Fighting the grumples.

Sometimes I get bent out of shape and then for the next few days, it's like I have an irritated crick in my neck. I call it being grumpy. But what I really mean is flabbergasted, appalled, offended, angry, bitter or plain old disappointed. It doesn't happen too often, but every once in a while I encounter a rude comment made among friends, a frustrated work email that I check too early in the morning, an idiot in a subway car. And then I spend the next week working on zingers in my head.

Here is what happens if I don't keep these things in check:
1. My miserable mood spreads to everything I'm doing (including writing emails, cooking, cleaning Oscar's litterbox, taking the elevator, etc).
2. Everything seems difficult and frustrating.
3. I think that life and the world is difficult and frustrating.
4. I "realize" that I have a deep hatred of: America, New York City, our generation, people who grew up in XYZ, Starbucks, etc.
5. I feel my routine limiting my life. I start wishing I was not going to work, not taking the 4/5 train, not eating cold cereal. (Seriously, had a mini-nervous breakdown about cold cereal this morning. WHAT'S WITH ALL THE COLD CEREAL IN MY LIFE!?).

At some point I remember that what I need to do is change things. I have learned this lesson before. I need to take a different train or take a vacation or visit a different social circle. It's almost always that simple.

This morning I did not want to write in the library like I normally do. I decided to go to Starbucks, but even that felt too familiar (I spend Friday mornings before work doing this very thing). So I found a Starbucks in a hotel lobby in midtown and now I've spent over an hour working on a different writing project and listening to Italian tourists chat about the day's activities. I love this about living where I live. Change - astonishingly deep change - is possible every morning.

P.S. Yoga also works.


Moody brother said...

I'm pretty sure this is a trait that has been in our geneology for centuries. I suffer from the same problem from time to time (the medical field calls it chronic grumbledore syndrome). The other week someone (who tends to be difficult to work with) at work made a rude comment about my resume and I got so out of wack because I thought I couldn't take criticism well. So I went home and made a top 10 list of my professional shortcomings.

Good idea on looking for change when getting out of the grumbledore funk. But moving from one starbucks to another starbucks is not a big enough change!...no matter how good their chai is ;-)

LK said...

I LOVE the yoga afterthought :)