

Some days I wake up and think, "This is not how I want to start my day". I woke up at four a.m. with a pounding headache. My kitty however was snuggled up next to me under the covers and I didn't want to move for fear that she would leave so I laid there hoping the pain would subside. She doesn't usually sleep with us so it warmed my heart to discover her there. I must have fallen back to sleep easily because the next thing I remember was hearing the alarm and then kitty playing with my hair. No kitty, I want to sleep some more.

Despite my wishes to rewind to the night before, my day started. I knew the routine. If I continued to lay there, kitty would start biting on my glasses or playing with my iPad charging cable. Whatever it took to get me out of bed. I relented early and kitty and I stumbled down to the kitchen to get her breakfast. She usually gobbles down her wet food like its her last supper. While I was making coffee I turned to check on her expecting to see her licking the last bits of wet food off the plate but she was not there. Both wet and dry food were mostly untouched. I peeked into the living room and saw her sitting on the window sill, intently watching a seagull circling in the sky. Intentionally or not, the bird was taunting her. Food was far from her mind.

I wished I could find something to taunt me into forgetting about my headache. Instead I took a steaming, hot shower, allowing the water massage my head and neck and feeling the steam open up my nasal passages. Things were looking up. I got dressed and headed out the door. Brrrr. It was cold. Apparently Jack Frost was making a return visit to Stockholm. Where did my early spring go? I sighed and headed to the subway.

Days like this it is difficult to think positively. Making my way through the subway system with all of its various smells did not sound the slightest bit appealing. I just wanted to stay home with an ice pack on my head and pet my kitty. Where could I find the positive in my headache? Perhaps a different perspective would help. I was listening to NPR and almost to my office when I heard one of the broadcasters say, "Give your enemy a compliment." Sometimes I feel like I am my own enemy so I thought, why not give myself a compliment? So I said, "You are doing a good job." I said it again. I repeated it over and over until I had gotten all the way up the hill. It doesn't have to be some flowery, over-the-top compliment. Just something simple and sincere.

I don't always give myself credit for the fact that I have moved to a new country, learned a new language and started a job in a field I know nothing about. I am doing a good job. So I pat myself on the back. Pat yourself on the back today too. Give yourself a compliment and open up to a new perspective.

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