I came down with the grumps today. I was so grumpy I felt like smashing the plates as I cleaned them out of the dishwasher. So grumpy, I felt like kicking across the room every toy that was left on the floor then slam dunking it in the trash can. So grumpy, I considered pouring a large glass of wine to have for lunch. So grumpy, that I would take deep breaths and focus on calmness when I was told for the 5th time in 15 seconds to “get me me milk”. I will get your milk, please don’t ask so much, and you need to say please. And, thank you.
I don’t know what got me in to me. I tried to think of why or how I got so grumpy. Maybe I am jealous that one of my best friends is away this week with another friend enjoying wineries and spas in Sonoma, CA and I am here in frigid WNC with mid-winter blahs (and children with mid-winter blahs). Maybe it is because we came downstairs this morning to find the cat had the stomach bug too – it wasn’t enough that all the humans in the house had it this week. The cat had to get it too – and we had to clean up after him also! Maybe it was because it was so cold and windy outside that trying to go out was miserable (and made me sick of winter). Maybe it was because I skipped my morning exercise (yoga) today to try and fit in a little more to-do’s, which of course did not work out (the way I wanted them to). Maybe it was because I often feel that I don’t have more than 5 minutes to focus on anything (not dinner, not work, not exercise, not laundry). I am called upon for so much, am doing so much, that it is hard to get my brain to prioritize and “get things done”. I feel at loose ends. I love my time at night when everyone is in bed and I can work or sew or write. Maybe my grumps, though, are because I’ve stayed up too late for too many nights trying to get some things accomplished and I am just tired. Maybe I am feeling guilty that I am not spending enough time focusing on my children and engaging them, or when I try, they are uninterested in doing anything I suggest and would rather jump on furniture and throw all the laundry I just folded in the air. Maybe technology is not allowing me to focus (or I am allowing technology to keep me unfocused), as I can jump from page to page, activity to activity, looking up a recipe, a pattern, a new idea, my email, business news. Doing this with technology just keeps me with that “never more than 5 minutes uninterrupted” feeling. Maybe, it’s hormones.
Probably it is some of all of it.
The children were sweet. I told them I was feeling grumpy and to please use caution with mommy this afternoon (i.e. do what I say right away). I also asked for cuddles. They complied.
At the end of days like this, I make a point to write in my bedside journal, just before I go to bed. I write three things that made me smile today – three things that brought a little joy to my day. Remembering these things reshapes the day into something that was good – a day with good memories, not bad ones – happy feelings, not grumpy ones. These small things actually change the way I think and help life stay positive. I call this practice “my three things”.
Here, I’ll put my three things from this week:
1. Hythe and Steven helping each other clean out the dishwasher. This was a great help this week when they did it and it was awfully cute to watch them. Steven handed Hythe the dishes to put in the cabinet and together they put the silverware away.
2. Snowdrops. The first flowers of spring have come up in one spot in our backyard.
3. Seeing the girls off for a horseback ride on a beautiful, not-frigid, day this week.