Friday, April 25, 2014

Why Mother Nature Deserves a Beer

Our winter was brutal...insanely low temperatures, piles upon piles of snow, and unending gusts of high-velocity winds that would sent good ol' Mary Poppins straight to heck in her handbag.

I'm a winter person. I didn't mind the snow. I like the cold, quiet peace that accompanies winter. It's one of my favorite things....snow. So pretty!

But even I was getting sick of the cold. I panicked about my pipes. I freaked out about losing power and forced my husband to buy a generator. I wigged out about the money spent on said generator. I dreaded my commute and cold car every. Single. Morning. The dark - dear gosh - the dark in the mornings. When daylight savings kicked in you woulda thought I got punched right in the face by Captain Depression. As time passed by with no thaw in sight, I grew more and more....well....negative.

Now don't get me wrong. I've never really thought of myself as an uber-positive person. I get amped up about stuff and get excited about a vast number of things, like horses when they run, or sparkly rocks, or those perfect white clouds you see a few times in the spring and summer. I get happy. But I wasn't the inspiration for the Pharrell song. I'm a bit more sarcastic. A bit more reactive. And lately, a bit more negative.

I'm not talking about the regular negativity I normally have when it comes to things like bad parenting, ignorant food consumption, or poor driving choices. No - I've been taking it to a whole new level these days. Like Grumpy Cat level.....

"Oh, you're having a good day? DON'T CARE."

"Oh, random 70 degree day? HATE IT."

"Oh, you thought of me and invited me to do stuff? NOT GOING."

It's been really over the top. Insane, even. And this is coming from someone who is normally pretty sarcastic and loves dry, sometimes dark humor.

Some people say the weather has a direct connection to your mood. Not sold. You see, we had a beautiful Easter day. It was glorious. Sun. Comfortable temperatures. Birds chirping and all that crap.

I couldn't force myself to get happy....really, truly happy. I was funkified. A couple tough things happened Easter day and I fixated on them. I remember returning to work on Monday and one of my particularly cheerful and lovely coworkers asked me how my Easter was. I totally Grumpy Catted her. "Eh, another day, another dollar....or something."

Really Jen?

For crying out loud it was a beautiful day! I've got a beautiful life! Blessed in so many ways! What the heck is my problem?

I can sit here and list all the things that are stressing me right now but the bottom line is these things aren't to blame. There are people all over the world who have my problems, only amplified by 400% and slapped against their starving faces every second of every day....and they can still smile.

If they can do it, I gotta be able to do it. Happiness is something we create.

So I set out today on a mission. I was going to find my happy again.

The morning started off rough (running late, no gas, mini-tiff with the husband)....but once I got to work, things seemed to just...get better.

Yea, crazy things happened. I was running around like a nutcase most of the day. Some dude decided to deliver 41 huge boxes to my attention but wouldn't bring them from the loading dock to my 3rd floor office. I spilled thousand island dressing on my "business" clothes. I fell horribly behind schedule and had to play Mean Rushed Jen to catch up. But you know what else happened?

Two people, one a dear, gorgeous friend, and the other a complete stranger, told me they read this blog, this one, here, and enjoy it. No, no the words they used were "love it." They love my blog. I should keep doing it, they said. I am really great.

Cue the "radiant beams of glory" sound.

A writer can receive no greater compliment than the thirsty eyes of a pleased, engrossed reader.

It kinda felt like I was waking up for the first time in days. I felt refreshed, determined, and excited. I got my happy back. And it didn't stop there.

When I went home, I had a grumpy Aaron to deal with. Like I mentioned earlier, we had a mini-fight this morning. I was rushing and got pissed because he didn't put gas in the car. If I'm truly honest with myself here, all my negativity lately has kinda carried over into every aspect of my life. This afternoon when I came home, he looked tired and irritated. The moment I walked in, I knew my happy was just a step away from deflating again. I tried to bring him over to my side of the happy field. He wasn't having it. He was in the Jen Funk. I told myself I had two choices:

1. Get pissed. Lose my happy. Join Mr. Misery.

2. Do my thing, try to be there for him (like he was for me all week), and hope he comes around.

Normally, I wouldn't have the energy to stay positive and wait him out. I am an impatient person who is exhausted by the time I get home.

I stood there staring at him and could just feel my mind pushing, pushing for me to provoke an argument. I was battling with myself -

"Man, this jerk. He gets pissed when I'm happy and pissed when I'm mad. Can't win. I want to smash something!"

and then...

"Man, poor Aaron. You've been there, Jen, it sucks. Be nice."

I went back and forth while I did my 40 minute workout and by the time I was done, I knew anger wasn't the answer. I told him I was going for a walk, he was welcome to join, or he could have some pouty wah-wah time alone. He chose to stay home.

And people, this is where the magic happened. This is why I need to buy Mother Nature a beer.

