I love being an extra, but I would be lying if I said I always kept a positive attitude while working. This past week I got an email to be a part of a set that I had been dying to work on since we moved here a year ago. I was absolutely pumped… but at the same time a little nervous. My body still goes through immense pain flares and I wondered if I would be able to keep up with the potential high demands of this job.
The night before work, I found out that I would have to be on set 4:50am(meaning I needed to wake up around 3am). I tried to go to sleep early the night before, but I never got to a full state of being asleep. It felt like when you are a kid, the night before the first day of school, and your body is so ready for the next day that it won’t shut off. A couple hours into this tossing and turning I realized, “I am not going to get good sleep tonight….” Or will I?
Recently I have been reading a lot about the power of our thoughts, specifically that we can convince ourselves that we are well rested, even when we are not. In that moment, I made a decision. When I “woke up” in the morning I would say, “I feel so rested! I slept great last night. I am so excited for today!” It may seem silly to tell myself something that isn’t true, but I continued to repeat that to myself all day long. Crazy enough, it worked. I really didn’t think about my poor sleep much at all.
I was also correct that this set was no joke. I worked a total of 16 hours in the heat, sun, and then rain. 4 hours into my day, I thought to myself, “It is so hot out here. My feet hurt so bad. I wish I was resting right now.” I began to tell a story to myself, a story where I was a poor victim of this awful day. In a split second I realized how I was being a complete negative nancy. In fact, I felt ashamed.
How long had I hoped and dreamed to be on this set? How many people would kill to be in my uncomfortable and wet shoes? How silly would my friends think I am if they knew I was complaining about this amazing opportunity?
The funny thing is, just like how my negative thoughts had spread like wildfire, my positive ones began to spread just as fast. I must have walked so many miles that day, but after that point all I could think was, “I have the coolest job. I am so lucky to have a flexible job where I pick my own days of work. Some guy flew from Chicago to be here, how amazing is it that I live so close? I am so thankful that my husband dropped me off so early in the morning and will be here when I get off work. I remember the days I prayed for a husband and now I have the best one.” The positivity and gratitude spread like wildfire. Soon, I was listing things I was thankful for that had nothing to do with my current work day.
I will admit, I can become quite the grouch when I am in pain and tired, but I truly do believe we have a choice on which thoughts to feed. I have been working hard this past year to change my perspective and this work day was a true test. Would I complain about being tired and sweaty? Or would I acknowledge that I am so lucky to live the life I do?
I got into our car after work with a huge smile on my face. I had an amazing day. Was it easy? Heck no! But I made memories I will never forget and walked away with a life lesson I had been trying to put into practice for months now. We can always choose to be grateful. We can always choose to see the good.