According to my daughter, “This week, so far, has sucked.”
Yesterday, she cracked the screen of her phone for the third time this year. she broke her favorite sunglasses today, and a malevolent bird decided to relieve itself on the windshield of her car. Later, she decided to cheer herself up with her favorite smoothie, only to spill nearly all of it down the front or her shirt once she got home. All of these unfortunate events, compounded with the fact that she is doing much more poorly in her favorite class than I would like. This week it is enough to make her feel like a walking Murphy’s Law. While these events may not seem very significant or even that bad, they have made for an absolutely miserable week in the life of this melodramatic teenager.
Usually, if this string of events were to happen, she’d react with the typical teenage quick fix: mope and whine and make angsty tweets about her misfortune. This approach, while cathartic, is not a very healthy way to deal with the effects of a bad week. So this time, I have not let her unhappiness get the better of me, and I have come up with three key ways to help her keep her cool.
1) Gratitude. If you stop for a moment and force yourself to feel genuinely thankful for everything you DO have in your life, the small problems will seem even smaller.
2) Unwind. Cooking always helps me calm down, so I bought her a box of Ghirardelli double chocolate brownie mix today. Even if you still feel badly afterwards, at least you now have a batch of delicious brownies.
3) Laugh at yourself. I mean, it just gets comical eventually. You trip and fall on your face, realize you forgot your homework at home, spill all of your lunch on the ground, get a terrible grade on a test… After a certain point, it seems like you’re starring in a remake of “Just My Luck,” except Chris Pine isn’t your boyfriend.
The bottom line is that we all have bad days. There is always a day where everything goes completely against your will, and you can’t help it. But we all have good days as well. What makes the biggest difference is staying levelheaded and keeping perspective, so that you don’t lose sight of those good days that already happened and the ones that are to come. I’ll end with a quote from the wise Lemony Snicket, who wrote, “At times, the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough.” So look hard!