I gazed out my office window at the snow gently falling on downtown Winnipeg, either exciting or wildly disappointing the people walking below. The past week, as was becoming a theme in my life, had flown by with the introduction of a new job and what felt like a buildup of everyday adult problems. Exam stress and car problems are things I should count myself lucky to deal with, and I felt foolish letting myself get caught up in the negativity when so many good things were happening all around me.
I thought back to one of my psychology classes I had taken in college, where the professor had touched on a theory involving the need for humans to maintain a levelled state of emotion, almost a flatline where you’re not too happy, not too sad. That means, if things are going poorly and you find yourself down, your mind will try to create ways to bring you back to a level of contentment. However, in the same regard, if you are too excited or outrageously happy (wouldn’t that be lovely?) then your subconscious will look for ways to bring you back down to your natural state.
I remember thinking the theory was silly, and that from personal experience, I always strived to make decisions that would allow me to be the happiest I could be.
And yet, here I was on my lunch hour, sitting at a desk for the new job I was absolutely thrilled to get, only to find myself fixated on everything that had gone wrong this week.
I called my best friend on the way home, eager to unload some of these problems and get her perspective. The issues in my head had snowballed, and I allowed negative feelings to spill over into other areas of my life.
“What if, what if, what if….,” I found myself saying to her. She stopped me for a moment.
“Diane, what if this all doesn’t go wrong, and goes incredibly right?”
I sighed. This silly theory that I had written a paper arguing against was unfolding in front of me. I have had far more positives in my life than negatives in the past few months, yet I had shrunk the positives small enough to put in pretty little boxes and set aside, in order to let the negatives grow until they shaded over me.
Yes, sometimes things go wrong. They don’t go the way we expect them to, and we end up frustrated with having to be in situations that seem to overshadow the goodness in our lives.
But maybe if we stopped fighting things, if we rolled with the punches instead of running so hard against them, we could take things a little easier.
So, I will try my best to go with the flow. And tonight, the only flow that’s happening is the lovely bottle of wine I picked up after work into a glass big enough to fit the entire bottle.
May your week be peaceful,