Days like this… they’re not my favorite. They’re not the worst things in the world, but they’re also not the best and while I understand obviously everyone has their own struggles to contend with, sometimes things just compound at exactly the right moment.
My moment looked a little something like this:
- Woken up at approximately 0330hrs by well-meaning phone message. Trouble falling back asleep. Determined to get up early on day off in order to have productive day writing at cliché local coffee shop to spark creativity and be able to utilize newly acquired, super geeky elf ear headphones.
- Woke up late. Will be writing from home instead of cliché local coffee shop without elf ear headphones (NBD–preferable, almost, because now I don’t have to wear “real” clothes). Headphones optional.
- Handled some quick work type stuffs; was kindly reminded that it was maybe not handled the best–true. But handled.
- Find perfect day off outfit consisting of favorite leggings, comfy Mamabird&Co t-shirt, cardigan, and warm socks.
- Cue thermostat breaking…
- Start tea kettle and oven simultaneously to warm house and occupants. Realize we are out of candlesticks.
- Tear sock by snagging it on newly found splinter. Fix splinter. Negotiate with sock.
- Feed fur monsters. One responds in kind by almost immediately regurgitating on the carpeted stairs while the other promptly dumps bowl contents allover kitchen rug in an attempt to “bury” it for later.
- Managed to clean vomit without getting it on myself. Mom-1: Vomit-0
- Immediately step-squish into upturned-bowl-on-rug mess. Socks officially secede from the day’s mission.
- Begin today’s coffee pour-over segment with new cast member: dark roast decaf coffee. Unsuccessfully convince self that it tastes the same as most beloved regular dark Italian roast. Tell self we are an idiot and decidedly add both baby marshmallows and whipped cream to sad, almost-coffee.
- Decaf retaliates in the form of scalding hot stains down the front of favorite shirt. Et tu, café?
- Curse coffee imposter. Bust out emergency cinnamon rolls.
- Step in soggy rug mess twice more before lesson really “sinks” in.
- Replace fun Book Club post with grumpy rant about Murphy’s Law mornings.
But anyone can complain. Anyone can let the day run them instead of the other way around. When I’m having a moment, I try first to see it as just that: a moment. If it continues for a few more beats, then it’s a really long moment or a string of smaller ones but NOT the whole day (if I can help it). I try to decide early on that it will not be my day. The trick to getting out of this is to realize that by feeding into the power struggle, the odds of making things worse are far greater than the odds of improving them.
Sure I woke up late but I didn’t even have to brush my usual bed head hair because of the inexplicable magic that is my new silk pillowcase (seriously, one night with it and I am 100% hooked–more on this later). Coffee spilt? I cleaned the stain immediately and now my shirt is restored to its former glory. Ran out of candles? Found an emergency stash all thanks to my bargain bin, hoarder self who squirreled some away in random drawers. No heat? No problem. This is the warmest it’s been all week and it’s only going to get warmer as we go along. Plus, it’s a great time to set my oven to “Self Clean” and maybe I’ll run the dishwasher with “high temp” and “heated dry.” Hell, I may as well run the dryer, too. Ruined socks? I had to do laundry anyway and I wound up finding a better pair of socks to wear that are keeping my feet much warmer. Cinnamon rolls came out delicious and go great with the still-disappointing, would-be coffee (there’s only so much optimism in the world, y’all).
And even if none of this had worked out, I’ve got this safe space to store my troubles and Sia’s lesser known 2004 album “Colour the Small One” (which is remarkably different from her later stuff) AND there’s a Chinese food place up the street that delivers amazing family specials that Matty and I can take comfort in for the next two to three days.
It’s easy for people to tell you to “just relax” in moments that are less than favorable (HUGE pet peeve of mine, actually–it feels very dismissive and condescending, just me?) but it’s harder for them to help you, which is why they normally offer these words instead of assistance. Realistically, though, it’s not their responsibility. You can save yourself from a bad day by realizing that sometimes these moments happen, seeing the moments for what they are and what they are not, and responding in kind.
Who knows? Getting locked out of your apartment may lead to you wandering through some local stores and finding a first edition book signed by your favorite author. Receiving criticism from colleagues can serve to improve your performance and overall generate both a better ethic and a better product. Switching to decaf can lower blood pressure and for all the blustering and bitching, it’s better than no coffee at all, right? Okay, maybe that’s taking things a little too far, but you get the point.
So at the end of your rope ask yourself what you’re really hanging on for and if you can’t think of a good reason, maybe it’s time to try letting it go. Make the best of a bad situation with the small blessings that you have and remember to keep your head up and your eyes open. If you’re too busy staring at your feet picking through the debris, you might miss all of the good things coming your way. Here’s to wishing you all good things in the year to come, fam. And maybe just enough little “moments” in between to help you appreciate the good things when you have them. Always. XO
P.s. Mental Note:
- “Self Cleaning” ovens are a cruel lie.
- Smoke detectors on ceilings higher than 9 feet are decidedly, ear-splittingly louder than those on ceilings shorter than 9 feet due to reverberation.
- Trying to use the oven to outsmart the thermostat will result in a most unholy alliance between the two which you will lose. Casualties of war include: eardrums and recently acquired warmth.
- I might have stepped in the wet spot on the rug again in a rush to slay the oven.
Just in case you were curious…