Turning negatives into positives

Amy Dodd Pilkington
4 min readNov 20, 2019

Life keeps throwing me curveballs. It’s taking a toll on me, but I will tell you what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to fall back into a full-blown pity party. So, I’m not going to talk about my problems. I’m going to talk about how changes have positively impacted my life.

First and foremost, I have learned patience. This was something I always struggled with, but I was forced to slow down. In learning to deal with this, I learned to be more patient. I needed that. It was a good thing. I have also learned to slow down, and I have moved away from my fast-paced work schedule with a ridiculously long to-do list. This has allowed me to spend more time enjoying the moment and just living life. Don’t get me wrong. November has been hectic thanks to NaNoWriMo, but I don’t have a ton of other things waiting to be done at the end of each day. I missed out on living by working long hours seven days a week. I’m catching up on lost time. That’s a good thing. It’s a very good thing.

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

I have learned it is okay to ask for help. This was always hard for me. I’ve been a caregiver all my life, and I was virtually incapable of asking for help. That has changed. Don’t get me wrong. I sometimes worry I’m becoming an annoyance, but I still ask for help most of the time. I think everyone needs to learn this, so I consider it a good thing.

I have learned to let things go. This is a two-part thing. I’ve learned not to make too many demands of myself. Taking myself from trying to be superhuman and tackling too many things at once has helped give me clarity. It has taught me that some things don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. That brings me to the second part. I have plenty of mental health days where I withdraw from the world and sort things out in my head. This results in me putting my needs first sometimes, and I needed to learn this. You truly cannot help anyone else if you don’t take care of your own needs first. I have also learned that some people aren’t worth the energy. Negativity occupies too much space in my head. I cannot allow someone else’s negativity to take over the rest of it. This is a good thing. I’ve walked away from a lot of things, and that has opened up space for more positive thoughts.

I have learned to laugh at myself. I’ve always been somewhat of a perfectionist, and nothing was ever good enough. Obsessing over things took up way more time than I should have allowed. Laughing at mistakes rather than feeling defeated has helped ease my anxiety. Now I am certainly not saying that this is always the case. I do get agitated at times, but I have learned to laugh at a good bit of things instead of stressing over all of it. I don’t always get angry when I can’t do something. I don’t always feel like crying when I try to do something an fail. I laugh at times, and that is a good thing.

I’m learning to step outside of my comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong. I have a long way to go on this, but I feel like I have already made great strides. It’s a work in progress, and I hope to keep pushing myself until I’m comfortable being a bit more spontaneous. This is a very good thing.

Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash

I’ve learned what a great support system I have. There are so many things I need help with, and there have been plenty of times when I was frustrated, angry, or ready to burst into tears. Every time I’ve been in such a state, someone has stepped up to help me or encourage me. There are plenty of people who have done just that without even realizing that’s what they’re doing. My support system has been crucial, and I have a pretty amazing team in my corner. This…this is a great thing.

When I take a moment to think of the positive impacts, life doesn’t seem so bad. Take a break and find your positives. The negatives don’t seem to matter as much after that.

Amy Dodd Pilkington

Pilkington is an aspiring beach bum who enjoys travel and sweet tea. This published author has been featured in Health Magazine and many other publications.