Last night, a friend from high school did one of those viral Facebook posts where you answer questions about yourself. In this one, you were given a year in the past, and you answered questions comparing what you and your life were like in that year and what the same things are like now. She gave me 2003. It wasn’t a very long survey, and most of my answers to the questions weren’t very exciting. “Relationship status?” “Number of kids?” My answer was “none,” both in 2003 and now. I usually only share these kinds of posts when I have answers that are specifically interesting or funny, but I had no such answers, and I noted on my post that my answers for this one were kind of boring, wondering out loud why I was wasting my time with this post.
After I posted that, I went for a 25-mile bike ride… yay me. I checked my phone during a water break, and I saw that I had two replies, one from another unmarried and childless friend my age agreeing with me, and one from my friend who originally posted it, apologizing and offering to think of some more interesting questions to ask me.
No apology was necessary. I was not truly upset. If anything, I was just being overly negative about being unmarried and childless, something I tend to do too often that really only makes the situation worse. I felt bad at this point for my response… it really wasn’t that big of a deal.
But I had a thought as I continued my bike ride. Instead of dwelling on something that makes me far more upset than it should, I’m going to turn this around and make it positive. So when I got home, I thought of some positive changes that I have made and/or that have happened to me since 2003, and I added those to my post. At the start of 2003, I had only been to 14 states; now I’ve been to 48, plus the District of Columbia. (If you don’t include airport stops or driving into a state and then right back out just to say I’d been there, it would be 7 then and 38 now). In 2003, I lived in an apartment in which my mailbox got broken into once a month, presumably by people looking for welfare checks, with neighbors who I could never tell if they were fighting or having sex or both. Today I own a house (by which I mean I pay a mortgage) on a quiet street. In 2003, I had never ridden my bike more than 20 miles in one day; today, I have broken 50 miles three times. I had been to two NBA basketball games in my life up until 2003; now that number is around 80. I discovered the music of Carbon Leaf in 2002 but had not yet seen them live as of 2003; now, I have seen them 19 times.
Everything is more interesting when you focus on the positive. It’s not always easy, though.