Five Things That Don’t Suck

5 things that don't suck - Erika Napoletano is RedheadWritingRandom thoughts on a Friday morning. The one at the top of my mind is that I have absolutely dick to complain about. There’s not much complaining or whining on RedheadWriting. I don’t likes it, preeeeeeecious…It’s useless. It’s energy better spent elsewhere. So while making my tea this morning, I started thinking about what’s awesome. I’m talking unicorns, rainbows and puppies awesome. On a side note, while searching for that image, I came across this one. I don’t know what in blue hell that is, but this one is pretty funny. Oh, and I also own this t-shirt. It’s bliss in a size medium.

Okay – back to the list. I’m going to run down five things that don’t suck today. They’re all things that might seem to suck on the surface, but if you turn your thinking inside out, they’re pretty much da bomb. And if you’re looking for a great tool for turning your thinking inside out, check out Hank Wasiak‘s Change the Way You See Everything. I was lucky enough to meet Hank back at SOBCon earlier this year, and this book has earned a permanent place on my bookshelf.

  • Traffic: Ordinarily, traffic sucks balls. Hairy ones. Not sexy ones. It makes you late and nothing’s more annoying than the city shutting down two lanes on a three lane one-way street at 11am. Screw that angst. Traffic at a dead stop is a place to think, sing along with the radio, answer emails (yes, I’m THAT person), and…look out the window. I never realize how much I’ve missed in my life while driving from one place to another until I take the time to look out the window. Try it.
  • Losing a client: There goes the cash flow, right? Screw that angst. Your schedule just opened up. If you loved the client, mayhaps you wouldn’t have lost ’em, so it’s time to think about the kinds of awesome that can fill that time. Make a list of everything you haven’t “had time” to do (aka put off doing because we love to make excuses). Now get it done. Go have coffee with colleagues, take a few mid-day bike rides and ask yourself what you missed. A new client will come along…or maybe you’ll find the time to dig deeper and lend more value to an existing one.
  • Breaking up with a lover/divorce: Life ends, glitter stops falling from the sky and unicorns die. Elmo is no longer tickleable. Batman starts driving a Prius. I speak from vast experience on this one – when you sit on your ass, it only gets wider and a wider ass isn’t awesome. When you stop focusing on whatever that dead weight in your life needed, you can actually focus on what you need. Call your friends, get shitfaced drunk for the first time in six years (and remind yourself why cool porcelain and bathroom tile is soothing), have a yard sale and get moving. We tend to inadvertently place ourselves in these positions where we believe that everyone else is more important than we are. Yet when we stop taking care of ourselves, life goes to shit and we’re the ones who pay the price. Breakups are awesome.
  • Being broke: Wondering how you’re going to pay the bills feels great, doesn’t it? If you spend your days avoiding your online banking login based on the principle that, “If I don’t look, it’s not so bad,” quit that shit. Being broke is one of the best teacher we have in life. When we can’t spend money on things, we have to get creative. How do I get what I want? Stop saying you can’t afford it. Start asking yourself, “How can I afford it?” And these ideas aren’t mine – pick up a copy of Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It’s not the bible but it will shake-up how you look at your finances. (Another great read is – and again, NOT the bible – Stanley’s The Millionaire Next Door.) We’re only ever broke because of our own decisions. Start making decisions to get un-broke and you’ll look back at today in a year and go – Wow. I really started taking care of myself!
  • Getting sick: Before you ask how the hell I’m going to spin this one, I’m already way ahead of you. Being sick has many unpleasantries associated with it. Snot, sore throat, coughing. Maybe it’s beyond that. Maybe you’re facing a critical illness. The gift inherent in being sick is we give ourselves permission to rest. Recharge. Our bodies ask for it, so we need to give it. And when we slow down, we look at life a bit differently. No matter who you are, you can always stand a dose of looking at life different and slowing down for one damn minute.

Choose to see something differently today. Bitch Slap yourself. Pull your head out of your ass. The best days in my life are those where I choose to see. And there’s something magical in seeing things differently. Go forth, slap thyself. Give yourself permission to have another.

63 comments
Susie @ Newdaynewlesson
Susie @ Newdaynewlesson

It really is all about how we see things in life. Like the saying goes, the only thing we can change is how we react to things.

Bradley
Bradley

I am a little late to the party, but I had to comment anyway! Re: Being Broke... I learned more about myself when I hit rock bottom than at any other point in my life. I came out the other side a stronger person. Re: Divorce... Best thing that could have happened. Penniless and shed of a bad marriage. There were tough days, but I am better off by 10000% than I was the day before she left.

