I was just taking a dump in the municipal building restroom when I realized that I have been projecting negative thoughts much like my mother and her mother do. For example, the other night Anna was discussing with me the possibility that our whole family could go to her hometown instead of her flying out by herself for a reunion of friends. I was only trying to be helpful, but all of my commentary was negative, and only focused on the negative aspects of the cost of such a trip, and other expenses. In fact, I always do this, and it must be very frustrating for Anna. I bet she already realizes I do this, but it’s just becoming apparent to me. I mean, I know what I was saying and thinking, but I’m just now realizing how it must have felt for her to only hear me give negative feedback regarding her desires for all of us to go to Denver. I would love to go to Denver. I want to go. But I can’t help but think of the costs and how close to 100% of a two-week paycheck would be eaten up for a nice weekend away from the house.
My whole life I have focused on the negative rather than positive aspect of any decision I weigh. For the most part, it works nicely for me. For example, when I was in high school and it was becoming apparent that I had enough talent to attempt to go to college to study music, I frequently thought about what aspects of my performance needed work, and then proceeded to take the necessary measures to work out those issues. So in that sense it is helpful to weed out the problems and take care of them. Although in the example above I am the only entity processing this information, and I understand that I’m not trying to be overly negative, or to simply dismiss any good intentions with an overload of negativity.
But I frequently do this when Anna brings something up for discussion. I think it is partly good for the reasons listed above, namely to think out all the negative impact a decision will incur, but it also sucks to be around someone who is only spewing forth negative commentary all the time. I know, I experienced it for years while living with my grandmother. Anna has observed it in the family members noted above, and I have noticed it more and more as the years pass by. I used to shrug it off as an acceptable part of their personality. But more and more I’m realizing how shitty it is. I do not want to be another one of those people. I will have to try to also keep in mind the positive aspects of any decision, as well as the positive outcomes which are not in my favor, or benefit me directly. I think the main problem is a drive to understand each decision from a self-centered aspect, rather than taking into account also what other people have to gain/lose. I feel as though I have just clicked up another notch on the “self-understanding/how to be a better person” scale.
Anna, sorry it took me so long to realize this!
PS – the toilet really is a great place to think!