I haven’t written a blog in so long that I forgot my WordPress password. The thing is, I’ve been hunkered down like a mole rat–writing, writing, writing; haven’t had much to say. “Go Hawks” obviously, but everybody is writing about football (and Tom Brady’s balls) this week. This one is about cereal, yoga pants and getting happy.
Typically, I’m an upbeat person, but every so often I’ll slide into a period of “grumpy monkey-ism” when my sense of humor scurries into hiding. My law of attraction friends would call it “being out of alignment.” I have been feeling out of alignment all week. My routine has been disrupted, and I haven’t been able to write.
Super-awesome author Conrad Wesselhoeft (Adios Nirvana, Dirt Bikes, Drones and Other Ways to Fly) once shared a favorite writing quote with me. Forgive me for not citing it, but Google didn’t know. Comment if you do, and I’ll send you a pen–just a random pen from my desk. “Anything that gets in the way of your writing is the enemy.” It may sound extreme, but sometimes I totally feel that way. Like, “WTF, my kid has another day off from school? What is this, a conspiracy?”
It’s true. My second grader had today off. She had last Monday off, too, and only half days the rest of last week. Two weeks before that she had no school one day because there was a man with a gun seen loitering at a neighboring elementary school. The Shoreline School District cancelled classes, which was a good call. Still, it was so odd. Upon hearing the news, my daughter danced around, chanting, “No school, No school,” like it was a snow day. Oh wait, I shouldn’t have said, “snow day.” Knock on wood. God, that’s the last thing I need.
So, today we had two of her friends over for the morning, which would have been awesome, but they kept singing a Taylor Swift song— enough said, right? I sat at the dining room table with my coffee and a bowl of cereal, but kept having to get up because the dog wanted to go outside to chase squirrels – then wanted back in – then out again. The sunlight through the window was like RIGHT in my eyes, so I sat squinting, partaking in my Special K. I should clarify: not the kind of Special K Via snorts in Please, Pretty Lights; the kind makes her hear colors. I mean the cereal; this kind is actually kind of magical because it has little chocolate bits inside. I got the last bowl of the box through because my son has been mad-grubbing it as of late. My coffee wasn’t hot anymore. I frowned and turned to my cereal but soon realized the flake-to-chocolate ratio was all wrong.
“There is way too much chocolate in my cereal,” I heard myself complain. Sucks to be me.
I was soon struck with my own ridiculousness. Talk about first-world problems: too-sweet cereal; life-giving sunlight; happy children; warm coffee; and a playful dog.
What was I doing? Grumpin’ out, and for what? I decided to take two minutes to appreciate the things around me that were going well. This little trick works for me when I remember to apply it. Appreciation, even of little things, is the fastest pathway out of the bad-mood badlands because I can’t feel appreciation and irritation at the same time. Obviously, there are the big things such as the fact I have cereal in the first place, and shelter, and good health and family and friends. It’s even more fun for me to think about the little random things, like the yoga pants I was (and still am) wearing. They’re a joke, a cliché, and the uniform of the suburban soccer mom. Though I prefer the term “rocker mom” because my son plays the bass and my daughter plays the drums. Anyway, I appreciate my yoga pants because they symbolize freedom. I love working from home. I’ve done the corporate gear: skirts, jackets, stockings, heels, full make up and hairs did. No thanks.
From the comfort of yoga pants, I move on to other things, and there are many. Ultimately (four hours later) I found half an hour to get some writing in. Sure, it’s just a blog, but it felt good to write all the same. It’s not a perfect blog, it’s just half an hour, but that’s ok. My little girl is watching Rio, and I think I’ll join her.
What little things can you appreciate right now? Comment here and/or @InaZajac.