Just a little over a year ago, I started posting a “Good Morning!” tweet on Twitter every work day. I’ve kept it up for over a year and I’d like to take a moment to discuss it. Why did I do it? How has it gone? What are the plans for the future?
Why “Good Morning!”?
I remember deciding to start doing this. We were barely two weeks into the initial lockdown here in Massachusetts. I was in the dumps. Everyone looked to be in the dumps. My very first tweet, not officially part of the timeline, but let’s be honest with you all, was a complaint:
So glad my son decided to play videos really loud while getting ready for work. I didn’t want to sleep at all.
— Grant Fritchey (@GFritchey) March 23, 2020
Not an auspicious beginning by any stretch. The first “official” tweet wasn’t a whole lot better:
Good morning. How are we all doing today?
— Grant Fritchey (@GFritchey) March 27, 2020
From there it picked up.
Here’s the thing. I’m not anyone special here. I don’t have a degree in psychology, or anything else for that matter. I do not have any kind of inside track on how to be a better person, how to avoid or deal with depression, or anything else like that. I’m just some dude. However, a lot of people, myself included, have been hurting. I just wanted to start my own day on a positive note. I figured others might feel the same. So, a little tradition was born.
I tried pulling in stuff I was learning as I read about how our brains work (always trying to improve, especially since there is so much room for improvement). Things from taking and teaching a couple of Wood Badge courses with the Scouts were used. I spent a lot of time, probably more than I should have, thinking about how to put together a positive message every day. I wanted to avoid controversy, politics, all that stuff. Yeah, a little did bleed in once or twice (it was an eventful year, let’s be fair). Even there though, I struggled to be positive.
The goal was, and remains, simple: Start the day on a positive note. Have a Good. Morning. At least for an instant.
How Has It Gone?
The messages have morphed around to various topics, although, always circling the concepts of positivity, good cheer, helpfulness and gratitude. I know, without searching through all the tweets, that I became repetitive at times. I do think a good message is worth repeating.
What was the reception?
Mostly, equally positive. I’ve received both public and private praise for the effort (however small it is, and let’s face it, in the grand scheme of things, this is exceedingly tiny indeed). The most liked tweet occurred in June of last year:
I hope you’re all doing well.
Quick side note. I’m posting all this encouragement and tips for getting better and doing better, not just for you. It’s for me too. I constantly fall short. However, I’m trying. I’ll keep trying too. So should you.
— Grant Fritchey (@GFritchey) June 18, 2020
The most retweets was in April last year:
Monday. Those of us still working are back to work.
If you’re looking for work, use your network. Ask around. Make it clear you need some help.
If someone asks you for help, please, if nothing else, amplify their message. Let’s help each other get through.
— Grant Fritchey (@GFritchey) April 20, 2020
And, finally, the most replies was to this tweet:
Personally, I find the hard thing these days is maintaining motivation. I’m doing OK with work. I’m just having difficulty with more, like writing a book or other outside projects. I’m still figuring out how to recharge this resource. I’ll let you know.
— Grant Fritchey (@GFritchey) July 29, 2020
Overall, the reception was positive. It was not completely positive. There were a few people who thought my tweets were somehow subtweets meant to attack or defend or, I honestly don’t know what. Others found my complete and utter lack of qualifications in and around psychiatry, etc., to be a disqualifier for suggestions on being positive, grateful, understanding and kind. Still others felt that any kind of positive message was somehow denying reality or hurting those suffering. Not only did I listen to all this feedback, I attempted to let it help drive some of the messages.
I’m sincerely hopeful that, overall, this was a net positive.
Plans for the Future
For the moment, I’m going to keep going.
The reason for this simple. I need to feel that moment of positivity every morning. I personally want to have that good feeling where I think about being kind, trying to act with grace, expressing gratitude to the people who give so much, just flat out being positive about the future. I struggle to stay on top of things, so I can use the message as much as anyone. Because of this, I’ll keep sharing that need for a while.
I think, longer term, I’ll stop. I’m just not sure when.
In the mean time, I hope you’ve found this whole thing, in any small way, helpful. If anything I’ve said hurt you, I hope you can forgive me since the intentions were never to hurt anyone. Thank you, very much, to all the people who’ve sent positive messages. You’ve helped more than you’ll ever know.