Getting over a crappy mood

Humdrum 54

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On my way to the office. I was feeling cute with my new dusky gray suede shoes and navy blazer with bold red horizontal stripes. Plus, my jeans made my flat butt look good. 

And then I tripped walking up the stairs to reach the El. Not sure what went wrong. All of a sudden I was on my knees, gravity sliding my backpack up my shoulders, making me feel like an insect flipped on its back, trying to get purchase on anything to right itself.

Luckily no one was immediately behind me so I could pretend no one saw me fumble. I wasn’t hurt, just got a little rusty dust on my shoes and butt-flattering pants. But my legs vibrated the whole way up the stairs and my feet were tense and stiff. And for a split second I saw myself tipping onto the train checks, with zero reason or warning, like when I fell up the stairs. 

It wasn’t 9 a.m. yet, and I had already embarrassed myself in public and almost cried and I was hungry. By the time I got to work, all the desk space in this ridiculous non-assigned seating office was already taken in my team’s corner. Obviously, this day was going to be terrible. 

And it had started off so well! A few seconds of disorientation and embarrassment killed my mojo so fast.

But then I spied a free desk on the opposite side of the floor by a co-worker, a jovial misanthrope who liked to make fun of the homemade soups I brought for lunch while I poked fun at him for eating junk food like a ten year-old and not knowing what fennel is. 

After we chatted for a little bit, my little tumble seemed far away and silly. I’ve noticed this before, that when I’m feeling low and grumpy, the thing I shouldn’t do is leave myself alone with my bad mood. It festers. 

My co-worker saved me because he started talking to me. He even made me laugh and how can you feel crappy for some stupid reason when you’re in stitches for some silly reason?

The tough part about this is what to do when I’m on my own and I’m stuck with myself to find the will and energy to pull myself out of it. Because really, it isn’t anyone else’s responsibility to make me feel better. Though it’s nice to have help.

So I put together a list, considering what things do I like to do that will get me out of my own grumpy brain?

My Shake it Off List.

  • Go to the book store

  • Go to the wine store

  • Go to the grocery store, by fun groceries (not the normal eggs, coffee, yogurt crap)

  • Get a massage

  • Listen to a podcast

  • Jump up and down to loud music.

  • Watch episodes of comedies, “Frasier,” “Parks & Rec,” etc

I want to put “walk my dog” on this list, but his constant squirrel and rabbit hunting would fray my nerves if I’m already irritated. Reading could be good (which is different than browsing for books to buy), but this would depend on the genre of book. Nothing too serious, please!

What else is out there? How do you deal with dumb, crappy moods? Or like when you wake up in a funk and are just irritable for some reason? Lemme know!

Reading and Watching

Vanishing Twins by Leah Dieterich, Once Ghosted, Twice Shy by Alyssa Cole. The design podcast 99% Invisible (the National Sword episode is an eye-opener about recycling systems). Catching up on My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Team Nathaniel!) and re-watching Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure because that movie is hilarious. I had forgotten how well Bill pulls off a crop top!

This article from Oliver Sacks (RIP) on the healing powers of gardens. I was gonna turn my apartment’s sunroom into a tiny indoor garden anyway, but now I think it should be, like, a forest. 

About This Newsletter

Humdrum is written by Christina Brandon. She’s so relieved she didn’t rip her jeans when she fell. You can purchase her memoir, Failing Better, through Amazon. Connect with her by replying to this email or jumping on Twitter or Instagram. And tell friends to subscribe!