Joe Dixon
Joe Dixon

This is a great post! It's one of my favourite things to do, accentuate the positive, and all that stuff. There's always something positive from every situation. I have just found your blog, and I think that I'll enjoy it here. Thanks.

Ingrid Abboud
Ingrid Abboud

Well Erika, You've just managed to pull my head out of my ass and face up to a few of the things that suck that you so wittily spun into not sucking! If that makes sense to you lol :). Am proud to say that I'm dealing with 3 out of the 5! Actually 4, but one of which I don't care enough about - like you said - hopefully tons of new clients will come my way. Dang, the phone is ringing already lol. Another one of which I deal with EVERYDAY is traffic - I live in the Middle East and sitting in traffic for hours on end just come with the perks of living in this fabulous third world ;). You'd be surprised how good you can get talking to yourself. I'm wildly entertaining in my car talking to me - just ask me! Could say a little something about each one of your examples up there but wouldn't want to leave you with a book to read. Kick-ass points and post - as usual, of course! You always manage to leave me with some kind of expression on my face or reflection - after I read one of your brilliant pieces. Cheers to that and to me officially Bitch Slappin' myself now! PS - A Prius? I was thinking more like a Fiat 500! Have a great week.

Ricardo Bueno
Ricardo Bueno

I currently have a 1 - 1.5 hour commute to work. A lot of people think I'm crazy. But first off, I love my job and second, the road is totally my place to just think and recharge my brain. In some crazy way, that works for me. Most times I zone out (not too the point that I forget I'm driving and can't stay within the lane or anything)...but I zone out and feel like I make total progress on some of my ideas. Now in regards to getting sick, I was totally going to say "no way, you're crazy!" (in a loving way of course) but then I got sick a few weeks ago. It was pretty bad, my body just decided to crash. Getting sick allowed me to recognize that the reason was due to the fact that I was injecting my body with tons of Redbull, Rockstar and not a drop of anything healthy. I've reflected on my diet and have recognized that yes it's cool that I have a fridge full of Redbull and Monster and Gatorade but splurging and drinking it all just cuz it's there is probably not the best idea. Not to my health and not to my sanity. And now, onward and forward! Sincerely, A New Reader (who digs the way you write)

Shelly
Shelly

Hmmmmmm.... I love things that make me think. I need to find the perfect position - for analyzing - (not the other- get your head out of the gutter.... ok, well don't - but I won't digress there anymore... lol) So what do I mean by position then? Glad you asked... LOL - If I don't stop and lean back and look around, I miss a whole lot of cool shit... Things that make all the work I do or try to do worth it... But if I lean back too much... I get in a slump.... and 'un-slumping yourself is not easily done', you know? ;) So I need to find that middle ground to ROCK in... :) I'm just FOS right now aren't I??? HA

Jim Raffel
Jim Raffel

When I grow up....I want to write like you. Oh, wait I'm growing old without ever growing up so scratch that. I'll just read you, laugh, cry, giggle. put a cat on my head and then be inspired to go write my own shit. (which by the way you just provided). Thanks for being you :)

Shauna Stacy
Shauna Stacy

Sometimes, it's a good thing when unicorns die.

Grant Griffiths
Grant Griffiths

Hey, have I told you lately just how much I freaking love what you write. This post is absolutely perfect!!!

Bill
Bill

Perfect and timely - thanks for the stress relief!

Andrew J. Gay
Andrew J. Gay

I'll call my PR rep and get started on a plan to handle the aftermath.

Andrew J. Gay
Andrew J. Gay

Unfortunately a common Tequila problem for many Tim. I am just the opposite, Tequila + Andrew = the funnest party ever! We will have to keep an eye on you... Set us up bartender!

Andrew J. Gay
Andrew J. Gay

Don't you just love life's little choices? Awesome opportunities come at you each day to either feel warm and fuzzy inside or jump off a cliff. Why is it so much easier for people to jump? Maybe it's not, hopefully it's not. Life really can be that simple, just choose to look at the positive side of everything and live... happily. Cool sentiments to leave with everyone before the weekend Red! Oh, and remember guys and gals... When life gives you lemons, slice them bitches up and do shots!

Jonathan Saar
Jonathan Saar

Great post Erika. Thanks for saying it as it is. Perspective is everything when negative things are around you. I really like your spin on some potentially very depressing matters and putting a silver lining on them.

