Friday, May 25, 2012

The Pollyanna Project

Warning: you are probably going to think this is cheesy. There, you've been warned; feel free to proceed.

This week I finished a three week project: a gratitude blog. Every day, a group of ladies posted a list of at least three things they were grateful for that day on a blog built just for that purpose. If you missed a day, you just posted six the next. A few times a week we were supposed to write a more lengthy piece on the subject of gratitude, but I just fleshed out my three gratitudes as I went along. There was also supposed to be a meditation and exercise component, but I mostly skipped that. I meditate with wine.

The other participants were friends of a friend, some of whom I've met and some who I have not. Most seem to be mothers, and so in the interest of not posting completely dumb shit each day ("I'm so glad my hangover went away by lunchtime," "I'm glad to have a chance to wear this hot new dress," etc), I focused on what had irritated or upset me that day, and how I had turned it around.

Example: a very frustrating call with my phone company's customer service agent. Gratitude: I have the kind of job where I can duck outside and have a reasonably lengthy phone call in which my voice reaches a very high pitch. That I have the negotiation skills and the training to stay calm, ask for a supervisor, restate my claim, and hang in there until I'm happy with the answer I'm getting. That I have people to complain to about these kinds of annoyances who will not tell me to shut the hell up.

People posted about health, about sleeping in, about walks, picnics, partners, family and shopping. Jobs, bosses, exercise, downtime. All the things that make up life. It was a really lovely project, and I'm glad we did it. I recommend it.

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