The art of personal brooding was revived
There’s a lot to find fault with in breaking news – Ukraine, climate change and, depending on your perspective, the recent series of Supreme Court decisions.
But I’ve noticed that in all of this opportunity to complain about the big picture, we’ve lost something else: the opportunity for the good ole personally complains.
How, you might be wondering, do I dare complain that my microwave is going out when the world is in a shambles? Button up, we tell ourselves, and keep going! Look on the bright side!
After buttoning myself up for a while, I was thrilled to stumble across an article that discouraged thinking about misery but encouraged us to at least say to ourselves, ‘This sucks. I’m dissatisfied with what’s going on.” I was also surprised at how much practice it took to break the no-grasp habit.
With that, I feel inspired to offer my own laundry list of personal grievances from a week ago last month — in the name of mental health.
It kicked off with a last minute apologetic phone call from friends who had invited me to a week of speaking and concerts in Chautauqua, who had just tested positive for COVID-19. On the plus side, I told myself, I wasn’t exposed. And it was a beautiful day to drive home from New York. And headliner Isabel Wilkerson had canceled anyway. I was embarrassed to say, “It sucked. I was unhappy with what was going on.”
I turned the car and pulled away just in time to get a text from a neighbor: “We just saw a skunk run into the bushes under your bedroom window.”
This sparked a series of sightings – in neighbor’s prairie grass, darted across my yard into the bushes, strolled along my driveway.
Balancing act:The pandemic economic theory is practical
“At least I’m not obsessed with Chautauqua,” I said. “But actually it sucked; I was unhappy about what was happening.” The neighbor and I went through two jars of granules, about a pound of cayenne pepper, and two bags of mothballs. Reading that noise wouldn’t surprise the skunk, we clapped our hands every time we left our homes, and finally I turned up a radio on the back porch to hear an eager evangelist who spoke to the skunk — and all my neighbors – told them to “Repent!” It was the last I saw of the skunk.
Meanwhile, amidst the skunk repellents, I went into the microwave to reheat lunch and was surprised to see there was no heat while the dish was spinning and the light was on. Apparently it had burned itself while cooking a sweet potato. According to YouTube, I may need to replace the magnetron, which costs about as much as a new microwave.
“Glad I didn’t burn the house down,” said my light side, who wanted to say, “That sucks. I’m unhappy with what’s going on.”
Meanwhile, ready for a glass of wine, I spent 15 minutes opening the kitchen utensil drawer and getting a corkscrew, but it got jammed by the toaster oven drawer and no shoving up and down seemed to wiggle it loose. To my credit, I couldn’t see a good side in never having access to my rolling pin, cake tester, meat thermometer, or steamer basket again. “That sucks!” I said, along with a few other things. It got easier.
By nightfall, I was so busy hoping another predicted severe thunderstorm wouldn’t wash away all of the skunk repellent that it never occurred to me that instead it would hit two trees on the next street and the power lines that cross our street supply, would tear down for a day or two.
“That sucks,” I muttered, not even saying I was relieved it wasn’t my tree.
Luckily the power was restored before I was covered in bug bites from a BBQ visit, developed a fever, had to go to the ER and also to the chiropractor for back pain which she blamed on stress.
“Did that all happen?” she said. “That sucks.”
“Yes it does,” I said.
I think I’m getting the hang of it.
balancing act Author Pat Snyder is a Beechwold resident and life balance speaker and coach. Read her work at patsnyderonline.com
#art #personal #brooding #revived Source