Attitude Check: "The Kalea Shoe"

CRASH! “Oops! There goes my breakfast shake.” I’m frantically looking for towel paper to clean up the mess before Pharrell, my dog, gets to it.

Then, all of a sudden...FLOP! I let out a whimper as I hit the ground, elbows first. Sergio rushes into the kitchen and asks, “Ma, are you OK? What’s going on?” “I fell trying to clean up this mess,” I respond. He can tell I’m angry. He tries to help by saying, “It’s OK. I’ll clean it up. Go to work.”

I accept his offer and leave in a hurry. I’m digging through my purse as I reach the car door. Where the heck are my keys?! They are no where to be found in my purse. Then I remember I left them on the key holder. “UGGGHHH!!!” I run back upstairs and knock on the door. No answer. I knock again. Still no answer. This time, I bang on the door, yelling, "HELLO?!" I can hear my husband scrambling to open the door. He's wrapped in a towel and drenched in water. He starts, "What..." I interrupt him, "I left my keys." I grab them from the rack and run back down to the car. At this point I’m already 15 minutes late to work.

I’m about to pull out of the driveway when the yellow indicator gas light turns on. “ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?!” I yell. Now I have to stop at a gas station. At this rate, I’m never getting to work.

I arrive at the gas station and I don’t want to talk to anyone or see anyone. As I’m putting gas in the car, I suddenly look up to see an elder man smiling at me. Are you serious right now?? I look away. From the corner of my eye, I can see that he’s still staring at me. Now, I’m very annoyed. I assertively ask, “Do you need something?”

He laughs sarcastically. “What’s so funny?” I ask. “Well,” he responds. “I can tell you’re having a horrible day because your face looks like you’re getting ready to murder someone. But it’s too early in the morning for a pretty lady like you to be pouting around like that.” I turn away. Is this conversation really happening right now?

He continues, “You know, the rest of your day doesn’t have to be so bad. You can choose to smile or you can let life give you wrinkles sooner than you’d like. I’m 82 years old and I chose to smile through life. The happier you are, the longer you live.” He winks at me, gets into his car and drives off. I just stand there for a minute repeating those words in my head: The happier you are, the longer you live…

Let’s be real! Who hasn’t had a bad day? And by bad, I mean the “tired, coffee tastes horrible, can’t find my keys, boss is getting on my nerves, friends are driving me insane, mom better stop calling me” kind of day. You feel me - we’ve all been there. The only thing you want to do on a bad day is crawl under the covers with a good book and Netflix on the iPad.

Yes, we all have our bad days, but we can dictate the rest of our day. Let me explain: You may not be able to control the situations happening around you, but you do have control over your response to those situations. This is where your attitude comes into play. What’s your perspective on the situation? Are you going to let the situation dictate your mood for the rest of the day? Are you going to let it influence the way you treat others around you (projecting your emotions onto them)? Or are you going to take control and respond positively to your situation? There are practical ways to do this. For example, if a challenge is presented, view it as an opportunity. If someone says something hurtful to you, choose to forgive and move on. If the kitchen is messy, load the dishwasher instead of complaining. If you're feeling overwhelmed at work, talk to your team to share the workload.

Start taking control of your attitude with the small things in life. Once you begin to master these, you’ll find that it’s easier to deal with the bigger situations. Remember, practice makes perfect! You have to be intentional - it’s a choice! Commit every day to work towards a positive attitude and you’ll find that life will become more enjoyable! After all, the happier you are, the longer you live :)

Each post is named after a pair of "fictitious" (for now) shoes. For this post, I chose the name "Kalea," which means “joy and happiness.”