Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Try to Cheer Me Up...I Dare You

I've been in sort of a funk for the past few days for no particular reason - woke up on the wrong side of the bed, got my panties in a wad, someone peed in my cheerios... take your pick.  Nothing monumentally bad happened - just normal life hiccups that normally don't bother me much.  I hit my head on the car door and actually cried.  While checking out at Walmart, I wanted to bop the lady in front of me for being so monumentally slow.  And, I about chunked a pack of tillapia fillets across the kitchen when I discovered they weren't yet defrosted.  I just seem less able to let the little stuff roll off my back.  And, Mom, for the record, I am getting enough sleep, I took some ibuprofen, and I don't think putting cold water on it is going to help.  I did go to yoga yesterday, which helped but only temporarily.  I really have no explanation for why, ever so often, I am just in a pissy mood.  I feel impatient and irritable, and I want to yell at everyone, especially in traffic.
Maybe it's hormones, or moon phases or my chakras are out of alignment.  Who knows?  But it's got me thinking about all those stupid motivational sayings, like "You choose your attitude," and that bullshit about how many muscles in your face it takes to frown versus smile.  It's not that I don't think you have to work at being in a good mood sometimes, and it's certainly true that no one wants to hang around with someone who's eternally negative.  BUT, aren't we all allowed to be in a bad mood from time to time?  AND, do I have to have a really good reason for it?  If you were never in a bad mood, would you even appreciate the times you feel fabulous?
Lately it seems that, as an American culture, we have started to expect ourselves to be happy all the time and have a good attitude about everything.  Because of this, for years, I felt guilty for being sad or depressed or angry.  Because of this, I'd often fight being in a bad mood, which ironically only made it worse.  I started to realize, that is really messed up!
It is human to feel bad sometimes, and it doesn't have to be because someone died.  It is normal to have an off day and  want to cry because you burned dinner sometimes.  So, to anyone reading this, I officially give you permission to be pissed off, depressed, irritated or sad.  Next time you feel that way, wallow in it for a while.  Let yourself really REALLY feel it.  Flop down on the bed and cry or stomp around the house slamming things, if you feel like it.  Give a really good, loud primal scream while you're sitting in traffic, if you need to.  Feel sorry for yourself.  Then, in a couple of hours or days, even, when you're feeling a bit better, go do something to cheer yourself up.  Take a bath, go running, have drinks with friends, or sit in the backyard on that nice, soft Saint Augustine grass and watch your kids play.  We all feel bad sometimes.  Don't dwell too much on why; just accept it, feel it, and when you're good and ready, get over it.