Don't be a passenger

Have you ever just had one of those days where you can literally feel the weight of the world on your shoulders? Well, my day has become months. As I was traveling to NC yesterday, I had nothing but time to think. I mean between the breakdowns, snack requests and bathroom stops, I had time to really just sit and think about life. I have a love/hate relationship with freetime. Maybe hate is a really harsh word, but I guess it would more of a love/dislike relationship. Whenever I have freetime, my brain tends to think that is the best time to make a rapid fire slideshow of everything that has happened in my life over the last 30 years. Talk about overwhelming, right?
On this trip though, I only got the last 5 years in rapid playback and I felt like I was an outsider that was just watching a movie. Some of the things that I was seeing I didn't even remember living through and that made me sad. I realized that I had been an outsider in my own life! Who does that?? Me apparently.
As I thought about this more, I found out that there was a pattern. Anytime that there was a stressful, angering, or traumatic event, I basically just cruised through the days, weeks, and months after that. I was clearly living my life, but I wasn't taking part in my own life. I was carrying the stress, anger, sadness and fear from day to day and it was altering my view of my life. I need to know how to fix this! I know that I can't go back and relive the past two years, even though I would like to. I can only make a change moving forward.
But what can I do? I'm going to experience things that stress, upset, anger and sadden me, but how do I stop that from influencing all of the moments after that? I've got to let those moments be just that, moments. I can't dwell in that negative space. I have to be okay with living in that moment and then moving forward. I don't want to simply go through life. I want to be present and truly live each moment of my life. The only way to do that is to stop allowing negative emotions to drive my life. Doing that is like going through life with colored shades on. You can never truly enjoy or experience what you are looking at until you take the shades off.
From this moment on, I won't allow a bad moment to ruin my day or week. Just take a deep breath in and release!