I burned the oatmeal.
After I filled the pot with soapy water and set it on the hot stove to soften, I forgot about it, and bubbly suds overflowed all over the stove top.
I got behind myself so I was late leaving. There goes walking to work.
I was incredibly cranky on the reference desk. Every patron’s question seemed pointless and annoying. I was curt with coworkers. I ignored how rewarding and (usually) enjoyable my job is.
I really wanted to get away from myself.
It wasn’t even 11:00.
Have you had similar days of pervasive testiness and general grumpiness? Can you relate?
What causes days like that? Did I set myself up for failure with that first negative thought? Or even earlier than that when I stayed up too late the night before, ensuring I wouldn’t have enough rest. Is it possible to blame it all – or at even partially – on hormones, or the weather, or a lingering cold? I’d had a good day the day before, even went to an evening Mass. I wasn’t aware of spiritual oppression, but could it be the result of malevolent machinations? It was tempting to think so; that way blame for the Pig-Pen cloud of misery following in my wake couldn’t be laid at my door.
I don’t have an easy solution for anyone who finds herself in the same uncomfortable predicament. I didn’t discover a gratifyingly effective method for a guaranteed mood changer. Instead, here is how I tried to survive the day:
- I was aware of my distempered state and how very likely I was to snap at the slightest provocation. Knowing it, I tried to edit myself internally before I spoke out loud. I also tried to keep a friendly demeanor, with a smile on my face and no sotto voce grumblings.
- I ate. Maybe blood sugar had something to do with my blue funk, so I had a healthy snack during break, and sought out a really tasty lunch at noon.
- I walked. It was a grey, overcast, drizzly day but still I left the building at lunch time to get some air and exercise.
- I prayed. Yes, this should have been my first response, but let me tell you, it was very difficult to manage even a coherent “Lord, help!”
- I browsed the New Books display at work. Books are my thing, so flipping through gorgeous new cookbooks, decorating manuals, and biographies fed my heart a little bit of goodness.
- End the day with prayer and a resolution that tomorrow will be a better day.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – Phil 4:13
God is my refuge and strength, a present help in time of need – Psalm 46:1