Not gonna lie, COVID19 life has been challenging for me. I have needed an attitude adjustment more than once since we began quarantine. But, the truth is making an attitude adjustment isn’t always about fighting negativity.
Attitude adjustments are practical in so many ways. Yes, an adjustment can deal with negativity, making the choice to replace it with gratitude. But at times we need to adjust our assumptions about people and situations. Some of us project “perfection” into every shift, new season and change. We anticipate that things will be perfect when….. (fill in your favorite phrase). But the reality is, nothing is perfect, no person, no living arrangement and no relationship is as romanticized as we would like it to be.
When we find ourselves disappointed we need to make an attitude adjustment. It makes me think of checking your “internal settings”. When our settings are properly adjusted, we can push ourselves faster and further. Our happiness is balanced by our connection to reality, and our negativity is mitigated by the understanding that we might need to practice more daily gratitude.
Check Your Settings-
How about this? Adjusting our attitude can be like participating in a spin class. Effort, settings and energy all combine for a long term positive outcome. Attitude adjustments are identical, we focus on a long term outcome with intention and significant effort.
A while ago, I was in a spin class. As a relatable scale of measure, I compare most of life’s hard moments against a spin class. For example: divorce> spin class. Or this: folding laundry < spin class. Right?
Back to spin class.
We are sprinting on our bikes. Sitting down, spinning as fast as we can. Suddenly my knees hurt. Then my handlebars feel like “ape hangers”, my elbows are sagging. But I keep pushing; don’t want to miss the calories burned from a sprint. Finally, my knee pain and arm position are too much to ignore. I hop off my bike, check the seat stem and there! The root of my problem is the bike seat setting! My seat was set at eight, but I am riding at five. Slowly, in all the activity and effort, the seat has slipped three positions, causing me pain and confusion.
Do you ever feel like your life has slipped out of position, causing confusion and pain? And like me, you keep pushing, because everything feels too important to stop? Most likely we need to take some time to consider an attitude adjustment.
Here are some ideas for making an attitude adjustment-
- Something hurts. Pain should always get our attention. Too often we don’t stop and investigate the source. When my knees were hurting, I knew something was wrong, but I was too committed to burning calories to stop and check for a problem. Pretty dumb, right? Often we do a similar thing in our homes, and with our relationships. Hey- if it hurts, stop and look for the source of pain. Feelings, emotions and relationships need to be tightened, like a setting knob on a spin bike. If things are loose, slippage occurs and the chance of being hurt is much greater. Pay attention to your attitude and internal dialogue. If you feel hurt, angry, fearful or sad something might need to be adjusted.
- Your position has changed. When I was looking up at my handlebars on my bike, I knew something was wrong. My position had changed, and it was not good for my body. What has changed in your life lately? Are you struggling to connect with your spouse? Feeling like a hamster on a wheel, repeating the same bullshit cycle? Stop the spin and check the settings. Go back to the basics. Quality sleep, nourishing food, expressing gratitude to your loved ones and intentional time focused on you. If you are a person of faith, make sure to connect with those in your spiritual community. I know that when I slip out of gratitude, life becomes more painful and I unleash my inner asshat attitude on those I love.
- It was easy, and now it is hard. When we build endurance, things become easier; much like sprints on a bike get easier. But if easy things are now hard, pay attention. It might be something simple, like fatigue or a passing mood. If you find you are in an ongoing struggle to summon energy for previously simple tasks, it is time to investigate. Get real with your schedule. Say “no” to some good things. Make margin in your day, setting aside time for self care. Maybe you need to find someone that you can openly share your struggles as a midlife woman. We all need a good non-judgmental friend in our life. Or a skilled talk therapist.
Unfortunately, in that class I had to adjust my bike 4 times. The seat stem continued to slide down. But by then I had learned the signs of bad form, and I was able to correct myself quicker each time.
Midlife Attitudes Can Be Challenging
As women, we need to be paying attention to signs of slipping in ourselves, knowing that our attitude may set the tone for our homes and relationships. Let me encourage you to ask for what you need from partners, friends and those in your circle of friendship. So often as midlife women we “solider” on, pushing through the pain cycle, using our energy and time to serve others while we battle fatigue, resentment and lack of joy.
When things start to hurt, it’s time to slow it down and consider a midlife attitude adjustment. You might find your life “settings” have slipped, resulting in discomfort, pain and unrealistic expectations.
Life is wonderful, but it is not a fairy tale. Life can be difficult, but it is not a disaster. In midlife, we have enough wisdom and intuition to realize when it is time to check our settings and make needed attitude adjustments.