Friday, December 26, 2008

The Power of Negative Thinking

I'm one of those people that sets herself up for disappointment. What's that called? Oh yeah, female. I lie in bed on Christmas Eve, imagining the looks of wonder, joy and happiness of Christmas morning. And then I chastise myself. "Shut up, Mignon. What you imagine is not possible. And if it were possible, you just jinxed it by imagining it." So then I imagine the kids puking in their sleep, the tree bursting into flames, all the stockings falling on the floor, the dog eating all the candy out of them and then dying a tragic death in front of the Christmas tree from chocolate poisoning and smoke inhalation.

Our Christmas was closer to former, with elements of the latter. In the middle of the night Madeleine woke up twice, feverish and sick, and Quinn woke up once coughing and bleeding from both nostrils. When morning finally came, Quinn was up first, disoriented and still sick. We all went in to wake up Madeleine (also disoriented and sick) and then to the living room. Quinn was convinced Santa had mixed up his and Madeleine's stockings (no comment), pulled the first toy he found off the top and hurled it across the room.

So, after the requisite three minutes in his room, a cup of milk and copious threats, the Nice Christmas began. Wonder, joy and happiness. It actually happened. The kids are still sick, but it's that low-grade kind, where they're happy to stay in their pajamas, except when battle gear is required...

I hope yours was what you secretly hoped for, too.


Blogger meno said...

That sounds pretty nice, at least the part after the toy throwing.

Mine was better than i imagined.

12/26/2008 5:22 PM  
Blogger Tamar said...

hey Mignon. It sounds like you're doing a great job. Sometimes it does help to "flood" ourselves with bad thoughts so that we can desensitize to them and also so that reality (low-grade illnesses and all) doesn't seem all that bad in contrast.

As a mom, you may want to take a look at my book, Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking: Powerful, Practical Strategies to Build a Lifetime of Resilience, Flexibility and Happiness-- just in case you want some other strategies to help with negative thoughts : )

Merry Christmas and peace (in your mind and in the world) in the new year.

All best,
Tamar Chansky

12/27/2008 9:55 AM  
Anonymous apathy lounge said...

We had, compared to previous years, a scaled-back Christmas. This observation was made by the middle son who received every single thing he asked for (except for the new car speaker installation) INCLUDING us paying for half of his plane fare to go hog hunting on a college friend's place in the valley. His older brother got an iPod (he's a Luddited) and bunch of other stuff and the younger brother got a longbow which was expensive, too. I'll never how a kid who got what he wanted still thinks we had Christmas Lite.

12/28/2008 8:01 AM  
Anonymous robyn said...

I'm not sure what happened. I posted a comment, I'm sure I did. At least I think I'm sure. It was about how my Christmas also turned out in ways unexpectedly delightful.

Either I dreamt that I posted it, the Internet ate it, or I said something inexcusably offensive and you deleted it. I guess that's not out of the realm of possibility, since I don't remember any of it anyway.


Hey, glad you ended up having all you secretly hoped for.

12/30/2008 5:15 PM  

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