I wonder if any of the great philosophers have anything to say about being grouchy.
Probably just something not helpful like: "Don't be grouchy," which is about as helpful as simply telling someone to "Be patient."
Ah yes, of course, great philosopher, why didn't I think of that? Why don't I just reach into my bag here and dig out my patience...
I've been defaulting to grouchiness lately, and it's making me regret that I haven't purchased a coffee mug at Disneyland with Grumpy on it. I feel as if I would feel some solidarity if I had a ceramic dwarf on my desk this morning, reminding me that he, too, is a little cranky, and I am not alone.
Now, first. It is Monday. I am trying to recognize and remind myself of that. I tend to enjoy Monday mornings, actually, but I know that sometimes they have a way of carrying a "LIFE IS TERRIBLE" cloud and I might simply need to dodge the shade of that cloud.
This defaulting to grumpiness is not cool with me. In fact, it's making me grumpy.
Where is that coffee mug when I need it?? I NEED THE CERAMIC SOLIDARITY!!!!
I feel like anger, and depression, and anxiety are recognized -- to varying degrees -- as notable issues that warrant some effort and time to be worked on. They're attention-worthy. People are willing -- again, to varying degrees -- to help you work through these things.
Not so much, right? I feel like when we're grouchy, we've trained ourselves to maybe rant to a friend, but then to go seclude ourselves until we feel better. I feel like a child in time out. I'm not allowed to socialize until I'm acting like a better-adjusted adult.
So when I find myself continually in the pit of Grumpy, what am I to do? Just cut all ties until further notice?
Let me tell you, as an extrovert, this really doesn't work out for me. When I try and keep myself from social situations for too long, I end up feeling worse.
I just spent a good moment trying to decide what music to turn on. I settled on the Forrest Gump score, and I am still determining if it's the right fit.
I mean, I know I'm a music enthusiast, and as I like to find the perfect word to describe a feeling or a moment, I too like to line up my musical genre or artist with the current mood at hand (or opposite mood, if I'm trying to turn from a negative to a positive mindset, a hyped up demeanor to a calm one, etc.).
But just now it felt a little excessive, like it was too much to decide on a temporary soundtrack.
I talked to a friend recently who's been keeping up with my blog posts and she said, "It sounds like you're working through some stuff. Are you OK?"
The knee jerk in me thought: of course I'm OK.
But maybe I'm not. Maybe this continued grouchiness is something to look at more closely with my emotional microscope.
It did occur to me today that life is not meant to serve me. I am blessed and have been very fortunate in many ways, but this world is not designed to meet my every whim and fancy.
Sure, it's frustrating to deal with this negativity in my bones, but maybe it's just a season. I don't mean that I'm not going to keep an eye on it, because I take emotional well being very seriously, and I hope and pray that others will too, always.
But sometimes the world feels like it's ending and you just realize you need a nap, you know?
Or a snack. Snacks are highly important in this life. I have learned to be prepared at any given moment with a book, cross stitch, and either readily available food or a credit card ready to swipe at a gas station snack shop.
And water. Boy has paying attention to my water intake made a difference in my life.
I wonder if this grumpiness, in fact, is a sign of my state of generally being spoiled; I may be experiencing a break from life's carnival and, like an ungracious host, I have no desire to take a moment and clean up the discarded confetti on the ground, to ready my life for the next gala.
Instead of reflecting on the recent joys of my life -- and there have been many fun occasions -- I am disgruntled that the music has stopped, that the guests have left.
I want my confetti to be forever in the air, apparently. At least when I so dictate it.
So what can I do?
I've asked Alex to keep an eye on me. He in turn suggested I write down these feelings to take to therapy.
I suppose I can also inventory the confetti.
I can list all the great things that I've been able to experience lately.
When I get done writing this blog, I can make a gratitude list (I'm a huge advocate for these) regarding my day and life today.
I can look at what's coming up, to look forward to.
When I worry that negative things may be coming my way, I can remind myself that life is always unpredictable and it is best to live in the present and live in hope.
I can get some water.
And I can practice breathing. Breathing through the negative until it passes. Breathing through the boredom, the doldrums, the hum drum.
I can reframe. As much as I like to offer myself time to feel my negative feelings (and I don't frown on this, to a point), I can look at how I can make certain situations more palatable. When the confetti's not in the air, I can look for other positive things at life's party.
Ooh, what a beautifully decorated cake.
Isn't that nice, so-and-so drove so far to be here and celebrate with us.
[Claps hands] Look! A cooler full of beer!
I truly, truly hope my blog doesn't sound like it's full of simplified platitudes. If it's bothering you, maybe just see past it as my attempt at positive self talk. If it helps you, great. I've just found that when I inventory my confetti (not that I've been doing it lately), I see how consistently it helps turn a mood around.
Maybe my grouchiness is here to teach me how to exercise my skills learned over the years in order to weather more than just a moment's mood, but to survive a season of a mood.
So here I go, wish me luck. I'm going in, with a dustpan. I'm going to scoop up that confetti, and remember what each piece felt like as it was suspended in air.
The way my heart was pounding when we yelled "Surprise!" for Abby's birthday.
The way the sunset hovered with us, as we slowly sipped margaritas on the deck of the ship.
The rush as I pull the microphone out of its stand, my turn to sing for my karaoke audience.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to write a gratitude list, drink some water, and do some yoga breathing.
And to sweep some confetti off the floor.
No need for a trash can, though. I'm putting that confetti in my pocket, so I can toss it up again. When the moment's just right.