While running my usual Sunday errands today, I noticed an overall sense of irritation, crankiness, impatience and downright rudeness permeating the very atmosphere! Everywhere I went, people were pushing the envelope, whether it was fighting to pull out of parking spots, running in front of cars to get to the store faster, interrupting a clerk who was helping another customer, or reaching for something on the store shelf, people just did not want to observe common courtesies. The air was so thick with it that I got back home and closed the door with a sigh of relief to be back in my own peaceful space! One woman and I kept crossing each others’ paths at Trader Joe’s and every time we did, she glared at me! I found myself thinking “Whuuuut!” more than once!
At first, I thought maybe there was some deepset irritation inside of me that was coming out until I got the same vibes from friends who had ventured out, either voluntarily our out of necessity. Cranky pants are the outfit of the day, but the reason is unclear. Why would such widespread dissatisfaction suddenly occur? Or has it been building and I didn’t notice it until it reached critical mass? (I do tend to be oblivious to some things, maybe because of my daily meditations, or maybe because I just don’t connect with people as much, but I’m certainly grateful that this overall crankiness hasn’t weaseled its way into me!)
My wonderful sources of incredible energy friends have some great suggestions for this widespread malady, though. The first and most important is to paste a huge smile on your face and point it directly at every offender. It will either diffuse their crankiness or send them scurrying away to a more sympathetic location (meaning one with other crankies!). Another (and the one I chose) was to retreat to one’s own lair with pets and music ( I chose some meditation music I have saved on my Pandora) and just wait for it to pass. Still others chose more peaceful venues like Ojai or the beach to wait out this seeming storm.
Most important, though, is that we don’t allow ourselves to be dragged into the vortex of negative energy any more than we’d voluntarily join an argument. And like an argument, we never have to accept an invitation to a pity party either! Or as I told my kids repeatedly over the years, (using my best haughty upper class British accent) “If you’re going to behave like a pig, my dear, I shall have nothing more to do with you!” With special thanks to Lewis Carroll.
I have to say that my little foray out into the world today was a glaring reminder of how many things I have to be grateful for! A woman who had parked one car closer to the store than I (which was, maybe three parking spots from the store!) left her cart in front of my car instead of taking the time to roll it to a cart return or back up to the front of the store. Noticing that the poor woman was hugely overweight, I sent up a bucketload of gratitude, both for the fact that although overweight myself, I was far less so than she, and for the fact that it took me no effort at all to not only return my cart but hers as well. I am also grateful for the fact that, ordinarily, I purposely park further from the stores to give me that much extra walking time.
In spite of it all, my refrigerator is once again filled with fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy goodies for this week’s meals, thanks to another one of my habits which is now deeply engrained. Which reminds me of the Sunday right after my knee surgery when I had the kids drive me to Trader Joe’s for groceries. I managed to make it all the way through the store to get what I needed for my week of recovery, but boy, was I exhausted by the time we got back to the car! Thank goodness, my daughter and son-in-law were kind enough to put away the groceries or they might have sat on the floor of my kitchen in their cooler bags for several hours before I was able to stand long enough to put them away!
I did have a shining example of how not to treat those who offered a helping hand post surgery though. My mom had her arthroscopic surgery done when I was a few months pregnant with the girls. I remember her being demanding and extremely inconsiderate of my time and my condition, “asking” for things in rapid succession, being impatient, and leaving me sitting in a conference room at her office for hours on what was supposed to be a quick trip. I probably erred in the other direction by asking for little assistance, but I probably healed a lot faster as well. (OK, a lot faster as I was out doing line dances 8 days after surgery, much to my son-in-law’s disgust) Getting up and moving to get things for myself was a better choice than sitting on the sofa, barking orders at someone else. Granted, I had the advantage of being able to work from home while I recuperated which probably kept my mind off of what remarkably little pain I had. But sadly, I don’t think my mom ever learned to appreciate what she had. Her focus was always on what she didn’t have. It has to be hard to live a life that is always a disappointment. I cannot even imagine living that way!
Even in my worst moments (and heaven knows I had several years of them) I can remember a lot of good things and good times. I don’t remember my mom laughing very much, nor being silly just for the sake of silliness. No matter how much stress there was in my life, I could still read stories to the girls using different voices for the characters (including the SNORT from “Are you my Mother”, one of their favorites), expressing mock horror when they were about to become the dreaded animals called “Teenagers” and getting a lot of mileage out of Jenni’s loud “Oh no, not mush!” at the end of Jumanji while sitting in an otherwise quiet theater. And don’t get me started with “wipe that smurf off your face!”
I can’t help but wonder if the sheer weight of all of her sadness caused her to choose death over the promised joys of watching her three grandchildren grow up. I’m almost ashamed to say that in some ways, I’m glad she made the choice she did before she dragged me, while in a vulnerable state, down into the abyss with her. I’m grateful that, just a couple of years after her passing, I was able to start up the path towards changing my life for the better, and start seeing all of the good things that were going on in my life instead of, like her, dwelling on what I lacked. Because the reality is, I lack nothing!
That’s right, N-O-T-H-I-N-G! I have everything I need, much of what I want, and more blessings than I can count! Wonderful things come into my life every day, things I’d never even dreamed up, but they come because I am so very blessed. Earlier today, I was sitting on the couch reading a book and my Abby, Munchkin was curled up in my lap, purring up a storm, and pushing her head up into my hand. That, for me, was a moment of the purest bliss! While out shopping, my daughter texted me a picture of my grandpuppy sprawled on her little patio. Again, bliss! Arriving at Trader Joe’s (in spite of the cranky pantsers) I found the parking lot fairly empty, the store less crowded than usual, the perfect canteloupe and a very short wait in line to pay. What do you call it again? BLISS!!!!
Oy vey! I’m so blissed out now, I can almost float like Uncle Albert in “Mary Poppins” and I do love to laugh!!! Anyone for a tea party on the ceiling? Ho ho ho! Ha ha ha! SNOOOOOOORT!!!
Oops, sorry, but this is me, returning to my regularly scheduled ADHD, out of control, mind on euphoria blogging posts. It may take a few days to get it out of my system, so bear with me and feel free to change the channels until the helium in my balloon dissipates a little.
To all who are reading this rather schizophrenic post, may you have a wonderful, blissful, cranky pants free week!
My gratitudes today are:
1. I’m grateful that I gave my cranky pants away years ago.
2. I am grateful for all of the blessings which find their way into my life each and every day.
3. I am grateful for this wonderful outlet for my insanity.
4. I am grateful for being able to move as much as I want to, and sit less than I want to!
5. I am grateful for my haven of peace.
Love and light.