Negativity Invades; What Will You Do With It?

I’m not usually cranky. I’m usually quite upbeat, really. But yesterday, I was cranky. Full of negativity. We’ve been SO busy the last two months. It started with a heavy back-to-school workload (we home school) and a September full of social gatherings. I thought October would slow down but it hasn’t. Winter prepping on a homestead is hard work. We have a huge yard that needs to be readied for winter by cutting down all of the Hasta plants and wildflower gardens, new gutters that needed to be put up, some concrete work that needed to be done, etc., etc., etc. 

The outside world is all too busy fighting over an election that may or may not determine the fate of America.

And, a dear, dear friend of mine has been going through marriage hell for over a year now. My heart hurts for her, but there’s little I can do to help besides listen, love and be there for her. Most days I’m able to give her problems to God and let it go, knowing I’m doing all I can for her. But once in awhile I get angry about the whole situation. And yesterday was one of those days. Combine that with our crazy busy schedules for the last eight weeks and it’s added up to one cranky momma.

I knew I needed a heart check last night when oldest daughter came downstairs at 10:15 for a late night snack. Me and two of the kids were sleeping in the living room; they wanted a mom slumber party. Third daughter had her own slumber party in first daughter’s bedroom upstairs. Rick got the bed to himself; I’m sure he was quite happy about being to snore in peace without cranky momma elbowing him to roll over onto his side and cease the noise. The kids and I went to bed at 9:45 (Rick beat us to bed by over an hour), plum worn out by a weekend of chopping down annuals and hauling them back to the compost pile.

I’d been in a nice deep sleep when Maddie came down. Her rifling through the fridge didn’t wake me as much as the loud “smack” I heard.

Half asleep, I woke up and gave her a tail-chewing about making at least a half-hearted attempt to be quiet so I could get some sleep.

Turns out the “smack” wasn’t her after all; a bat on a nighttime hunt had smacked into the window, she told me. Her hurt feelings were obvious as she defensively but sweetly apologized and went back upstairs for late-night drawing and Twitter-browsing.

Now wide awake, courtesy of guilt over my unwarranted snapping, I turned on the cell phone, gave her a long and sweet text about how very sorry I was for my behavior, and went back to bed.

I woke up this morning, still PO’d at the world.

No creativity for me this morning for writing an inspiring and helpful post; all of my creativity is bound up by the webs of crankiness.

Sitting here, writing, I realized that I have a choice.

It’s okay to be angry sometimes as you work through stuff.

But staying angry, that’s a choice. As I work through things this morning, talking with God about all the things that are wrong with the world, I decide that I’m not doing anybody much good with my negative attitude.

So after some venting to the Lord, who’s the best Listener I know, I choose happy. Or at least not cranky. 🙂

There is so much to be thankful for and positive about, even in a negative world. Gratitude will be my focus, as we have much to be grateful for. Not everyone has a home to live in, three meals a day and loved ones to share them with. So that will be my focus and cranky will just have to go by the wayside. For now. 🙂

*Update: It’s been exactly 23 minutes since I published this post and chose gratitude over negativity. Ironically, my crankiness has faded away, my creative juices are once again flowing and I’m off writing an assignment I was sure I wouldn’t be able to start until tomorrow due to a total lack of creativity. Gratitude works!! 

Do you ever get caught up in “cranky”?


20 comments on “Negativity Invades; What Will You Do With It?

  1. Here’s to a better day and week for you Laurie. I do get cranky and get caught up in crankiness, typically when I’m too busy. I’m usually thinking three steps ahead about all the things I need to do and feel overwhelmed. I try and catch myself and remember it’s just stuff, chores, etc. Are there things I can eliminate, prioritize, make a list. Once I plan a bit I usually feel better.

    1. “I’m usually thinking three steps ahead about all the things I need to do….” LOL, yep, that’s it, Brian. 🙂 Thanks much for the encouragement – I appreciate it! I need to write down a plan. I really think that would help.

