The past couple of days I have been pretty grouchy.
I’ve been impatient when I’ve been interrupted at work. (“Can’t you see that I am doing something very important here and I don’t need to explain that allocations sheet to you one more time you moron?” I say in my head, because I’m not a complete moron myself.)
I’ve had minor bouts of road irk (not as severe as road rage) when the tourist is driving and pointing through town and stopping an seemingly random points in the road. (“MOOOVVVVE!” I can say out loud, because I’m alone in my car.)
I’ve had more major bouts of road irk when I’m riding my bike and I’ve got the intersection timed just right so I don’t have to come to a complete stop, and some well-meaning idiot slows and throws off the timing and so I do have to stop. (“GRRR! Thanks a lot! Now I’m gonna fall, I just know it!” I mutter, in case their window is down.)
I even told my cat to shut up when he couldn’t make up about something. Ah, truthfully, I yelled at him to shut up.
Then I heard a pretty cool thing yesterday in a fitness training coaching call (shout out to Louise Green, Size Inclusive Fitness Authority Extraordinaire). She said that if we’re grouchy, it’s a sign that our cup is empty, and maybe our spiritual bank account is overdrawn.** Is there an emoji that is a combo of a light bulb going off and a duh moment? Face plant, maybe? Anyway, insert it here.
When I’m grouchy, my first reaction HAS been to yell at myself and to stop it and to pull it together.
But now I’m gonna try something different. “Maggie, what do you need?” Are you Hungry? Angry? (Sooo different than grouchy!) Lonely? Tired? (Thanks 12 step programs for the HALT acronym.)
Hungry can mean so much more than just needing to eat. How do I need to be fed? Do I need more laughter, more play time, more creativity? I know I need more writing time, and more opportunities for parenthetical asides. (Obviously.)
Angry can mean a thirst for justice, a frustration with injustice, feeling out of control, maybe even being a victim who needs to claim her power.
Lonely isn’t just being alone. Tired can mean needing more sleep, but it can also mean respite, time for recovery, a need to pace yourself, or even a need for a vacation!!
So from now on, when I notice that I’m grouchy, I’m gonna say HALT and fill ‘er up. Because, you know, I’m so damned grateful that my glass isn’t half empty, nor half full. Mine is refillable!
In the meantime, remember these things: You are loved. We are all loved. Let’s all be kind. And in all things – progress, not perfection!
Love, and light in the shadows,
**Apparently Brene Brown also talks about this. While I respect her, I don’t follow her and didn’t look it up. I’m sure she has really helpful and insightful things to say on the topic.