Happy November, friends!
I was born on November 28th, which happened to be Thanksgiving, and this year, Thanksgiving is on the 28th AND I am turning 28. Bam! I'm feeling all kinds of nostalgic this year, and I wanted to share a story. (Trust me, it relates to Shrink.)
Two weeks ago, I went home to Massachusetts to see my dad in his first musical since, um, ever. He was in a community theater production of Les Miserables and I kid you not, that shiz was amazing. 75 people singing for their lives onstage. 40 musicians blasting their synths in the pit. 1200 people weeping in the audience. And my dad, doling out justice as a judge, soliciting women as a john (awkward/hilarious), sliding down a wall when he got shot in the barricade, and waltzing like he was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars Season 67. I was absurdly thrilled with the whole thing.
Yes, I am a proud Daddy's Girl (and shout out to my amazing Mum, too!). Not in a weird Veruca Salt way, but like a "he drove me to school every day for 12 years, I did homework in his classroom every day for 5 years, he cried when my husband asked if he could marry me, and tells me things like 'Liv, what is the point of a life coach when I am here to whip you into shape?'" way. I am a lucky duck.
There was a period of time, say, from ages 13-17, when we were not so close. We butted heads in a MAJOR way. All our communication was held at max volume. Doors slammed. I called him "Fidel." A lemon was thrown (that's a story for another day).
His constant refrain through all this angsty madness?
"Olivia Jayne, you need an Attitude Adjustment."
I WANTED TO THROW SOMETHING EVERY TIME HE SAID THAT. LITERALLY THE MOST ANNOYING THING EVER.
He was 100000% correct. The only thing wrong with my lovely, supported, full life was my attitude. I needed an adjustment.
We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails.
We always have the power to pause, breathe, and adjust. It can be tough. But we can do it.
Was it totally unfair that my dad wouldn't let me stay at Trisha's house until 2 AM, even though everyone else was? Hmm. Maybe. But maybe he didn't feel like staying up until 2 AM because he taught 250 middle schoolers all day and then drove me to a track meet and stood in the cold and then rushed me to a rehearsal 40 minutes in the opposite direction and graded papers and then drove home and made dinner (the man also cooks) and maybe he wanted to just go the eff to sleep at 9 PM on a Friday night. Or watch a movie with my Mom (and then go to sleep). Or play the piano for 3 hours (and then go to sleep). Maybe I was the one acting unfairly here.
Imagine if I had thought "well, he said I can stay until midnight, and he did chauffeur me around all day, so that will have to be good enough" and then MOVED ON instead of crying for 3 hours, thus wasting the majority of the time I could have been at Trisha's house? Imagine if I had been GRATEFUL?!
I would have been a freak teenager, that's what. BUT a freak teenager without a headache from crying and listening to Alanis. Fortunately, I'm still alive and kicking long past those teen years, and I've learned a thing or two about the power of an attitude of gratitude...a GRATTITUDE.
Focusing on what you are grateful for is an incredibly powerful quick trick to get out of angsty teen mode. I know this isn't news to you. Your grandma probably had a book on the back of her toilet called "Be Grateful Every Day" or something like that. But it's not enough to just compile a mental list of happy thoughts. You gotta DO something. Many tiny adjustments over time add up to a major, giant shift.
Shrink Session, and life for that matter, isn't about thinking. It's about doing. Join me this month for four classes focused on amping up your Grattitude. 'Tis the season, after all.
One more thing about my Dad: when his birthday rolled around and I asked what he wanted, he always said "your love and appreciation. That's it."
Let's crank that up. For my dad, guys. He deserves it. I threw a lemon at his head.
Can't wait to see you!
Monday nights from 7 - 8 PM
11/4, 11/11 (make a wish), 11/18 and 11/25
151 W 26th St.