After thinking about, typing and publishing my post yesterday I spent the rest of the day interacting with other people. First, at a friends house where about a dozen people had gathered for a poker tournament and Super Bowl viewing, then later in the night at my rec hockey game I was witness to numerous conversations and confrontations. With the content of yesterday's writing still fresh in my mind it was interesting to take note just how easy and natural it is for people to be negative in body language, tone and speech.
I arrived with the small 10 man poker tournament already well underway. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to play as I was working until 230 and the tournament had been set to start by 1. A couple guys had already lost, but it looked like they were more worried about watching the upcoming football game then they were about getting a cash poker game started. "Oh good! Now I won't have a chance to lose my money!"
As the football game got underway a few guys suggested playing "Squares" as we watched. While I do like to gamble I had never taken part in football squares. Not wanting to miss out and perhaps relying on my newly positively charged outlook I jumped in even though I didn't know how it worked. I plunked down my cash, initialed 10 boxes and proceeded to wait for a good time to ask for an explanation. The numbers were assigned to the sides of the grid, and I managed to get the most obscure numbers possible. As I now sort of understand it, each square is assigned a number from 0-9 representing the last number in the total score of each team. So if I am assigned a square I can scan across the page to the side and to the top to find out which score I am looking for. For example Baltimore 6 and San Fransisco 2 would lead you to cheer for certain scores by each team so that you can cash in. The pool of money is then divided and awarded at the end of each quarter. "Great! I got the most obscure numbers that have no chance of leading to any wins!"
While there shooting the breeze with the guys I knew, my buddy Jason talked me into betting the game with him. Our other buddy wanted to take Baltimore, but so did Jason and I. The line for the game had San Fransisco favoured by 4. Tanner offered to take only 3 points if we would take San Fransisco. Next thing I knew I was in with a bet on San Fransisco. As the game started to unfold Baltimore looked like the proverbial Superman and San Fransisco looked more like Aquaman (Big Bang Theory reference). "How the bleep did I end up backing San Fransisco anyway?"
Later, as we were throwing on our gear before hockey there was a bit of a buzz in the dressing room. A few guys had some "bad blood" with a few of the guys on the other team. The talk went so far as to preplan significant aggression towards certain guys on the other team. Having played this team previously and personally disliking a few of the guys, I understood to some degree but was still quite taken aback by this talk. Hardly a good idea for winning a game, we proceeded to take numerous penalties throughout the game and got ourselves into a nasty hole before we had a chance to get anything going. To top it off, I felt flat, played poorly and our line got lit up for 4 or 5 goals. "Why did I bother showing up?"
Now, if you are like me and generally take a negative look at most everything that happens in the world it would be quite easy to write off yesterday as a miserable day with nothing to grasp on to as a positive happening. After my self awakening experience yesterday that I went ahead and documented in this very space, I pressed myself to put look at everything in a positive light. Many of the negative aspects of yesterday were either so minor that I shouldn't ever worry myself with them, or they were out of my control ie my teammates approach to the hockey game.
The new me looks at it this way: after a laid back shift at work where I am lucky enough to get to watch hockey or basketball or a movie of my choosing while I complete my tasks, I then got to hang out and shoot the breeze with my poker buddies without risking any money. I got to watch most of the Super Bowl at Eddie's house while enjoying some great food that he had prepared. I then went to hockey where I got to play with my brother Ian and get a great workout while Sheila, Jasmine, Asher, Ian's girlfriend Larissa and her Grandpa all came out to watch Ian and I. When I got home I laid down to watch a few shows while cuddling Asher (he even waited up so he could see me! what a feeling!). After he reluctantly went to bed, Sheila and I cozied up to watch the movie "Unforgiven". Sheila gave me a great massage after I complained about my back and I dozed off to sleep while she finished the movie. She woke me and we went upstairs to bed where I got a solid restful sleep to get me ready for today. This positive outlook thing is going to take some getting used to, but I like the idea of summarizing my day in this way. As it turned out, there were plenty of high points that I could have carelessly taken for granted if I didn't stop to consider them.