A favorite book that my mom read to me when I was a child, and that I continued to read for years, was this book: Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.
I always got a kick out of this book and that through the trials during Alexander’s day, he said over and over again, “It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, boom boom.” And then he states that he’d like to “move to Australia” because he thinks it would be better there. His mother tells him, that even in Australia, people have bad days too.
I like this book for several reasons.
- We can all identify with Alexander. There are days when it seems like nothing is going right. It is one thing after another and the day seems to get worse.
- Authors of children’s books often do repeated and catchy phrases. It is done to emphasize a point but children learn (don’t we all?) by repetition. I would read it and the catchy phrase would make me laugh.
- Reading this book would actually cheer me up because no one has that many things go wrong, especially, all in one day. I would realize then that my day really wasn’t that bad and moving somewhere else wouldn’t make it any better either.
- Alexander had a bad attitude. You can choose to make the best of it, laugh at yourself and move on. Or you can choose to be a grumpy “Gus” and no one will want to hang around you.
Choose your attitude
When my kids were young, they’d wake up with a bad attitude. They were mad or unhappy about something. I would let them know that they can choose their attitude for that day. Were they going to be a ‘grumpy Gus’ or a happy person all day?
If you choose to have positive thoughts, then your mind will focus on those positive thoughts and you will in turn be a much happier person. Much like Alexander, if you focus on the negative or bad things that are ‘happening’ to you all day long, then you will be grumpy.
Philippians 4:8 says, Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, what is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Next time, it seems like you are having one of those Alexander days, you have a choice to make in how you are going to react. Will you choose to dwell on the negative, or will you laugh and choose to put it aside, think about these things and be happy the rest of the day?
What will you choose?