Help! What if it’s a bad day?

 

I used to live my life in fear of a bad day.

Sometimes bad days were the result of major blows like the loss of a family pet, the stress of a bad day at work or the news of a catastrophic world crisis. Sometimes they were triggered by slightly troublesome events like a sick kid, a low bank account or a lost set of car keys.

The painful thing was … I used to ruin the perfectly good days worrying about the impending arrival of a single bad day.

After living 40-some years using this terrible coping strategy of doing everything in my power to avoid a bad day, I’ve learned to like bad days. Well, not so much ‘like’ them as ‘recognize their importance.’ This article in Mindfulmagazine perfectly captures what bad days have come to represent for me:

“It’s natural to long for a worry-free life, where you win the lottery, spend all your days with people you love, eat good food, and never want for anything. But if you were happy all the time, would you ever grow as a person?

“Sometimes, actually, negative experiences, negative emotions, produce some of the best outcomes,” says Benjamin Hardy, bestselling author of Willpower Doesn’t Work. “And so, avoiding negative, challenging, difficult emotions is probably one of the worst things a person can do.”

Hardy explains that people’s reluctance (to experiencing a bad day) is usually due to negative anticipation—we imagine something will be more painful or strenuous than it really is.

Whenever I get fearful of a bad day, I also go back and read one of my favourite books in the whole world. This book is about 100 words long and is written by Dr. Seuss. The book is called, My Many Coloured Days, and some of it goes like this:

 

Some days are yellow.

Some are blue.

On different days I’m different too. 

 

On Bright Red Days how good it feels

to be a horse and kick my heels!

 

Some days, of course, feel sort of Brown.

Then I feel slow and low, low down.

 

Gray Day….Everything is gray.

I watch. But nothing moves today.

 

But it all turns out all right, you see.

And I go back to being…me.”

I used to live my life in fear of a bad day. But now I just see it as brown or gray and I have the best darned bad day I can have. I know the bright red days will reappear, and I’ll have learned important lessons from those bad days.

 

 

 

 

Tough-as-nails men break too

Welcome to Wellness Wednesday!

Starting today, I’ll Blog every Wednesday about a mental-health topic, from anxiety to depression to joy. Today it’s depression and men.

Tough-as-nails men break too!

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Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

I’m not too surprised when women my age can relate to my book Journey to Joy.

After all, the book deals with perfectionism, anxiety and self-criticism—things I think come easily to women. But I am surprised when grown men are in tears at my presentations, and when they tell me their own stories of emotional struggle.

The first of these large, strong men messaged me one day and told me of the hard time his son was having. I sent him my book. Turns out, both he and his son could relate as they are both survivors of tough times, extreme sadness and depression.

This tough-as-nails guy messaged back:

“We all go through it but are scared to talk about it. You have brought me out of my bubble. I’m not the big tough guy everyone thinks I am.”

The second man who struck me with his vulnerability is a six-foot-three RCMP officer. He was a complete stranger to me, having attended a book reading in B.C. this summer. Sitting in front of me with his broad shoulders, and his confident grin, I could not have anticipated what was to occur after the reading.

The imposing and muscular gentleman walked over to me and asked if he could buy a book and have it signed. I shooed him away, telling him that his wife had already purchased the book, so there was no need for him to get one. He looked me in the eye with a look that was so sincere it almost broke my heart and he said, ‘No, I’d like a book just for me. I know where you’ve been, because I’ve been there too.’

I looked him squarely in the eye, and I did something I’m not proud of … I giggled. I smacked him on the side of the arm (because I couldn’t reach his shoulder) and I giggled and said, ‘No you haven’t. You’re a big tough cop.”

He looked back, this time with glassy eyes, and I knew he and I understood each other. We had indeed both ‘been there’ — there at the point of such despair that the world didn’t seem welcoming any more.

And so, I sold him the book and I signed it for him. In return, he promised that one day he’d share what he’d been through with me.

The third lovely fellow sent his wife over to fetch me during a book event. His wife asked if I could come to their car in the parking lot because her husband wanted to talk to me. I don’t usually go with strangers to cars in parking lots, but this time I did.

The elderly man was waiting there by the back of an open van. I looked inside and I saw hundreds of hand-carved boxes he had made. He told me to pick one. I protested and said I couldn’t and asked what I could pay him. He looked me in the eye, with those glassy eyes, and he said, ‘I want you to have it for the gift you’ve given me. I suffer too and now I know I’m not alone.’

So, I continue to get out there and sell my book. Not because I want to make money, or because I’m after recognition, but simply because those women and those men—the ones with the glassy eyes—help me to know I’m not alone, and I never have been.

To order Journey to Joy ($24.99), click on ‘Shop’.

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

More JOY please …

It’s time for more joy … I know I could use a bit more in my life now that regular routines have kicked in and warm summer nights are fading away.

These events will focus on heart-and-soul issues to help you find your JOY! Email Lcfroese@sasktel.net for tickets & info.

On Friday, September 28, Sisters’ Bistro will host an Evening of Joy complete with a Journey to Joy book reading, a three-course gourmet meal and a joy workshop. These evenings have proven to be ‘magical’ with lots of love, laughter … and chef Alli Flaman’s awesome desserts and cocktails! Tickets just $55 (appetizer trio, main course and dessert) if purchased by Sept. 15.

Indian Head Library Book Reading on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. FREE

The Urban Farmhouse in Saskatoon will play host to two Joy Workshops – one on Friday, Oct. 27 and a second on Saturday, Oct. 28. You’ve got to come out to see this incredible farm house, and to share some food, wine and joy! Tickets just $30.

Carlyle will host the first ‘SHOP FOR JOY’ event. Mark your calendars for Thursday, Nov. 8 when King’s Department Store opens its doors for a Journey to Joy reading and INCREDIBLE draws for FREE stuff. All you have to do is choose an item in the store that brings you joy, from Manitoba Mukluks to Silver Jeans, and two lucky winners will get $100 off their joy item, while four others will get 50% off. This FREE event will feature wine, appetizers and retail therapy! FREE

Join me for … more JOY!

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