A Side of Grumpy

I am a bit on the grumpy side today, as if grumpy came with the t-shirt I pulled over my head this morning while getting dressed or from the kink in my hair from having fallen asleep last night while my hair was still wet. It doesn’t happen often, the grumpy, though often enough that I recognize it after a few minutes, the way you might notice you left a bit of your supper between your teeth, having not flossed with enough focussed intention.
I sometimes blame the grumpy on the heat, though I try with tremendous commitment not to, knowing full well, all too soon it will be cold, very cold, complete with ice scraping and snowblower-ing. Instead, I try to bask in the heat, commenting to myself with an internal monologue about my lucky circumstance to be witness to another scorcher. Other times, I blame grumpy on Gracie, my dog, for staring at me. Though in honesty and fairness to Gracie, she may be staring at me precisely because I am grumpy. She has known me for almost nine years and is more interested in my moods than her own, as dogs tend to be. Dogs have the same outlook regardless of the temperature or the season or the price of fuel. I’m trying not to refer to the liquid I put in my car as gas, for obvious reasons, but because Hannah Gadsby commented on it and she makes me laugh, laugh at the truth she doles out in her comedy sketches, but now I am rambling, a known side effect of the grumpy.
In all likelihood, there is no particular reason for the grumpy, in the same way it doesn’t always storm on Wednesdays, my workday, even if it seems it does. Bad weather has no preference for one day of the week over another and likewise, the grumpy just happens. It’s arbitrary.
I step over the same threshold more than many times a day and sometimes, I bang my elbow on the door frame. I would like to blame the threshold for rising up enough to throw off the height of my usual step or the width of the doorway to have narrowed, but that would border on the reprehensible.
I can re-floss my teeth and brush the kinks out of my hair but finding a solution to the grumpy isn’t as simple. Meditation helps with many types of angst and if it isn’t the solution it certainly is a reprieve, a respite from one’s self. Meditation is much like a cup of coffee, for me. I love the idea of coffee, love the smell and am reminded of Annie’s perpetual pot of coffee on her stove. I pour myself a cup every morning and more often than not, I forget to drink it. A walk to the lake or to the ocean to search out a perfect stone always lightens my mood as does hoping I will see a frog or a turtle, but the grumpy seems to have to run its course.
I sometimes waken at night with a wash of sadness over some far-off event, so far it is barely visible, its edges blurred. I lie awake pondering why I no longer hear from a precious friend or remember an incident where I let my father down, when he expected more of me and I failed him. Or the time I forgot my lunch box at school and inside it was the house key and Mr. Basaraba drove back to the school, made an extra loop in his route so I could get my lunch box. He made no fuss and no complaint. He didn’t shake his head or scold me, just rescued me. One would think that an incident from when I was eight years old could be dropped from the inventory of mistakes, but it pops up when I least expect it and contributes to the accumulation of events that line up to feed the grumpy. Who knows? I don’t, but I’m still very grateful for Mr. Basaraba’s kindness. I’ll pull Harper Lee off my shelf and open To Kill A Mockingbird and read about integrity and honour and I’m fairly certain that will kick grumpy to the curb. It’s worth a try.
wendistewart@live.ca


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