This morning was one of those mornings which could have inspired a refrigerator-worthy comic about “A case of the Mondays”. Nothing was going right for me. I woke up feeling sluggish and bloated after way too much Easter celebrating, the experimental oatmeal I decided to try was not palatable, my cat knocked my full (and hot) cup of tea all over my phone, computer, and planner, and my 3-year-old was being an exceptional 3-year-old.
After finally getting myself together enough to go out to the grocery store I decided that the aforementioned preschooler needed to come with me so as not to continue to wreak havoc at home any more. So I pulled my crying child into the car, hearing “I don’t want to leave! We are NOT LEAVING! WE ARE STAYING HOME!” for the 15 minute drive to the grocery store.
When we got there, he had calmed down and the change of environment was helping my mood a bit, though I was starving and on a budget so I had to put my blinders on past the wall of chocolate and chips. When we were checking out, the cashier made a couple of comments to me that felt slightly abrasive. Nothing awful, but I got a sense of annoyance from her in the 2 minutes we spent together. I left the store feeling like I did earlier, like “nothing was going right”.
But why is that? Why did I allow that small interaction to contribute to all the negative that I had placed on the day? My initial reaction was that this was how the day was going, it was just “one of those days”, but then I started thinking about that concept. The “just one of those days” concept. Specifically I thought about the cashier and what I interpreted as annoyance towards me.
So here’s my question, I was already in a rotten mood, and someone acted annoyed with me, but is it because I was truly having “one of those days” or was it because I was the one acting abrasive due to my negative mood? Did I interpret her annoyance as being just another thing going wrong because it was easier to do so, or was she reacting to how I was acting?
This might sound like I’m overthinking things to some of you, but if you are like me and have social anxieties, this is going to most likely be a very familiar cycle. But I am truly curious, when we are having a bad day, due to anything, and the negativity just keeps on coming, is it really because the universe is out to get us or are we putting something out there? I fully believe in days where things just go wrong, but I also believe in the power of how we respond to the world around us. I’ve been both the person who just hates the world and therefore things keep going wrong, and the person who has a sunny outlook and things keep coming up Suzi.
But I’ve also been the person who hates the world and then is thrown a bone, and the person who has a sunny outlook and then gets knocked down. We all have. So how much power do we have over the outcome of our day? I like to think it’s a healthy amount, though still allowing for all of the things that we truly have no control over. But I think realizing that we might have some control over a bad day can help to at least slightly turn it around.
In the parking lot, my 3-year-old was in a better mood now and using the cart buckle as a telephone. He was calling me his son and politely asking for string cheese, and I had to take a moment to think about this topic and how much I was in control over my day. If the preschooler could somehow put himself in a better mood after throwing a massive fit 45 minutes earlier, couldn’t I? Even if things kept going wrong, I decided that I was going to at least try and swing the power more in my direction, because today is just a day, everyone is healthy, and worst case scenario, I’ll wake up tomorrow and have a whole new opportunity to take some power back from the universe.