From the excellent children’s book, Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day. Truly one of my all-time favorites
We all have had such days. Now, granted, mine did not start poorly when I awoke. In sooth, it was only the very beginning, and the very end of my shift that caused my day to be so ultimately sour. To put it shortly, I spent my day making snow. While that may sound fun, the truth is that such work is not going to be on my list of future jobs. The job is cold, extremely damp, and trying to finagle the apparatus responsible for the snow dispersal is, I imagine, somewhat akin to wrestling an extremely cantankerous anaconda while attempting to trek across the world’s largest snow cone. The situation was enough to break down every barrier I carefully erect in order not to lose it while in public, and then top it off with near exhaustion. By the end of my shift, I was so razzed I nearly broke down in front of my coworkers. Yeah, Alexander, I totally understand.
Now, we all have terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad days. Such is the way of life. However, I have determined that bad days can be salvaged by doing a couple of very important things. Try any one of them, and I can almost guarantee at least a small smile before the day is out.
-Crying (do it lots): Okay, I would not consider myself a constant crier, but I am a hypersensitive person who feels things pretty acutely. This means things can sometimes strike me sideways, and I know I am not the only one to have this facet to his or her nature. Ultimately, if I just allow myself a good solid cry-fest, I will feel immensely better. I hold that the same is true for more people than will admit to it. I always encourage a good, solid, snotty, cry, because then the stress is released in an outward way that allows one to move onward with more clarity.
– Shower: Seriously, are there many things better than a long hot shower after a crummy day? Or even a good day?
-Recognize the Stress, then Let Go: Part of my problem is that I want to be cooler than I am. This is not self-deprecation, it is merely a recognition of the fact that I react strongly to things. The problematic part is that I try to talk myself out of being upset…which often makes me more upset because I then feel ridiculous. If I can recognize my stress, allow myself to feel it WITHOUT guilt, then I can move on from it once I truly process the emotion. I know why I was miserable today, and the world did not fall apart because I was miserable, thus I have no reason to feel guilty for that feeling. Now, the event is over, and tomorrow is a new (and hopefully slightly better) adventure. Time to move onward and sluff off the yuck in favor for the usual anticipation for the day yet unlived.
– Do Something for Someone Else: The difficulty with terrible days is that they tend to encourage me towards self-pity. Screw that nonsense. I felt pathetic earlier, but that does not mean I am. What pity do I need or deserve? I am rich beyond all count in the things that mean more than any wealth. Though not materially wealthy, I know I have enough to share with someone who could use a good Christmas. So, off to buy an art set for a 13 year old boy whom I have not met, but did request such a thing for the holiday. A friend kindly supplied his other request (video games), but I knew I could pick a decent supply of artistic materials. Then, the dollar store for wrapping materials, and ta da!!!! How can you not feel better looking at such a nicely wrapped package for an artistic teenager?