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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Today's Top Ten List: Ways To Turn Around A Bad Day


Sometimes, as my niece says, you "wake up on the wrong side of the day." If you don't manage it Right Then, you're in for a shitful, crabass, lousy twenty-four hours of feeling out of sorts. Other people might even have to Suffer. That's not Nice, and it sure isn't Fair. So Jared and I are here to help you with these

Top Ten Ways To Turn Around A Bad Day

(Jared)
1. Call your mother
2. Read something extremely nerdy about something you like
3. Make future plans with a good friend
4. Have a piece of pizza
5. Tell a friend you love him/her, and mean it
(Nance)
6. Clean or organize something
7. Bake something
8. Go for a drive
9. Go shopping
10. Wallow a little

And now Jared explains:

1. I’ve said it before: I don’t care how old I get, what’s going on in my life, or whatever, sometimes, I just need to call my mother. Sometimes, we will talk about what’s actually going on. Sometimes, I’ll just say “Mom, talk about something smart so that I know that people with brains still exist,” and she does just that. And it's perfect. She will say something, offer a bit of advice that we both know I won’t heed, and it STILL makes me feel better. She’s the smartest person I know, and it restores my faith in people immediately, frequently, and hugely.

2. I love NBA Basketball more than almost anything in the world. It is beautiful. It is fluid. And it is everything that all aspects of life should really be. I try to find the most intensely analytic and in-depth stuff about it that I can and read the hell out of it. Always makes me feel better. It's an addiction.

3. If I’m at work having a real bullshit Tuesday or something, I immediately send a message to my best friend in the office inviting her to get a drink on Friday. She almost always says, “Absolutely. I think we deserve it.” We do, goddammit. It gives me something to look forward to. It isn’t about the booze. It's just about having something to do with someone worth spending time with. No matter what happens during that single bad day, there’s a good chance it won’t jeopardize Friend Time at the end of the week.

4. This is easy. If you don’t get it, I can’t help you. Doesn’t even need to be good pizza. Just has to be pizza. If pizza doesn’t make your day better, just go to bed and stay there because you cannot be helped on that particular day. Pizza is great and awesome and not stupid or bad.

5. I’m very close to the people whom I bother to be friends with. Otherwise, why the hell have them, right? Sometimes, it's nice to call my friend Baker Cakes, or Matt or someone and just chat for a bit and hit them with an “Alright, dude. I gotta run. Talk soon; love you.” And they reciprocate. And it is nice. It helps to remind you that you have people in your life who you CHOSE to include and who you not only can feel that way about, but who also feel that way about you. No obligation there. Genuinely, two friends that love each other. Very solid.

And now me:

6. There's a bit of The Martyr in me, so if I'm miserable, I sometimes like to Go All In and really feel miserable. My theory is, I might as well reap a benefit, too, from all of this Misery. So I'll vacuum, scrub a floor, clean out a few cupboards, or tackle a major thing, like the hulking desk in the home office.

7. I don't bake often, so this has another side benefit, especially for Rick. Baking also requires more careful attention than cooking; I really have to measure carefully and use a mise-en-place. Pretty soon, I'm focused on that and not my irritation.

8. Many times, my bad mood is a result of needing a Change Of Scenery. If I am back home, I get in my little car and zip off to Wherever, sometimes just heading out to a road I wish to explore or out to pick up a Little Doodad I think I need. If I am at the lake, I take the boat out for a leisurely cruise.

9. I detest the phrase "Retail Therapy." It sounds terribly cliche and sexist. Sometimes, however, I do go out shopping to get out of a bad day. But it's not for shoes, a purse, or clothes. I usually go to some Off-Price Bargain Outlet store and look for housewares or decaf coffee or chew toys for Zydrunas, who destroys them in fifteen minutes.

10. It is terribly important, however, to acknowledge and honor your feelings. You are having a bad day! You can't rebuke yourself and shame your emotions. One of my longstanding mantras is "Wallow a little and bitch a lot." By all means, then, first recognize that you are having that bad day. Or, as Stuart Smalley, alter ego of Minnesota Senator Al Franken used to say, "Face It, Trace It, Erase It."

Now, besides reading the Dept. of Nance (!), how do you fix your Bad Day?

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8 comments:

  1. I'm not currently having a bad day, but I AM eating pizza - right this minute! Coincidence?

    Yesterday I WAS having a bad day, and what helped me was to imagine telling someone (anyone!) about what had happened to turn my day south. I couldn't think of a single person who would have been interested or who would have agreed that it was Just Awful (it was work related & my Real Friends wouldn't have really understood). Now, sometimes that makes me feel even more pitiful, but yesterday I decided that it put my problem in perspective. There were advantages to what had happened, and I am going to embrace them.

    P.S. re wild hair - I found this definition on a message board: "Around here, (in central Indiana) "a wild hair" is an expression that means an impulsive, crazy pursuit, such as driving an hour each way to get a bowl of spicy stew at the Mousetrap or leaving work in the middle of 3rd shift to go fishing 80 miles away." Sometimes I've heard "he got a wild hair up his ass," but I usually skip that last part - ha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bug--RE: "wild hair" from your post--from context, I figured as much, but thought it would be a Southern Thing. You use the strangest dialect sometimes.

      Sometimes, telling someone your troubles does help. Getting a second perspective is valuable, even if Imaginary!

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  2. Happy tenth and I am loving the lists. Hi Jared.
    I iron or I wallow. Mostly both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary G--Thank you! I think it was Bug whose mother used to iron late at night when she couldn't sleep. I, however, avoid ironing, no matter what. Glad you are loving the lists, and Jared says hi.

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  3. I believe in giving into a bad day and letting it win. I wallow. I complain. I give up all hope. Then I have a drink and do it all again. By then I'm sick of myself, so I go to bed and feel much better about things in the morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ally Bean--Sounds like a Method worth using when all else fails, for me. I think Bad Days help us to appreciate more fully the Good Days and the Terrific Days. As my father used to say, it's all about the Contrast In Life.

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  4. Ah, I am caught up for now. Please, may I have some more?

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    Replies
    1. Mary G--Wow! You certainly went on a binge. I'm so flattered. I'm posting a List a day for the rest of August; that will make 10 Lists of 10 to celebrate 10 Years Of the Dept. Bless your sweet heart. I'm so happy you're with me.

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Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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