So here I am, long delinquent, and in one of those states where I cannot believe I am about to share what I am about to share. However, since this blog is written in a spirit of utmost honesty, in order to be a help to all those others walking in a path similar to mine, and also to promote personal growth through complete self-honesty; I hasten on, before I can think too hard about it.
Do you ever have a really BAD day? I mean, have you just had the kind of no good, very bad day that you’d like to move to Australia, or at the very least, the nearest Holiday Inn with a decent cappacino maker? Sometimes these days (or entire weeks) show up unannounced and unbidden, and if you’re like me, they usually bring with them the temptation to eat emotionally, and then, well then you just have one more thing to feel bad about.
Well, a couple weeks ago, I had one of those days. The week was usual—good—but long and tiring. I was looking forward to a few extra Zzzz’s on Saturday morning, but nooooo. My kids were up at 6:20 a.m., and my daughter, who is 19 months and learning to express herself verbally announced: “Sun up!”
Rek-a-frek-a-frek-a. So I got up and put the coffee pot on, but before the Folger’s ever hit my cup, and before the clock said 6:45, I had cleaned up two poopy messes and served breakfast. As I stood in the dining room, staring through the hazy steam of my coffee, I wished I could have an out of body experience in which my detached self crawled back into bed with my husband.
But no. I was up. I may as well make the best of it. No sense in dwelling on what was not going to occur. I settled onto the couch and opened my Bible to the Corinthians. There, in the brief time my children let me sit in my quiet place, I was reminded that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. Though this is a great concept, as it turns out, a better verse for the day would have been one from the Proverbs: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”
At 7:45, I threw on some exercise clothes, kissed all family members (less the dog), and headed out the door to my 8:10 session of aerobics. Upon crawling into bed the previous night, I had been non-committal about attendance. If the children sleep, I told my husband, I’ll sleep too. Otherwise, I may as well go. Well, we all know how that turned out.
So off to aerobics I went--to jump about, kick my legs into the defenseless air, and twist my body into unnatural contortions—all before 9:30 in the morning. When I finished, I did not feel the usual sweat induced euphoria, but rather, felt once again, the strong urge just to crawl back into bed. At this point, I was beginning to harbor a strong suspicions that the curse of the tides and moons was upon me. Great.
That’s when I got a text from my husband, who had decided a spontaneous adventure was in order. Only today, it had dawned on him that the church picnic was taking place this weekend at a State Park about an hour and a half away. Well, I had a cleaning project planned and a picnic sounded infinitely more fun, so I jumped on the band wagon, and soon we were throwing together our pic-a-nic basket.
Two hours later, we were checking the atlas to find out why we were nearly in North Carolina. We should have known better than to follow the directions we downloaded off of Google. The last time we tried to go somewhere with a set of directions from Google, we ended up getting more reliable instructions from a toothless gas station attendant who told us “Ya’ll just need to turn right at the F-mart!”
By the time we got where we were going, everyone else had finished eating and headed out to their sundry activities, so we ate nearly alone in the park lodge. My son was chomping at the bit to play on the play ground, but as it was nearly 1:00, I made him wait and eat lunch first. I’ve never seen a peanut butter sandwich and a bag of Funions disappear so fast in my life. As promised, we headed out to the playground.
I kid you not. No sooner did we step out of that building, but the sky opened up, and it poured. IT HAILED. Back inside the lodge, I sponsored a little rainstorm of my own. I excused myself from my husband, found an unoccupied room away from the chaotic entry of wet mini-golfers and canoe-ers, and let the cloudburst begin. What a disaster! The day was wasted. When I got home, all my work would still be waiting for me, there was no nap in my future, and I had gotten a bag of chips for everyone except me. It was probably a good thing.
Had the chips have been present, emotional eating would have taken place; however, as the food was gone, and my husband had spirited away the left-overs before I could contemplate eating up what the children left behind (he knows me well), and now I was left to pull myself up by the bootstraps, and find another solution to my current problems.
Honestly, the bootstraps would have stayed entirely disconnected if it had not been for a friend checking in with me and letting me boo-hoo a little. After chatting with her for a while, I rejoined society, visited a bit, and finally joined in a game. When the hail and rain finally let up and the sun came back out, folks started to decide that they would head home, but we decided that we would attempt of few holes of miniature golf before we left.
Surprisingly enough, it was on the golf-course that the days true upswing (not an intentional pun, I swear) began. Seratonin burst upon us—or should I say “from us”—so unexpectedly, that even now, I’m finding it difficult to express it for sake of it’s sheer base mediocrity. It was so extremely juvenile and Jr. High, but for the first time all day, I felt myself rising above the dark clouds.
I suppose the rising was understandable in retrospect. So here, I apologize in advance for what I am about to explain. I wish I had something profound to report, but in truth, the anomaly that lifted our moods, that made us laugh until our sides hurt, and set our golf clubs aside while the tears rolled down our cheeks, was nothing more than good old fashioned gas.
I’m not sure exactly what ingested causitor brought it all on, but every time someone managed to get the little ball in the little hole, the ensuing victory dance was cut short by parted air, and it all seemed so dreadfully appropriate and inappropriate all at once.
So, just like the day, our little golf game was par for the fart. What I learned was that their are better ways to deal with emotions than eating. Interacting, overcoming, and LAUGHING, don’t leave you feeling defeated and set back at the end of the day. You might not be thrilled at your circumstances, but at least you didn’t make things worse, by shoving your face full of things you’re going to regret the next time you check your tracker.
Me personally--I’m going to keep a laugh log—a list of memories that always make me chuckle. A list of phone numbers for people who nearly always take my mind of my troubles just talking with them. A list of movies and comedians that keep me rolling in the aisle. Best yet—a list of inspirational scriptures that will lift my thoughts above my current troubles and give me a better sense of the big picture.
So the next time you have a bad day, don’t move to Australia—don’t even check into that Holiday Inn. Just get out your laugh log; or at the very least, get yourself some bean salad . . .