Monday, January 9, 2012

On Banishing the Inner Punk


Saturday I woke up in a bad mood. There was no particular reason for it, other than the fact that I was feeling sorry for myself. Oh, poor me was my prevailing thought. I caught a cold in December, celebrated New Year's with a kidney infection, and ate my way into a fairly amazing (given the amount of time it took) weight gain to begin 2012.

Of course, my cold was gone...my infection nearly resolved...my healthy eating habits resumed, but that didn't matter. Life was awful. I had boring chores to do, and I couldn't find a good book to read. My car was dirty. My husband was acting cheerful and doing projects. My hair was getting thinner by the minute. The eggs I boiled were too hard. You get the picture. I was the unluckiest person in the universe, hands down. Nobody knew the troubles I'd seen.

Sheesh. What a crock. And even though I realized this intellectually, I couldn't (or wouldn't) pull myself out of it. I went around acting like the martyr of the world all day long, snapping at my husband like an old fishwife, and counting (then recounting) my unblessings. Even the wedding we attended that night couldn't quite reclaim my good nature (though it made a pretty good try)!

Lovely wedding notwithstanding, my Sunday morning mood was only slightly improved. I didn't want to go to church, didn't want to make dinner, didn't want to host the young adult ward for the CES fireside and snacks. I was feeling mad, bad, and kinda sad...and I was ready, though not quite willing, to take everyone down with me. What's more, as this is far from my usual state of mind, my husband was beginning to look at me as if he thought an exorcism might be in order, and the tones he was using in speaking to me sounded like someone trying to talk down a jumper...or soothe a savage beast. Let's face it; I was bristling like a porcupine. (Okay, more prickly than savage, but an unpleasant creature to deal with, nonetheless!)

What cured me? My better-late-than-never decision to push through it, of course, and once sought, the attitude adjustment was a predictably simple one. It involved, as President Hinckley's father once counseled him, forgetting myself and going to work. For me, this took the form of recharging my spiritual batteries at church (thanks, Monta Vista ward, for powerful testimonies and uplifting Relief Society lessons) and replacing self-centeredness with some unselfish service at home. Abandoning the pity pot to prepare and share a good meal with my family set the stage for inner peace so well that hosting our wonderful (and fun) young adult crowd was able to bring the curtain down on my inner punk. And doing the dishes afterward sent her packing!

I don't think she will be missed.

;)

PS: The moral of this story?


The self pity plant draws all of its sunlight directly from our own energy.
It withers in the dark when we direct that energy at others.

19 comments:

Jocelyn Christensen said...

I feel that way when I don't read my scriptures. That talk in conference says that scriptures will calm us! I know that is true...if only I could listen...sooner!

jen said...

I laughed out loud at the "my hair was growing thinner by the minute." Only we thin-haired gals understand how true that is. I'm glad you got out of your funk, and what good advice. I'm going to try and remember it.

Nezzy said...

I think we can all be caught with our hands in the pitty pot every now and again.

I'm happy ya pulled yourself out to enjoy the activities of the day. Woohoo!!!

Sometime ya just gotta choose 'happiness'!!! As soon as ya do...it'll fine ya. :o)

God bless and have an awesome week sweetie!!! :o)

Darlene said...

I had no idea you were going through this. You disguised it well whenever I had you on the phone. I know that sometimes I have to just go ahead full steam even though I don't feel like it. I do hope you are better today. We are still pretty sick but are going to the doctor in exactly an hour, so I have to go get ready. I hope we will all feel better really soon. Take care, I love you.

Brian Miller said...

yes it does...great moral....and it def is easy to let that weed start to grow in our lives ...

yaya said...

Oh my, you just described me the whole month of December(except for the illnesses)...I'm glad you've worked through it, I'm glad I did too. I have to give myself a pep talk everyday before work so I don't repeat the same thing in January!

As Sistas in Zion said...

Sue your post had us cracking up! We are a little bit in awe of your inner punk, but would only want to meet her from a distance...haha. Glad you were able to turn it around and get back the Sue we all love. Here's to a good week!

Eva Gallant said...

We all have those days! glad you were able to escape the funk!

Grandma Honey said...

I think what you went through is common after getting well. I bet you had some pretty strong medicines for that kidney infection. And you had that cold and lingering cough before that. I know I'm still fighting my fever/cough thing and I have not been in the best mood. Yesterday I said to Dennis that I have no patience lately, and he didn't disagree :)

Momza said...

You are so darn cute. I can't imagine you being a "punk"...lol.

Dixie Mom said...

So true that we all feel that way sometimes...with no real explanation. I think the cure most of the time...is to push through. I know that's the only thing that saves me...because honestly...no one else is certainly going to make it any better. And to be honest...who else can?

Donna said...

Well, I certainly can "ditto" the sentiments you wrote about here!! I do it too periodically and have really found that when I eat better, and exercise (not good at either...) I feel much better, mood is great and have far more energy! Thanks for the reminder!!

karen said...

I love you, Sue! You do the same things I do, and it's so refreshing to have some good company - even in my bad habits. I think I have one solution for you though: when I was getting my hairs did the other day (at an Aveda salon) I saw that they've just come out with a new system to help hair grow better. It's not an Rx but they said it cleans and nourishes the scalp and hair so well, that hair doesn't break and actually does grow better. It's a little pricey but you're probably good for it. I was going to recommend it to another friend who complains of the same thing.
Congrats on working through the 'tude - I always feel like a winner when I do! I will remember you the next time I need an attitude adjustment.

Amy said...

Honestly, I think those days are a blessing. Obviously not while I am going through them! But look at the testimony you grew from being grumpy and mad. A testimony of service and hard work and focusing outward rather than inward. See, blessing! I am glad you are able to see it for what it truly is and to share with us to help us grow as well.

anitamombanita said...

I know it's easy to say that we all have bad days etc, but when it's you it really sucks. Glad you were able to rally your good nature!!

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

We all have days like that. At this age, I can't even blame them on PMS!

I loved the photos depicting the moral, Sue!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Sweet Sue I am having a very hard time picturing you in a bad mood or punk mood of any kind. I hate to admit I had to laugh at some of the things you described on here. lol
No laughing matter of course what you were suffering but your writing of it just could not help myself.
Anyway this is a lesson I needed to read for sure. You know me I can certainly wallow in feeling down and whoa is me.
Christian friends like you always help me to steer myself in a better direction.
Love ya
Maggie

Cheryl said...

Good for you!

Lisalulu said...

thanks for sharing, and well... sharing that you are human too and can draw upon YOUR range of emotions. 'no body knows the troubles I've seen' haha I started singing the song. and fishwife, haha that's a good one

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