Tuesday, 26 January 2010
I was in a bitchy mood today. I could give you reasons: my son woke up before 7 a.m., a friend who I wanted to spend more time with on this trip has a family with stomach flu, my husband and I keep playing phone tag, I am having great trouble with a hat I’m crocheting for one of my nephews, my relationship with my mom is not as friendly as I’d like it to be. But those weren’t really the reasons. I just woke up feeling pissy and couldn’t shake it.
Drinking water then a latte, eating protein, looking out the window at our snowman, reading,taking a long shower, laughing with my son as he pretended to be a farmer wearing my Ugg knock-off boots and my mom’s straw hat—nothing was making the mood better.
Often just noticing that I am being snappy or feeling impatient or angsty gives me enough room to just breathe and take care of myself a little so I can cheer up enough to function. But at three this afternoon when I canceled plans to see my sister and nephews because I was too grumpy to deal with people, I finally went outside. The snow had interrupted my c25k running schedule and cardio seemed like it would at least give me some accomplishment so the day wouldn’t be completely sacrificed.
It was in the thirties outside, with some snow on the ground, low dark clouds, and I was wearing a turtleneck, jeans, and a hat. When I got up the first hill, I was so unable to catch my breath and my heart was pounding so violently, I thought maybe I might have a heart attack on this back road where my mom would not be likely to look for me in the instance I hadn’t returned after a couple of hours. Plus, by then it would be dark and maybe one of the wild country dogs would have used my shin as a snack or ….
So I stopped running, changed from Missy Elliott to Damien Rice (haunting lyrics and vocals) and just walked. I kept thinking I’d stop at the top of the next hill, then around the bend, to the next hill. I kept walking until I found such a gorgeous view, I stopped and sobbed. The tears helped, but I was still in a fist-clenching mood, so I kept walking. I walked until I could go home in a better mood.
On the way home, I ran intervals so I managed to get my cardio, but I felt better before I even started that.
While I might not always have the time to be away from home or my son for that long, one of the gifts of today was that my mom was totally happy to play with Cavanaugh so I didn’t have to rush back or try to entertain a toddler in a stroller while I walked far enough to overcome my foul mood. Another gift was that I was in San Cristobal, in utterly rich natural beauty and the pickup and the jeep that passed me on that isolated road waved and kept driving.
I’m going to try to remember the walking trick. It makes me feel better every time. Instead of yelling, stewing, or aching, I need to walk out the door.
How about you? Do you have a favorite method of shedding a bad mood?