Pollyanna Syndrome- (n) illness caused by a series of either unfortunate or just plain crappy events which happen with increased frequency throughout ones life.
The Glad Game- (n) A cure; remedy, for those suffering from Pollyanna Syndrome, allowing said sufferer to find sunshine through the clouds, make lemonade out of lemons, and find purpose in every thing that goes awry.
It seems clear now, as an adult, why our parents did some of the things they did while we were growing up. For me, one of those things was “making” me become obsessed with Orphan Annie and Pollyanna. I am positively sure my mother somehow sideswiped me with those movies so I would always have two things occurring in my life.
- I would always remember that somebody, somewhere was in a worse situation than I was, ever… (so basically stop complaining.)
- I would always, somehow, try to find the good in people and in the moment or surroundings.
It is often seemingly impossible to find good in every situation, but it is possible to breathe deep, walk away, glance back and remember something sensational about even the most sinister person you have encountered. It is all about perspective.
It occured to me last night as I was having a very difficult time finding the good anywhere but in my pillow, that I had not shown gratitude or rather, expressed what I was feeling “glad” about in some time.
A very good friend of mine was asking me what was going on in my life at the time and as I was telling her, she asked how I was possibly holding it all together. At that moment, she decided I should win an award for maintaining sanity through torturous situations… (her words were slightly more offensive!) I told her it was time to play:
The Glad Game.
“Well, what on earth do you have to be glad about?!”
I could list a whole lot of things I am glad about. Having a roof over my head, a car to drive, healthy children, food to eat…. but at this point I was having more fun giving her ACTUAL Pollyanna “what would you do?” scenarios. That, is what I was glad about. I made her laugh and I know she needed to.
The only way to stay up, when things are looking really dark, is to multiply your negatives until you get a positive. I promise, there will always be something there to be glad about.
Did I mention that Pollyannas really piss people off? Purposeful, Promising, Patient, Pollyanna type people usually do. 🙂 Be patient with them too. They really are trying to make the world a nicer place.