Thursday, May 23, 2013

On Being Cheered Up

It isn't easy cheering me up.  This is something I don’t particularly like about myself, that I am working on.  I have anger issues.  I have grumpy issues.
And when I get mad, I like it, and I want to stay mad, and I don’t like friends coming in there and trying to be all chipper and interfering with me relishing my bad mood.
The first step is admittance, right?
Well I know it is a problem and I’ve been working on it, and doing better, and it feels so good.
When I allow the positivity in and make a conscious effort to let go of the negative, I can feel it becoming a habit.  So instead of instinctively reacting with anger, I start to immediately try to see an issue in a new light and find the good in it.  Which, don’t get me wrong, is a lot more difficult than just getting pissed and complaining about it, but is very much worth it.
With anger I notice every annoying thing and HATE it and let it feed my anger—the screaming kids playing outside, the laundry all over the floor, my rumbling stomach.
But letting that go and just trying to accept shows me the sun streaming through the window, reminds me of when I was a kid and ran around screaming myself, and suggests I make myself a cup of tea.
Yes I am pissed off right now about answering the same question at work 6 times, having to explain to someone in explicit details how to order Jimmy John’s, and that my co-worker has been online shopping for lingerie for 3 hours while I am busting my ass, but I have learned to let that go and worry about me.  Okay, there is lingering rage there because this is a daily occurrence, but I keep reminding myself that she is a damn fool and it is no skin off my teeth.
And I'm not expressing it outwardly to my co-workers much, though we do like to rant, I keep my smile and happy attitude on.

And I don’t judge myself too harshly for getting angry at work though… it is easier and more important to let go of the rage in my personal life.  At work, with the bullshit I handle daily and a difficult boss, I would have to be a lobotomized lush to not be mad.  The important thing here is to take a deep breath as I leave the building, and as I exhale it, also
exhale all of the day's bullshit and don't take it home with me.  Emotionally.  Once I am physically gone, I need to keep my thoughts at work as well and not stress over it, because it won't get me anywhere.

Not getting our house was awful.  And I was expecting more of an upset reaction about myself, but after two people told me “well at least you found out now” and Eli kept saying
 “it could be worse”, I let myself listen and really believe those words, whereas when I turn to anger I shut out any beneficial advice.  And they are so right.  Things will work out one way or another, and it is not use crying endlessly over spilled milk.  Feeling your feelings is important, and I let myself cry for 3 minutes. And then I accepted it.

We went out for some comfort food and I let myself live in the moment, rather than making mental lists of the chores I would need to do in the future, as I am apt to do.  I breathed in the smell of lilacs and ate a delicious sandwich—actually tasting the food instead of wolfing it down –and had a good conversation with an old friend.

And I made sure to do other things that cheer me up, like walking outside, taking a steaming hot bath with a good book, using my favorite body lotion that smells like oranges, watching I Love Lucy or Keeping Up Appearances , doing my nails, and drinking good tea.
I think it is important to know your go-to cheer ups and having them on hand for disappointment.  It shouldn't be anything major, like a shopping spree or a vacation, because those are not accessible for day-to-day downers...unless you are an unemployed millionaire.

I am also a firm believer in constantly treating yourself—not just as an occasional reward, but finding little luxuries in everyday life.  Americans have created this stigma of having to “earn” something, whereas I prefer the European ideal of living each day as if it were your last and savoring everything you can, rather than just getting by until a special occasion that you have to “earn.”

So all that live for today stuff, and whatever makes you happy…as long as it doesn't infringe on the happiness of others, like throwing things at someone who is walking down the street, killing animals, or similarly inappropriate actions. :)

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