  2. Oh My, I was TOTALLY CRANKY yesterday! And for no specific reason, just hateful. I bought an apple pie and ice cream to eat last night because I was just having a really hard day. This morning I apologized to my husband and thanked him for putting up with me. Another week has started and will have some wonderful happenings, so I need to get an attitude adjustment so I can relish and appreciate all the goodness in my life. I am blessed. NO MORE CRANKY MAMA BEAR

  3. I caught myself being unusually cranky the past weekend but this time I realized why. That’s unusual as it’s typically a subconscious something driving me batty.

    I realized it was because I’ve been in work limbo with this whole darn re-org that has been dragging out for over 3 months with no end in sight until possibly December. Add into that the fact that our CEO has expressed no faith in one of our “sister” teams and is beginning to look at my group in a “what have you done for me lately” sort of way.

    Yep, I’m worried. This is a perfect environment to deal with this heavy handedly and reduce overhead. I haven’t been in this group enough to transfer to a “more productive” group, and I haven’t been at the company long enough to build a strong enough network to get “pulled” to a different group.

    I have no control over any of this and I was being cranky about it.

    Then Mrs. SSC pointed out that – Umm, who cares. Just resolve it in your head and move on because I have no control over it and we’re fine in SO many ways. If I got let go, things would be tight, but survivable, we only have the mortgage to deal with, and she is still employed and we already made our layoff cost reduction scenario over a year ago. So quit worrying and get in a better mood.

    While that’s easier said than done, it did make yesterday a lot better even just realizing that we have a house, paid off cars, and income even if I’m let go, along with a huge amount in savings.

    While I may still end up laid off at some point which is a definite dark cloud maker to have hanging over your head constantly. It definitely helped me to get perspective and be appreciative of where we are and what we have.

    I hope both of our weeks stay better. 🙂

    1. Wise words from Mrs. SSC. 🙂 I really think it helps to look at the “grand scheme of things”. We’re all alive, healthy and have our basic needs more than met. That’s a lot more than many people have, and gratitude is definitely in order. Thanks, Mr. SSC!

    1. That definitely happens here sometimes too. I’ve kind of started figuring out with me that the effects of sugar/junk food are kind of like the person whose true self is brought out when drinking. There’s hidden fear and doubt I think that I can completely ignore when eating healthy, but sugar brings it out. So I’ve been praying for God to help me deal with these things on a true and complete level.

  4. I get cranky when I’m overwhelmed by stuff I need to get done in the future. I was actually cranky over the weekend from my extensive to do list. The thing is, no one else has expectations – it’s me putting pressure on myself. I finally conquered it on Sunday when I just did a few small things to move me forward. Sometimes things can wait too…

    I hope you’re still feeling better, Laurie. Isn’t it amazing what a little gratitude can do? Gratitude can rescue me from the worst of days!

  5. I get into panic mode when more is on my plate than I can handle well – and that panic often expresses itself in crankiness. I’m sorry you’ve been having such a stressed out time lately. You are clearly a very good friend to have taken your friend’s hardships so much to heart as you have. I wish I could say that I always handle crankiness as well as you have.

  6. If one or two things happens early in the day, I’ll find a dark cloud comes that’s very hard to get rid of. I try to keep a pretty standard routine to minimize such things, but it’s not always easy to do.

  7. I get cranky if I have not gotten enough sleep/rest. I try my hardest but if I am not fully rested, I become a living breathing snap-dragon, emphasis on the snap. Mama needs her zzzzz’s… 🙂

    Hope your day gets better my friend!!

  8. I struggle with negativity and pessimism a lot, and while some people are naturally more optimistic than others, gratitude has made a huge difference in my life. I used to think being cynical was a way to “see through” the facade to discern reality. Now I realize gratitude is seeing reality. I have so much that I don’t deserve. I still naturally tend toward crabbiness–like every day–but gratitude helps me see straight, even if I don’t immediately feel cheerful.

    1. I’m in a similar boat Kalie, though it sounds like you’ve made a lot more progress than me! My biggest issue is that when I don’t get enough sleep I’m typically drained of energy and the smallest thing can annoy me and it seems like the cynical thoughts just fly through my mind. When I stop and choose to be positive and assume positive intentions of others I am always happier.

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