Aftermaths and Shit #AbyssPositivityDay

March 1, 2012, The Abyss Day of Positivity (as it came to be known) is officially in the books. Baseball fans will understand that the day is forever marked with an asterisk. Andrew Breitbart died and Rush Limbaugh’s “slut” comment was, at least for awhile, the #1 story on Google News. And Google’s new privacy policy went into effect.

For my part, the day was a mixed bag. There were some successes and some failures. That’s fairly typical output from me in the challenge department.

My humble overall goal for the day was to be “joyful” and remain positive for an entire 24 hours. Let’s see how I did by reviewing each item on my Top Ten list of ways I would be positive.

10. Start the day with clean clothes and a shave. Even for work!

Result: Success. I hate shaving. Even more, I hate shaving in the morning. And even more than that, I hate shaving for work. But I got ‘er done.

9: Refuse write down and save negative thoughts in my notes for tomorrow’s tweets. They shall instead be set free into the ether.

Result: Partial success. I did jot down a few thoughts negative thoughts for “later.” But only a couple. Some will claim this taints my grand experiment. So be it.

8: Surprise the office with coffee and donuts.

Result: Qualified success. I ran out of time (like I do every morning) so I couldn’t stop for the donuts. I did go to the fast food joint at my morning break and brought back a little something for everyone in the office. I also said, “Good morning,” to everyone when I got to work. That’s a huge departure for me. Fact: The boss snatched my gift out my hands without a word of thanks (or a word of any kind) and ripped into like a pack of piranha on a live cow that had just been dropped in their river. And that’s exactly what he eating sounded like, too. You’re welcome, douchebag.

7. Wave hello to the annoying mascot guy on the sidewalk.

Result: Failure. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I had two opportunities, morning and evening commutes, and I just could swallow that ugly lump of hate long enough to lift my hand and gesture (in a friendly way). On the way home I made the most effort but the guy was looking off into space so I figured what the hell. If you don’t know the schtick from Liberty Tax Service (people dressed up like the Statue of Liberty and waving like idiotic clowns) I’ll say this: I hate this sidewalk form of advertising and I have vowed that I will never use Liberty Tax Service for anything as long as I live.

Sad Tax Man - Sunnyside, Queens NYC

6. Set aside time before work for meditation.

Result: Epic failure. I’ve been trying to get this done for months and I utterly failed. Again. The mornings before work are not a good time for me. That’s the understatement of the millennium.

5. Crack a smile at least once.

Result: Indeterminate. My mood didn’t really ever follow suit to my brief moments of success in behavior. I phoned it in. But one may have gotten by me. I’m not sure.

4. Forgive WordPress for eating this post by making me re-login (for no good reason) and forcing me to reimagine this list.

Result: Failure. Every once in a while WordPress will force me to login again at weird times. Like when I click the “Save Draft” button. Naturally after I logged back in a huge chunk of my creativity was gone. Apparently I was logged in enough to start a post but not for any of that auto save shit to work. Good to know. I never could remember all the items on the list so I made up new equally meaningless ones.

3. Perform a random act of service and/or kindness. #karma

Result: Partial success. I didn’t accomplish anything truly worthy of being called RAOK, but I did do a lot more than normal to help my wife with chores, cooking and such. I’m going to be greedy and call getting up off my ass a win.

2. Act nice to the boss.

Result: Partial success. I think I did pretty good, but his continued existence wore me down and I got weak. It felt a lot like God was using him against me in an effort to write a sequel to the Book of Job in the Bible. He always feels so deliberate in his button pushing, like it’s personal. So yeah, there were some moments of failure here.

1. Be friendly.

Result: Partial success. I gave it the old college try. There were some good moments, but there were also moments I found myself reverting to my tried and true methods.


At my age my neural pathways are a lot like cholesterol-choked arteries fried with eggs in butter. Especially when the skillet is powered by the fires within Mount Doom. (Yep. That’s where I like to cook my arteries.) Like my psychoanalyst tells me, any movement is a pretty big deal and should be regarded as a good thing. So some small progress was made, but overall, the universe remains mostly unscathed from the experience.

More fun than trying to be positive was the effect the small improvements I made seemed to have on others around me. Apparently I’m pretty set in my ways and tiny changes provoked rather larger reactions.

