Wallowing In It

Joey describes me as an unflinching optimist. And I like that description. It makes me feel good. I’m just not so sure that it’s true – at least not true all the time. Maybe it depends on the day. Or my hormone level. Or the people I’m around.

I have spent the last couple of days trying to come up with something good to post. Something positive. Something that would make you smile. Because that’s the kind of girl I am – I like to make people happy. But as you may have noticed, it’s just not happening. I have nothing. Nada. I thought about just trying to fake it, but that’s not something I’m good at. I’ve been told that I’m a terrible liar, so I don’t even try. If I can’t be honest with you, then what’s the point? So I’m just going with it. It is what it is, as they say. Maybe I just need to get this out of my system and the good will start flowing again. Just please don’t judge me – I do enough of that to myself as it is.

I have this thing about me that is both a blessing and a curse. I believe that God made me this way because I had a daddy with a very short temper when I was growing up, and I seriously believe I would have been beaten half to death had I not had it. I can feel other people’s moods. That sounds great. It could be considered a gift. It has helped me in working with the public, and I can work a room full of people like nobody’s business. The problem is when someone is upset or in a bad mood, I tend to think it’s because of me. And sometimes it is because of me, but usually it’s not. As Joey would say, it’s not all about you mom. Sometimes I wish I were more like Mason. He is usually happy no matter what kind of mood those around him are in. Taylor Belle can say she hates him, because I guess that’s what sisters do sometimes, and he just keeps on rolling, doesn’t even flinch. Not so much with me. I tend to take on the mood of whomever I’m around. And that sucks sometimes.

Let me tell you about the day I had a couple of days ago. I got ready for work and was feeling pretty good. Had on my new Cole Haan pumps that I had bought at a resale shop for $6, and was so proud of my find. I dropped the kiddos off at school and got to work early. Feeling good. I checked on a breakfast catering that we had that morning. One of my favorite people was handling it, and it was all set and ready to go. Shoes were still making me feel proud and I was still feeling good. I started on my way to the office and got sidetracked when I walked by one of our meeting rooms to find a client trying to figure out how to set the room for a luncheon that day. A very important luncheon. He was stressed. Very stressed and worried. I like this man. He is my friend. Knowing that our catering manager was out of the building working an event, I decided to try to help him get the room situated. Forty-five minutes later, thinking I was still feeling good, I went to do something my boss had asked me to do. Someone else had already taken care of it – I had been distracted too long with getting the room ready. Probably not a good thing. I realized with surprise that my Cole Haan pumps were starting to hurt my feet a little. Strange.

I went on about my work that morning, but began noticing that everyone I came in contact with seemed to be in a bad mood. I am the girl who likes to make people happy, and I found myself in arguments with two different co-workers within the span of about an hour. Even our customers seemed to be unfriendly that day. Normally filling in on the cash register and talking to the students makes me happy, but nobody seemed very talkative. What the hell? Why is everyone in such a bad mood? And then it suddenly dawned on me. It was not them. It was me. Well doesn’t that just suck a big one. To top it off, my Cole Haan pumps were killing my feet.

You would think that realizing I was the one in the bad mood would have changed things. Made them better. You would think. But it didn’t happen that way. In fact, things just seemed to get worse as the day continued. No half-ass bad mood for me. No sir. If I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it all the way.

And the day continued on. We play music over the speakers in the dining hall for the college kids to make their mealtime experience more enjoyable. We try to play a variety of music to appeal to most everyone. I like most music, but must admit that I’m not a huge fan of the head banger stuff.

I was trying to learn something new on the computer and the head banger music was playing. I joked that I was going to kill myself if I had to listen to that music much longer. As soon as the statement came out of my mouth, I looked into the eyes of a co-worker sitting there and it hit me – her husband had committed suicide. There was nothing cute or funny about what I had so flippantly said. Nothing funny at all. I felt absolutely horrible and apologized, but you can’t take back the pain that you cause someone. I should have known better.

I’ve gotten onto my kids for being dramatic and saying they are going to kill themselves. I’ve tried to explain that I did not find it funny and that it hurt me to hear them say that. Having been through one of my children actually trying to kill himself is not something I want to relive, and just that one little sentence can bring all those emotions rushing back to my mind. I can’t even begin to imagine what this woman must have felt.

I swear not more than an hour had passed, and the computer I was being trained on suddenly went down. The girl who was teaching me quickly moved to try to recover our work and said she was gonna kill herself if everything had been lost. And there I found myself, yet again, looking into the eyes of the same co-worker who had barely had time to recover from my earlier callous remark. Once again, apologizes were made, but it was almost like the statement hung there in the air, putting a dark cloud over all of us.

And so here I find myself. Days later. Still in a bad mood. And that sucks because I am the type of person who looks for the good. I am blessed and grateful. I stop and notice sunrises and sunsets. I point them out to my children so that they will remember to be in awe of the beautiful things that God has given us. I actually take time to stop and smell flowers when I see them. I would dance in the rain if I had any rhythm at all. I’m that kind of girl. So this sucks. I don’t like it at all. And my new Cole Haan pumps that I was so proud of? They suck too. I now understand why they were at the resale shop. They are beautiful little bitches and I won’t wear them again. At least not when I have to walk at all.

Thank you for not judging when this unflinching optimist is down. At the end of the day, no one has died, so I know things will get better. They always do. It is raining here today. Think I might just go dance in it.