Do you ever have those days? You know the ones – you wake up late because you forgot to plug the phone in and it turned itself off in the middle of the night and your alarm went with it. You straggle down the hall (in the dark because the bulb burned out the night before and you don’t have enough light at night to see to change it), you’re groggy and half-blind and barefooted and you step in something the cat left in the middle of the floor. The dogs are both jumping in your face to get out the door, although it’s already too late for one of them. You let them out and clean up several messes before you even get to put a kettle on to make coffee. When you do finally get some coffee, almost 45 minutes later because you have to feed all four of the fur people and dole out treats and meds and then let the dogs back out, you realize your cream has gone bad when you pour a big fat dollop into your fresh mug of revival and it turns into a cup of curdled blobs…
Oh, heaven help me. Those days.
Those are days when I know I should not check my email once I do finally have a cup of drinkable coffee and breakfast. But I do. And there’s usually something I don’t really want to see while I am already late, rushed, and frustrated. Maybe it’s a news item I just can’t wrap my head around, or a rant from someone who thinks they’re owed something that I’m pretty sure I have either already sent or have never heard of, or a colleague complaining about something I did not have control over in the first place.
Oh fudge. Or words very like that. (Although actual fudge might be an appropriate way to sweeten this kind of day. Dark chocolate with walnuts, please.)
It’s on days like this that I know I have two choices. The first is to let this stuff in and let it get to me. I can let myself get really annoyed and growl all the way to work because I’m listening to the BBC guy masticate the news and it’s all bad. And the car in front of me just came to a full stop without warning and THEN the driver put on their right blinker and decided to turn so slowly I want to explode. And once I get around that, I seem to get behind the Drive Like it’s Sunday Parade – every person is going 5 mph UNDER the speed limit and lollygagging at stop lights. Then I get to work even later and now someone is tail-gating me in the parking garage while I’m trying to find a parking spot, while driving past places where SOMEONE is taking up two spots. I drive in circles, finally get a lousy spot, and the twit behind me still roars by, gunning it between me and then next corner approximately ten feet away. I hear the squeal of brakes. When I get out of the car I realize the same gunner has left a trail of cigarette smoke, to which I am desperately allergic. I hold my breath and try not to go into a wheezing fit as I run for the elevator.
Yeah. When that option is in play, I get into my office in a mood that can best be described as combustible. Or something that rhymes with caging twitch. You get my drift. It does not feel good and it does not make for a good day. That is not a place I want to go.
The other option is to take a step back from the things I know will set me off and refocus on the flip side of all the mayhem. Even in a morning full of “OH GOOD GRIEF!” there are better, sweeter moments: The contented rumble of my calico torti as she curls into my lap for a cuddle. The look on my terrier’s face when she is happy. My older dog and my younger cat nuzzling each other because they are best buddies. Changing the radio station in the car to music and singing along, which lets me ignore the pokes and prods of traffic and people committing DWD infractions (driving while dimwitted, for those who aren’t familiar with the HaQ book of traffic violations). Stopping for a cup of coffee that comes without lumps. Smiling and waving to the hesitant pedestrian trying to use a crosswalk. (Making nice really does make nice.) And by the time I get to work, I can manage the over-stuffed parking garage and step back from those nasty emails and say, “Hmm. I wonder what’s going with them, because this has nothing to do with me.”
The paws and the pause can keep me on the flip side of flipping out. I am so grateful for that. Here’s wishing you more flip side, too – have a great week, HaQ readers!
Stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!