Making the Most of Bad Days

This has been a rough week, as far as weeks go. I actually had a morning this week where the bottom of my blender came off when I picked it up and it spilled green smoothie everywhere, I got a rejection letter from an agent, I found out one of the good friends I've made in Australia has moved away, and I stepped on the back of a stranger's heel on the commute and removed her shoe because I was buttoning my coat instead of looking where I was going.

The next morning, my bus didn't show up, some idiot drove his car right through the group of us standing on the sidewalk to avoid turning onto the traffic-filled road, and on the commute home I was stuck in a train car full of drama students yelling back and forth to each other at the top of their lungs.

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Weeks like this happen. Weeks where your friends are all going through a hard time, where your tank just seems constantly on empty, where the world seems just eternally screwed up and nothing will ever change.

But things do change. Sometimes not in the way we thought we wanted, but they do. The world is in a constant state of flux, and that includes us. I'm not the same person I was two years ago, five years ago, and certainly not ten years ago.

Seriously, I was the most depressing 17-year-old there ever was. I would so not participate in the 17 Again movie. I was not hot.

The thing I have to remember when I'm having a crappy day, when I cut my finger on the food processor or when my inbox doesn't contain the email I'm dying to get from an agent, is that in two years things will be different. I'll have a new perspective. I'll look back and wonder why I was so upset, why I got so anxious, why I spent so much time worrying about that thing that I don't even remember now.

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So I try to use the bad days as fuel. I pour all the feels into my writing, my blogging, my journal. I have to force myself to write because it always makes me feel better, even if the task before I start it seems impossible.

Writing is the bottom of the funnel for me. All this stuff gets poured in, all these emotions and experiences, and I have to open myself up and let them all pour through me and get them down on paper so I can use them. Difficult emotions make the best writing material.

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Even if you're not a writer, there are a lot of health benefits to writing down your feelings and experiences. So the next time you're having a crappy day and everything seems to be going wrong, rather than exhausting your partner or a friend by venting it all out (when they probably can't fix it anyway), try writing it down. Date it, save it, and set yourself a calendar reminder to read it in six months or a year.

Because the great thing about keeping track of your woes is when you can look back and realize that they don't matter anymore, and you have risen above them. Don't rob yourself of that.

Feature image credit: Jake Davis, 2011.