Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My black cloud

Yesterday I was in an absolutely terrible mood, the kind where I hated everyone and everything. I don't know when or how it started, but by midmorning every email that came to my inbox, every phone call I had to make, every person that talked to me just made me more irritable. "You, sir, are dumb." That is what I wanted to say to everyone; I did my best to convey it in my tone of voice alone.

The upside: I realized how much effort I usually spend ensuring that everyone I interact with is as happy as possible, and how draining that is. Yesterday, instead of doing constant mental calculations on how to best please my boss, my coworkers, and my friends, I gave brief answers, I didn't automatically smile when someone spoke to me, and when something bothered me (a breakdown in a process at work, for example) I spokeup. It was a huge relief to keep the corners of my mouth down when my trainer tried to tell me that doing more situps would feel great. No, no it wouldn't. It didn't, and I didn't even try to smile about it.

Generally it makes me more comfortable, not less, to put others at ease. But I'm glad (ha, glad! oh, the dawn of a new day) to know that if I choose to be terse, the world doesn't fall apart. No one seemed shocked when I was honest instead of perky, and the people I work with didn't seem to suddenly find me less competent. In fact, the it's-not-me-it's-you attitude seems to have had some benefit. When I had my bitchface on yesterday I complained to my boss that I didn't have the support I needed to get a task done (though I'm generally loathe to admit I'm not capable of taking care of everything on my plate). Result: I now have help on some of the more onerous parts of the project.

To make myself feel better last night - or, maybe, to revel in my crankiness - I wore sweatpants and slippers, ate leftovers, drank old white wine, and read on the couch. I didn't wash any dishes, put away my clean clothes, cook anything wonderful, or cheer myself up with some exercise. I wasn't even nice to my cats.

And that, my friends, is how an inexplicably shitty day gets done.

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