Boy, do I love the holiday season! I'm usually in a better mood, i.e. when people cut me off on my way to work, I don't bitch too much about it. ("Oh, you wanna play it like that now, Honda Odyssey? Fine, I'll let you in. Merry frickin Christmas!")
Things are definitely on the up these days. I decided in my post-existential crisis moment that the solution to my issues isn't always something tangible - a new hobby, a new career focus, a new educational endeavor. Sure, I don't want to stop reaching toward new goals and challenging myself, but I sometimes get so caught up in making changes that I forget to appreciate and make the best of the present.
In observing the people I know who just seem to have that sparkle (you know the type - the ones who seem to always be in a good mood, the ones who put 100% of their effort into work and good causes, the ones who rarely complain), it all boils down to one thing - attitude. Sure, we all have bad things that happen to us, and we all have bad days. But the only way to ever get through it and be a happy person is to have a good attitude about it. (By the way, I could only come up with 2 people in my life who have this sparkle I speak of - my mom and my co-worker Sofia).
I realized that I want to be one of these sparkle people, and to do that, I need to start approaching my life differently. Not that I've ever really been a pessimist, but I notice that I'm quick to question my life choices the minute things aren't going spectacularly. If I'm ever going to sustain anything in my life (a career, a relationship), I can't give up so quickly. I need to take the bad with the good, and focus on the bigger picture.
I must say, it's been working! I started by becoming more engaged at work - delving into projects and trying to be more productive. Rather than thinking that I "deserve" to be in a certain place career-wise, I decided it's better to never think I deserve anything and to instead just work my butt off 100% of the time. And it's not solely to just "get ahead" and make something of myself. I want to work hard because it's the right thing to do. Opportunities aren't handed to you - you have to put in the work, and there's no harm in going above and beyond. I want to strive for more than mediocrity.
This has made a huge difference in my mood - I'm less stressed because I've altered the way I've been viewing things. It's like mind over matter - if I tell myself to see the bright side and be happy, then it happens! It's quite elementary, really. I know none of this is news to anyone, but hey, it's keeping me afloat these days.
As for everything else, life is just dandy. Nothing really too thrilling going on, which is actually a good thing because I'd rather have consistent boringness rather than some rollercoaster, up and down drama going on.
We had our Christmas show for my dance studio last weekend - what fun! I didn't screw up, which was all I was really hoping for. I heard we did well from people that saw, so yay! I've also made a new friend in my class, which is great.
Our family is bringing back our name drawing "Secret Santa" event this year - YES! Oh, I have so many positive memories of getting someone's name and surprising them at Grandma's on Christmas day. I can't wait!
Work has been crazy busy lately. I was supposed to give a presentation to a client today, and I was stressing about it (and dreading it). But what do ya know? It was cancelled! Postponed, really, but that allows me more practice time. Woo hoo!
I also got to go to a meeting last week about the human trafficking problems that are quite prevalent in Sacramento. A woman shared her sad story of her developmentally disabled daughter falling victim to it a couple years ago, and although she was rescued, the trauma she experienced will be with her for the rest of her life. We've done some pro-bono work for a client that helps those affected by human trafficking, and WEAVE even offers some services related to it. I'm hoping I can do more to help out in the future! What a tragedy - we think it only happens in third-world countries, but here it is in our own backyard.
I'm going to be house sitting for a family friend of ours in a couple weeks - and get this - her house is haunted. Laugh all you want, but some seriously crazy things have happened there (Dad, I can see your eyes rolling from here). This might be tricky, but hey, a deal is a deal. I always follow through on my commitments. I'm just going to send vibes to the spirit that I'm not interested in any contact (you may think I'm joking, but I'm being serious here). I'm not one of those people that likes to have freaky experiences. I'm not a ghost hunter, and I'm not real big on contacting people from the past. Sure, I want to see Grandma and Grandpa some day, but ideally that will be in 80 years when I kick the bucket myself.
Overall, life is going great. I'm enjoying my independence and looking forward to a nice end to the year!