The most fun was probably in tweets, were I found it a bit easier to change the tone of my messages even if I didn’t really feel like it.

Probably the funnest part of all was hear the reaction of friends, old and new. Thanks for the comments and interactions!

Now, let us never speak of this day again. I have to maintain my Guru cred.

It was good to get away, but I have to say, it’s even better to be back. There’s no place like home.

8 responses

  1. I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but this is the first time I’ve felt possessed to actually comment.

    Your day of positivity lined up with a truly rotten day on my end. I remember at least one of your sun-shiny tweets, & I wondered if something was wrong with you.

    Pleased that you’re back to normal.


    1. If you comment then you must be possessed! 🙂

      Yeah, the Abyss Day of Positivity will long be remembered as a day of infamy. Sorry it was truly rotten for you, but something tells me that was the whole point. I sacrifice myself, on a day-to-day basis, so everyone else can have the best existence they possibly can. I’m only one guy so the effects may be negligible but I still try to do what I can.

      Thanks for noticing that I was acting weird!


  2. Good job, Job!
    Oh! I cannot wait to read the sequel to the Book of Job-
    And I can tell all of my friends ‘ I knew him when….’


    1. “The Book of Job II – Shouting Thomas” will be replete with veritable miracles and such, verily I say unto you. For example, my boss calling me while sucking his thumb and unable to cope with a very minor problem during my three-day weekend. More about that soon.


  3. I am so proud of you my dear friend! Loved it, enjoyed it — went back and read your tweets and some blog comments/moments. You are hilarious! Crack me up! Glad to have you back actually — and the Mrs. is my favorite! She had me laughing something fierce. Poking you along the way! You guys are great. And there’s the truth — i love what you write. Negative and all. It’s real, fresh and always funny. Don’t ever change!

    But hey, I can’t lie — it was great to see this side of you. And you didn’t fail on any of those things at all!

    BTW, Meditation? Who the hell ever said that was a positive? That just IS. And some people can do it, and some people cannot. Personally, I’m not a fan and have never been able to “get it”. Then a “yogi” friend of mine said, Carmen, you meditate when you run or when you write. Don’t worry about HOW you meditate — just being able to get at peace and hear God’s voice — the silence, connecting with the real you is all that matters — and Thom I think you do that daily. I would submit my dear friend — you meditate more than you realize. It might just be part of the writer you.

    It’s just a thought.

    Happy sweet day!


    1. First and foremost, thanks for the kind words and for being my muse during this trying time of positivity. It is much appreciated.

      Meditation has long been on my list of things to try during my morning routine. Mornings are an especially dark time for me. As I like to say, “I’m getting ready to be late to get to a place I fucking hate.” I like that cadence of that pithy saying. Sometimes by the time I head out the door I’ve made myself physically ill with the projected thoughts of what is to come. I was hoping meditation might help me deal with this stuff.

      Other things I want to do on a daily basis include sitting with my eyes closed and listening to the world for five minutes. Last time (and the only time) I tried this it was interesting and I heard a flock of geese fly over. Always thrilling!

      I’m learning that, at least for me, the meaning of life and something the Dalai Lama calls “happiness” probably lies in the ability to not let shit bother me. That’s where I’m focusing my efforts these days. Of course I will fail. Trying in the face of certain failure is my way.

      My little list of things to do daily is the ultimate failure, though, since I never get to any of them. It’s a great way to bootstrap another glorious morning!

      I like the idea of meditating while I write, but in practice it doesn’t always work out that way. There have been many, many times I thought I was onto something, but the mere act of writing it down made me so angry that the output was so vile and contemptible that I’d look at it and say, “That shit will never made it – even to my own blog!” Of course, by then I’d be on the floor shaking and with blood leaking out of my ears, so I couldn’t have hit the “Publish” button even if I wanted to.

      In closing, let me just say this. “The future’s so blight, I wanna go to Hades.”


  4. Well, this was a huge disappointment. What’s with this partial shit? That’s like being a little bit pregnant…

    I think I’ve found your one and only fault. Lack of commitment. Be all that you can be, Shouts! Be a complete and utter failure at every attempt to be positive and you’ll have our undying admiration. If you get positive about being negative, I’d be so amped!


    1. Well, in my defense, can I please whine, stamp my foot, and proudly say, “But it was so hard!”

      I’m very committed to my lack of commitment. So there!


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