September 29, 2014

Overcoming Grumpiness: Sometimes you just have to Eat that Cookie.


The bed only has four sides to try getting out of and one of them has a wall behind it; I only had three tries.

So, at 10:56 in the morning, I was still grumpy and not just because I went to bed a little later than usual the night before. I stomped around getting my kids ready for school and tried to make fun of myself during breakfast. The kids thought it was hilarious and it usually works to joke around. Not this time.

Too grumpy for yoga. One of my bosses may or may not have lied to me. Kid didn’t want to go to school. Again. You know, the normal litany of excuses for grumpiness. It just didn’t matter. I really was grumpy. Give me a cape and I’ll be Super Grumpy.

I think it started because I’m jealous. I’ve been reading The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Stetterfield, a murder mystery wrapped in veiled and slightly threatening moors. Her Rembrandt phrasing with the intricate delicacy of rice paper origami draws me in, comforts me. The words hold me in a lover’s embrace.

I imagine her ensconced in a double chair near a fire, magical stories spilling from her lips, only to appear effortlessly, perfectly on paper. My fingers can tell the book is getting thin on the right side. The story is drawing to a close and all will be revealed. I never want it to end. Even more than not wanting the book to end, I want the ability to write with such artistry.

Anyway, back to being grumpy. The kids are gone and I think “Well, maybe breakfast.” But there is the cookie standing boldly in front of the healthy seven-grain cereal and blinding me to the fruit in the fridge.

Now lately, I’ve been pondering what it means to be gentle and loving to yourself and different ways to do that. I’ve been grounding myself, feeling my feet and trying to understand what it means to be authentic. This cookie seemed to be in opposition to all of that. A cookie like this is chock full of sugar and chemicals and all sorts of things that nobody needs.

The cereal would be better for my body and wouldn’t that be more loving? There are plenty of ways of getting past grumpiness you know, nobody needs a cookie. So before downing that wondering of chemical baking, I submit these 8 ideas for getting beyond grumpiness:

Acknowledge it. Accept it for what it is. Allow yourself to feel it, observe it and pass beyond you.

Do something for someone else. This is huge! Recognizing that someone else’s situation might be worse than yours.

Practice gratitude. It stops bullets, I tell you. (Not that I’ve tested it literally, but figuratively plenty of times.)

Pray. To the Goddess, Shiva, Ganesh or whatever Higher Power you recognize. I happen to be Christian so I pray to God the Father.

Physical labor—clean your house! Or exercise, yoga, dancing, hiking, anything especially out of doors.

Smudge! And the world smiles with you. Sage and Palo Santo wood are both excellent choices.

Take a bath, with Epsom salts and essential oils. Water has a very calming effect on our systems and can draw away negativity.

Scour the internet for good clean jokes that make you laugh. For example: Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him a…
Super calloused fragile mystic hexed by Halitosis.

I thought about all of this while the cookie and I stared at each other. Taking a breath, I acknowledged my grumpiness. And then I ate the cookie. Three of them actually. As it turns out that cookie wasn’t in opposition to what was best for me. It was exactly what I needed—a snippet of rebellious comfort food to acknowledge my grumpiness.

Ahhhhh. I feel better.



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Editor: Travis May

Photo: Flickr/Rob Boudon

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