I have been a hard pill to swallow this week. My usually soft, sweet-hearted nature has turned sour and prickled.
My tone, and its partnering words are heavy with exhaustion and thick with agitation.
More times than I have fingers, I uttered the words, “what else could possibly go wrong,” and I’m pretty sure I followed that answerless question with a very aggressive, “not even cute puppies smooching even cuter babies could turn my mood around” (That’s a squishy-furry-slobbering-puppy-baby faced lie).
There’s not even a solid biological or circumstantial reason why I feel as blue as the cowl-necked shirt I have on. But I could make some strong guesses for my grumpiness.
First, I was going to call Gemini and blame signs of a sinking attitude on my astrological one. Then there is my red-hot aversion to the cold weather. I could pick low-hanging fruit and say that I just got a visit from my biologically-timed inner demon who is cascading around town in a crimson party dress, reigning terror on anyone who dare cross her weeklong path.
I could even cite my crazed morning trying to get ready for work which, unfortunately, requires putting on pants. This morning, I did the “pants dance” not just once, but three times. Oh, no, not because I couldn’t decide on the most fashionable outfit.
This 20-minute trouser tour was because I kept putting my legs in the wrong hole, or both legs ended up in the same hole. I can confirm that entire scene was about as exhaustingly comical as that episode on Friends – you know the one – where Ross keeps putting his pants on backwards. Or maybe even the one where he couldn’t get his leather pants back on and he drained the city of New York of its baby powder and lotion supply.
I never realized how much a dry-humored paleontologist and I have in common until this morning.
Once I finally got dressed and started work, important applications and other websites decided to sleep on the job, making me wish I could just go back to bed.
I stayed awake, but have been having a full-on pity party for one – just without the streamers for yanking, noise-makers for screeching and piñatas for smashing. But there is chocolate for eating. Frankly, that’s all I need.
I was holing away in my pantry, jonesing for another chocolate escape, when I remembered a few details about my day.
While I was sweating the fact that it took me 20 minutes to put my clean pair of pants on – that I pulled from a dresser in my bedroom – I watched a surprising scene. A shaggy, bearded man who looked to be wearing every piece of clothing he owned, except for a ratty knapsack he dropped at his broken-boot-covered feet, was hovered over a heating grate in a downtown skyway, trying to dry off and warm up pairs of socks and shorts.
How blessed I am, to have pairs of clean, dry pants to pull on – even if it is a struggle.
I work near a bank, and when I stop for lunch, there is usually a long line of patrons, who can’t hide their frustration any better than me, standing close to the bank’s entrance.
On pants palooza day, the line seemed even longer than usual. My coworker explained to me that most of these people, each of them with a different mark of desperation carved into their tired faces, are searching for a helping hand while they are sinking deeper into debt and financial uncertainty.
How blessed I am, to have a career affording me financial stability and all the things I need to live well, even if the office technologies don’t always work well.
Perception is reality. Another cliché because it’s true. We live out what we create in our minds. The look and feel of our experiences can change in the instant we choose to look at the details of our day through a lens of gratitude and thankfulness.
If you’re anything like me, afraid that any little thing might send you over the edge of this week’s cliffs, step back and take a deep, slow breathe. You have made it this far and you are almost at a stopping point.
Instead of looking down at all of the things that may have fallen around you, look up and remember all the blessings above you.
And if you still feel a sticky, sour pill stuck somewhere in your throat, bite off some chocolate or take a swig of your favorite nightcap until it goes down with ease – just like this week.