Before I begin, I do want to acknowledge the unsubtle plagiarism of the title of this post, but it just encapsulated the feeling perfectly.
I woke up yesterday completely on the wrong side of the bed. I could not, as my mother suggested, simply get back in and make sure to get out on the right side. I was stuck being up.
Everything was irritating me, and even as I could intellectually acknowledge that I was being unreasonably cranky, I was just so annoyed that it was hard to keep myself in check.
It was the kind of day where normal small problems – a child interrupting a zoom meeting, normal sibling bickering, a poorly timed question – had enormous emotional impact.
And then my soon-to-be birthday boy found his unwrapped birthday presents in their hiding place and it was just too much.
Sometime early in the afternoon, as I was running some errands (thank G-d I was able to get out of the house), it finally dawned on me what was really going on.
Yesterday was the day my parents were supposed to come for their annual Thanksgiving pilgrimage. And this year they weren’t coming.
We had been hoping and trying and praying that it would somehow, magically, impossibly, still work out, but, unfortunately, it didn’t. And so that’s why everything was feeling so awful.
I bought the kids a special treat and when I came home, I gave it to them and said,
“I’m sorry I’ve been so crabby. I was just feeling a little sad that Grandma and Grandpa aren’t coming. And I know you’re all feeling a little sad about that too.”
And the rest of the night was more or less okay.
But then this morning I woke up and fell back into a cranky mood! I was wandering around the house, surveying the chaos, the empty food containers and wrappers that no one had bothered to throw away, the chairs that hadn’t been returned to their proper location, and I found myself muttering,
“What am I, everyone’s maid? It sure would be nice to have some help around here.”
As I went upstairs, I noticed that the hall light had burned out.
Of course it had.
I felt the bad mood sink it.
And then I stopped.
No way was I wasting another day on a bad mood.
I started the waking-up-the-kids process upstairs, and when I got back to the kitchen I put on my peppiest Good Morning playlist and made a conscious decision that I would be steering the mood of the day today.
And so far, so good.
Actually, make that so far, all good.
(While this particular story has a happy ending, I must mention that sometimes it is not enough to simply acknowledge our underlying feelings and to choose to focus on the good. Sometimes, a person needs additional help, whether it is seeing a therapist or taking medication, or some combination thereof. If you’re wondering why you can’t just “snap out of it,” or if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please do reach out.)