Normally, I would feel a bit slighted by the hubbs deciding not to come out with us. I would wonder all kinds of things....from "maybe it's me?" to "he's still pissed." I'm a sensitive soul - I over analyze -especially when I'm already in a negative mood. Flaws, forgiven, people. Flaws, forgiven.

But this time, I didn't really get the chance to worry too much. I stepped outside and nature kinda rose up in front of me. The sounds, the smell, the light. It was nuts. I felt like an under-dressed Snow White.

It actually felt like spring. In my heart, in my world, in my soul...springtime, if only for a minute. If only to solidify my happy. 

Mother Nature gave me an awesome little glimpse of hope - hope that change is a'comin' and can't be stopped, no matter how hopeless we feel.

Life is fluid. It can change in an instant or leave you waiting for weeks, months...even seasons. Sometimes the weirdest things will snap you out of your cold spell and leave you in a warm, happy place. Thank heaven for great friends, great strangers, and a patient, beer-deserving Mother Nature.

How is Mother Nature shaping your mood, readers? Any of you been blown away by a compliment lately? I'd love to hear your story down in the comments below and as always, thank you so much for reading :)



  1. This winter has been brutal. I am so grateful we are getting some spring finally. I also had a horrible rotten day until a coworker said she was so grateful for me and the improvements i have made. She had know I had been upset and said anyone who thought poorly of me had no idea who the real me was.

    1. Isn't that awesome!?? I love random comments like that - people say them like they're no big deal, never really knowing how much it means to hear such things! I love it!

  2. I have been in a similar frame of mind lately. It has been a brutal winter here in Wisconsin too. I'm still wearing my winter sweaters and occasionally my winter coat. This week I spilt coffee on my brand new chair at work then had to sit with a wet butt for most of the day. I didn't go to my professional organization meeting or a pampered chef party I was invited to (I didn't think pampered chef was still a thing). I never get enough done at work and am in a perpetually bad mood. Last night my husband again said you don't seem happy. I really just wanted him to leave me alone so I could read, instead I talked to him about how the winter has been rough – work, my mom's cancer etc. This morning I woke up to a sunny, but chilly day. I plan to work in my perennial garden something I've been looking forward to for a long time. I'm not going to travel an hour to visit my SIL to see her new house - something I really don't care about (what is wrong with me) - I need a day for me.
    I am always surprised when someone tells me they like my blog - including you. I interviewed another blogger this week. When I sent her the questions I thought how awful they were. She told me twice now how much she liked them. That was a surprise.
    BTW - I love your blog too. I enjoyed last week's post. You have the same attitude about the Easter bunny as me. And it is a good thing we weren't friends when we were young. When I was seven my grandma told me it was too bad my little Methodist friend would never go to heaven because she wasn't Catholic. To which I promptly went to school and tried to convert her.

    1. HAHA I also had no idea Pampered Chef was a are there still Tupperware parties too? Man I've been out of the loop with my hermit-behavior. I'm also with you on the new-house viewings....I think I would be more inclined to do things "for" others if I felt happy with myself, my time, and the way others treated me. I've been getting hit from all ends by people wanting to make plans and getting angry that I can't accommodate. It's exhausting. I don't treat others that way, so I get irritated and just say screw it all, people. Days for you are totally necessary and I'm glad you're getting one today.

      And dude, I LOVE your blog. It's actually bookmarked on my toolbar - that's how much I like it. And thanks for the return love. I imagine it makes me about as weirded out as my love makes you. Us strange writer artists.

      HAHAHA converting a Methodist - ahhhh Catholics. Absolutely gotta love 'em. My Grandma B was the same way - devout Catholic. She'd be rolling over in her grave if she read my last post. Glad you liked it, tho :)

  3. I am the type of person that is perpetually happy! I can't help myself! The hubs is the same way! But I am so glad spring is here! happy or not I was freezing my tushy off this past winter!

    1. :) No doubt! I cannot stand being shivery - so glad spring has arrived!

  4. Haha I was the same way during the winter - it gets you HARD! I was so cranky and just not in a positive happy-go-lucky mood. Now that spring is popping in and it is getting warmer - people are happier, I am happier it's awesome! Loving every minute of it. Glad you're in better spirits and anger is definitely not the answer, then you'll both be mad :P Have a great one Jennifer! -Iva

    1. :) Thanks Iva - I see I'm terribly behind on comments, but I still appreciate you and thank you for reading :)

  5. I love the warmth! The cold tends to make me cranky and tired. I love the sunlight. It helps keep me going.

    1. Me too - and snow is awesome, but I needed some sunshine.

  6. I'm a cup is half empty gal, but as of late I've been trying to look at things more positively. It does make a huge difference. It takes some work but the family runs a bit smoother if mom's in a good mood. *Insert forced smile.* Great post!

    1. HAHAHAHA insert forced smile - I agree. Sometimes you really need to fake it to make it - and sometimes when you fake it, you actually start to brighten up. It's crazy! Thanks for stopping by :)