positive mental attitude
During this in between season of figuring out what is next and living at home with my parents and sister, I haven't had to wake up at a particular time for awhile. TJ, on the other hand, usually wakes up at 6:10am, 5 minutes before his alarm goes off, because he is usually anxious about oversleeping. He tries to be at his office early enough to get a lot of work done before the day gets filled with meetings and unexpected tasks. I try to get out of the house everyday.

Since my wake up time is, ahem, slightly later, TJ and I have this little thing we do to at least see each other before he leaves for the day. At the last possible moment before he walks out the door he gently squeezes my arm to wake me up just enough to kiss me goodbye and tell me that he loves me. (Insert cheesy "awwww" here).

Yesterday morning before he headed out, TJ sat next to me on the bed, squeezed my arm gently, but instead of leaning in for a kiss, he looked straight ahead. I finally noticed this once I could get my eyes open, about 5-8 minutes later.

TJ: Are you still mad at me?

Me: What? What do you mean?

TJ: You were mad at me last night before we went to bed. Are you still?

Me: I was? Why?

TJ: I don't really remember. No real reason I think.

Me: Oh. Well...I guess not? No? I'm not mad at you anymore.

Then barely a kiss, and off to work. Although confused, I had no trouble falling back asleep immediately.

We met up for lunch later and I asked TJ about the night before and being mad, sincerely not remembering what had happened. He told me that I had been really upset and that I fell asleep not talking to him. Conveniently, I didn't remember any of that exchange. Inconveniently, TJ was affected by it.


You know what I hate? All of the quotes about our attitudes: "Only you can choose your attitude!" "If you can't change your circumstances, change your attitude." "PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) makes the day!" "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference."

Why do I hate them? Because they are true, and because they are engrained in my mind. (I had to have a lot of "attitude adjustments" growing up where I was reminded of these quotes often). Sometimes I would rather be cranky, have a bad temper, and be completely unreasonable. Sometimes I want to be mad at TJ just because. Hearing the quiet, wise, encouraging voices in the back of mind telling me how I can choose to change the present situation into something much more enjoyable by simply having a better attitude just further frustrates me. Holding firmly to my stubborn nature, I push humility to the side, stand with my arms crossed over my chest, chin slightly tilted up, stomping my foot, and let my heart beat faster and stronger in defiance to choosing a better, more restorative ending to the situation.

To be clear, there are seasons of life where there are a multitude of factors contributing to one's emotions, and those are not to be treated lightly, with a little bandage of "change your attitude". That isn't what I am talking about here. What I am referring to, however, are the moments when, at least for myself, I am a terrible person to be around and I knowingly choose to remain that way. You see, to admit that I am the one with a bad attitude would mean that I have to admit to my pride, and I think that is what I hate the most.

I can think of at least 10 examples off the top of my head the past few years where I really missed out on enjoying people, places, and experiences because of my attitude, because of my pride. As I sit here and write this, I have to ask myself, "Is it worth it?"

I really don't think so.

I don't want to start my mornings forgetting I had been angry the night before, and seeing the sadness in TJ's eyes reminding me that choosing that bad attitude for no real reason actually hurt him. He doesn't deserve that.

And truthfully, I want my morning kiss with a smile.