KatFrench
KatFrench

In the last week alone, I've had four out of those five to deal with. Lost a client last week, got sick yesterday, was stuck in traffic due to a wreck on my morning commute today, and we're more or less broke thanks to an attack of Murphy's Law destroying my toilet and my hot water heater in the same weekend. No divorce or breakups so far (crossing fingers)! But you're pretty much right. I've made homemade bread twice in the last two weeks thanks to the brokeness, my stress level dropped about 1000% once the shock wore off about the client, and I had a FABULOUS nap when I went home sick. The traffic thing, I live in a rural area, so my drive is always scenic, regardless of the speed I'm moving (or not, as the case may be.)

Robert Slaughter
Robert Slaughter

You said: "We tend to inadvertently place ourselves in these positions where we believe that everyone else is more important than we are." I've always advised "Take care of yourself, you're the only YOU you have." Friends and family come and go -- but you're guaranteed to have to put up with yourself your whole life. Take care of yourself like its a lifetime commitment.

CalebSimpson
CalebSimpson

I can relate to the being broke right now. I left my full time job over a month ago to move to Austin, get married and startup my own company. Currently savings is drying up and freelance jobs to supplement my income aren't coming in like I thought. Now, giving up the lattes in favor of drip coffee and eating every meal at home. Should have done that months ago though when I still had cash, it would have lasted longer. It's definitely a lesson in humility and responsibility.

Betsy Curtin
Betsy Curtin

looking at the bright side. well done :)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Hit me up for virtual coffee anytime, Greg - thanks for stopping by today.

Will
Will

You're posting reminds me of something a friend in college always use to say. "Don't speak about it; be about it!" Like your posting, those are words to live by. As for a wider ass, that depends on what you began with. You have a nice one, but I am not opposed to the Beyonce booty.

Bret Juliano
Bret Juliano

The best part of getting sick is getting to sleep all day, watch movies, and do whatever feels good with the excuse of "I'm sick, this makes me feel better."

Greg Smith MD
Greg Smith MD

Erika I love you. You are a bright woman who says what needs to be said. Clone yourself and then let a couple of you go for a bike ride while the others keep working and writing. We'll have virtual coffee someday when I'm sick or broke. Later. Greg Smith MD

Extreme John
Extreme John

Nice little pep talk there today, I like the way you spun it. I'm having a so-so Friday, wouldn't mind closing up a deal with an Angel investor before heading into the weekend, but eh... It's good to dream, screw it. Have a kick ass weekend and thanks for the afternoon kick in the junk.

Rachel Lawley
Rachel Lawley

Thank you for the slap to get back on track, I needed that.

Charity Fowler
Charity Fowler

I think some of these are easier to spin in the aftermath--or a few days/weeks in--than right away. For me, traffic, losing clients and being broke are ones that thought shifting on right away really helps. I get creative, I find space, I enjoy my time more--whatever my "solution" is to making it not a problem. After living in SoCal for 5 years, I got over the traffic hate. I had to, or I'd have lived in a constant state of rage. ;-) But though I tried to look on the bright side, tried to find the good and change my thoughts about my divorce, that took me a solid couple of years. I can look back NOW and see it was the best thing that ever happened to me, but though I tried to tell myself that then, it didn't work so well. I think the emotional trauma and betrayal was too deep. And it's hard to be grateful for the rest when you've got a high fever, or a migraine that makes you want to die. But on those recovery days...after the worst is over...oh yeah. :-) That's lovely. Lots of sleep, lots of soup, letting yourself heal.

Lanham True
Lanham True

Getting laid off isn't a personal decision to get broke. Some things are genuinely outside a person's control. Perhaps the gift inherent to that circumstance, though, is a chance to rest, recharge & figure out a really creative way to get un-broke.

davastewart
davastewart

Mine is: needing to lose weight. It's way better than starving. I'm lucky that there is enough food in my house that I have this "problem."

Mike Masin
Mike Masin

Good morning. Thanks for the kick in the ass! But what about my empty coffee cup? :)

Jeff C.
Jeff C.

Terrible traffic is what drives my frustration and the rants my friends love on facebook, but I'd love for everyone else to calm down and get distracted, then maybe I can get around them :)

Kris M O'Connor
Kris M O'Connor

LOL Is it wrong that being sick gives me permission to sit on my ass and rest? In a strange sort of way, I don't mind that one (unless it involves expensive visits to the ER).

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