When something bad happens in the life of a politician, actor or sports hero, they call in a public relations team to figure out how to put a good “spin” on the event. Since most caregivers don’t have a PR team, we have to figure out how to put our own spin on the bad things that happen in our lives.
I have adopted Garrison Keillor’s philosophy about negative events. He says, “Nothing bad ever happens to a writer. It’s all material.” I am also a fan of the comedienne Ruth Ann White who says when something goes wrong her immediate reaction is to ask, “Is there anything funny about this? Can I turn it into something funny? Would it be funny if it were happening to someone else?”
On the other hand, I have two teenaged grandsons who look at the world through very different lenses. William is the positive one. On the last morning of our family reunion Cooper fussed about everything from the food to the heat to the long drive home. William tried countered each of his complaints with a positive comment, but when none of his suggestions brightened Cooper’s mood, he said, “It appears that you just need to be miserable today, so I think you should just go ahead and do it to the best of your ability. If you can’t be happy, embrace the suck!”
There are very few days (or nights) when everything goes smoothly for a caregiver. So today when something goes wrong, think about how you want to spin it. You could laugh at it. You could write about it, learn from it, or like Cooper, you could choose to embrace the suck.