We all have those things in our day which make us just a little bit crazy — not totally crazy – just enough that it sets the tone for the rest of our day or makes us want to kick something (or in some cases, someone) just to relieve the tension. It can be something as simple as finding that the shirt you wanted to wear today has a small stain on the front or something as infuriating as stubbing your toe on the coffee table as you are walking to put your shoes on. Parents have the added frustrations of children who can’t find their shoes (which you just saw last night at the foot of their bed) – and the bus is honking the horn – or the child who informs you that they didn’t get their homework done and it is really important (although my children usually told me this after the homework was one month overdue and they were going to fail the class!). If these events are allowed to raise your blood pressure and give you a headache first thing in the morning, by nightfall you will be ready to sacrifice small animals (and possibly your husband) on an altar in the front yard as a warning to others. So, over the years I’ve tried to find ways to get myself out of this mindset with the hopes that my family will not have to have me committed to a place for the criminally insane —
1. Someone cuts you off in traffic. This can cause a multitude of headaches — you have to slam on the brakes causing everything in the backseat to crash to the floor – if your teenager is wearing her seatbelt she will simply start screaming that you caused her to smear mascara all over her face or worse yet — lose her cell phone under the front seat. Plus, it is a great opportunity to teach your small children lots of new phrases which are sure to bring Child Welfare Services knocking at your door. Instead of letting this ruin my day and possibly get me carted off to jail for road rage – I simply tell myself that the person who cut me off must have diarrhea and needed to get home right away — poor soul. This philosophy also works when you have been standing in a long hot line for an amusement park ride and people cut in front of you – and is particularly effective if you say it out loud to your children to explain the situation. The offending (and offensive) parties involved try to act as if it doesn’t bother them – but with the entire crowd laughing at this explanation – they have become celebrities in the park for the day! True justice.
2. The vending machine at work steals your last quarter and you are unable to get your morning caffeine. Let’s face it — you probably have had enough caffeine before you ever get to the machine – otherwise your blood pressure wouldn’t pop to the top so easily and you wouldn’t have the urge to beat the machine into giving you your ‘fix’. Maybe this is a sign from God that you really need to cut back so you don’t explode! I also use this reasoning when I can’t get my candy bar — but I add a thank-you from my hips and thighs.
3. Your child has missed the bus and now you will be late for work because you have to take him to school. My children only did this once – because I used the 10 minute ride to school to ask them all about their day and if they didn’t answer, I would turn on my Neil Diamond or John Denver music, roll done the windows and sing along really loud. Not only can you not stay in a bad mood when you sing along with either of these guys — you also get the joy of embarrassing your child and teaching them a lesson about getting ready on time! Now that’s the way to start a day!
There are times when nothing is going to make it better — you could sing Rocky Mountain High until you were blue — but you are still going to be in a foul mood because it has just been one of ‘those’ mornings — and in those cases you need to resort to the one thing that always brings a smile to my face — a very large chocolate bar – just kidding. When I have a morning where nothing seems to go right and it goes downhill from there — I remind myself of the following – kicking the dog will only make him bite me and PETA will have me arrested, killing my husband will not solve the problem and it will get me arrested, beating my children will only make them hate me and get me arrested, beating the guy who cut me off in traffic might get me killed and possibly get me arrested, vandalizing the coffee machine will get me fired and probably get me arrested – so, unless I want to get arrested I better just smiling and sing Rocky Mountain High until I turn blue!