You know how things happen that hurt, disappoint, or frustrate you? And then later you look back and see that something good came out of the bad stuff?
The sooner you can find that silver lining, that positive spin, the happier you’ll be.
Lately I’ve been thinking about some of the things I’ve been upset by – and the good stuff I ended up getting.
1. Having A Disagreement With A Friend
I’m one of those confrontation-avoiding people who loves everything to be harmonious, everyone to be happy.
But every now and then something bugs me enough that I need to express how I feel (usually after several glasses of wine – also known as ‘courage’).
And every now and then I’m on the receiving end of some else’s um, self-expression.
I hate the way it feels and the discomfort of being at odds with someone I care about.
But I’ve realized that the process of talking it out can bring you closer, help you know each better, deepen the relationship.
I certainly don’t advocate looking for things to fight about, but these days I’m grateful for the occasional friendship tunnel, because I really like what’s on the other side.
2. Having A Crappy Vacation
Last month my husband and I went away for a few days. We spent a lot of money (for us) in a beautiful place, to relax, apparently.
But we realized that although such holidays make many – maybe most – people feel great and help them unwind, they don’t have that effect on us. Although we enjoyed aspects of our getaway, mostly we just wanted to go home.
In retrospect, we should have spent the time and money having a staycation. Wandering around our beautiful city, buying and reading books, maybe getting a new TV (ours is 12 years old). After all, we spent our 10-year anniversary buying books (yes the entire day!) – it may not have been conventionally romantic, but it’s one of our most cherished memories.
But I don’t see the vacation as wasted. It taught me a lot about myself, about us. And although it was confusing to be having such a supposedly great experience while feeling impatient to get home, I’m grateful for the reminder to listen to the little voice inside, rather than the loud voices all around.
3. Getting Labelled An Introvert
In general I’m not a fan of labels, especially in psychology. Words like depression can take on an unhelpful power if used without care.
One label I was not happy to have slapped across my forehead? Introvert.
During a semester of psych testing in my psychology degree I underwent many of the standard tests, including personality tests. There were no real surprises (I score high on neuroticism – shocker!) except for the revelation that I’m extremely introverted.
But after getting over the social-outcast, Emily-The-Strange implications, suddenly so much made sense. I was neither a misanthrope nor a freak. I just didn’t like big groups, felt uncomfortable around strangers, and needed to re-energize on my own after time with people.
Getting a huge I on my personality report card allowed me to understand myself better, enjoy my friendships more (pretty much from that day I gave up any pretense at friendships that weren’t meaningful to me), and manage my social life more effectively.
All of which made me a better partner to my husband, who no longer got my social dregs after I was exhausted by everyone else.
It also gave me confidence to work for myself, from home. Which is one of the best decisions I’ve ever, ever made.
What Crappy Things Are You Grateful For?
How about you?
What disappointments or mistakes have brought you blessings?
16 thoughts on “3 Crappy Things I’m Grateful For”
My group’s decisions are as follows:
Take the good out of the bad incident & file under education.
In today’s society it’s unrealistic. Let go of toxic/negative/jealous people.
At odds: both sides have to agree to sit down and come up with a compromise. No compromises end the friendship.
Taking a long weekend vacation relaxes you and gives a new burst of energy. Weekend road trips in the summer time: make it economical: visit relatives; visit an historic area; attend sports games or an event planned in certain towns.
I agree labeling can be damaging to your ego. Labeling should only be used in proper context i.e. medical diagnose.
I really enjoyed this article, it really resonated for me! Thank you, and keep writing.
Good reading. Thanks Louise !
Someone once told me that if you get energized being around other people, you are an extrovert. If you are drained of energy being around others, you are an introvert. While there are a few exceptions, most people make me tired, so yes, I would have to say I am an introvert. My husband is very much like me, except he has an incredible ability to turn “on” when he needs to, be outgoing, talkative, very gregarious. But most times, a bookstore, chilling at home, and just being by ourselves is how we both like to spend time. I would clone him if I could!
I love the way you guys like to spend time!
Wow. I loved your comments re being an introvert. That really sucks sometimes as people don’t understand. No one thinks being extroverted is weird!
It’s true that other people often don’t understand, Sally. But when YOU understand that about yourself, isn’t it liberating? It makes me think of that lovely Maya Angelou quote, ‘If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be’. 🙂
First and foremost, I am grateful for the really crappy feeling when I am having a bad day because at a certain point, it starts to turn around and it is at THAT point, when I know I am going to be ok.
Second, I am thankful for having to deal with crappy hurricane Sandy home repair..even though mine is relatively minor. I am learning VERY quickly who to trust and who not to. As crappy as the hurricane as been in my live..and the lives of countless others..there are blessings to be found all around without looking very hard.
Third, I am thankful for having to deal with my employer’s bankruptcy. While the company has emerged from bankruptcy, we are far from being uber happy. Some have left the company, and others, like myself, have begun researching career changes, bettering education and even starting small businesses.
Wow Mary – you’ve found some gratitude gems amid all that crappiness. Thank you for sharing these. 🙂
I wrote a long answer, and sadly my computer gave up while posting it. My computer needs help. I came back here today for help, and I surely got it. I am an introvert too. I would love to find a man who would spend all day looking at books, and bring one over he thought would interest me. This would be amazing. My mistake in marrying someone who was my polar opposite as far as a personality test, did teach me that if I am not myself, I will not find what I am looking for. A great lesson learned.
‘If I am not myself, I will not find what I am looking for.’
That’s a very lovely piece of wisdom, Beth! Thank you for sharing it.
Beth, I so understand what you are talking about! Not being myself has caused me so many unnecessary pains – ah well, it’s a learning curve for which I’m grateful.
I believe that everyone needs to get away on short or long vacations. You can see the area you live in anytime. You need time to recharge your batteries and relax. I know I always budget when I take a trip whether it is long or short, yes, I budget my money not to spend over a certain amount. But when you are on your trip you think I don’t know if I’ll ever come back so you go ahead and spend a little more. Say to yourself how much would it cost me to make another trip to take a short train ride? A lot more than adding a short jaunt. These travels become your treasures and good memories of a time well spent.
Good point Terry – you always come home with a storehouse of memories! 🙂
True: When I was in the UK with my wife, we were always asking ourselves “Would we regret it forever if we didn’t do this thing while we are here?” And there are too many things in previous vacations that we chose not to do and now kick ourselves. However, there were also little seemingly trivial things that we did that turned out to be cherished memories.