I woke up totally on the wrong side of the bed. Sort of literally, too — I find the longer of the twin beds feels like it works less well for me, for some reason. But mostly emotionally. Yesterday was a “wherever you go, there you are,” sort of day, in which I didn’t make healthy choices about food and exercise and how I spent my time, and today I get to pay the price.
Although, on a brief digression, Stranger Things, on Netflix… I spent about six hours yesterday downloading it in 5 minute increments because I don’t have high-speed internet, but I HAD to finish it. I saw the first four episodes at my brother’s house, as normal television, and yesterday I binge-watched the final four, in torturous slowness. It was still worth it. I would not ordinarily ever watch something labeled horror — it is so not my genre — but I knew nothing about Stranger Things before I started watching it, so I didn’t know it was horror. And yes, it gave me nightmares, so I retain my ridiculous sensitivity to scary television, but it was still worth it. If you haven’t seen it, I’m not going to spoil anything about it, but I will say that all the people who are raving about it are right.
Moving on… wrong side of the bed. I woke up crabby. Stiff, not feeling well, cranky, cold. But I had some nice texts with a friend and decided to change my day. I would walk the dog, find some quiet space in this overcrowded campground and appreciate nature.
Nope. That was not how it turned out. Z was far more interested in smelling people’s garbage than she was in having a brisk walk into the forest, and I wound up coming home from our walk more irritated then when I’d started. I was even mean to her, that’s how grouchy I was. (I took B for a walk and left her in the van, which I never do. She gets long solo walks, because he is slow and won’t walk very far and she needs more exercise, but whenever I take him out, I take her, too, because she can use all the exercise she can get.)
After I fed the dogs, I decided… again… that I would change my day. I would meditate. I would find peaceful serenity in the silence of the van.
Nope. I couldn’t get my brain to shut up. The dogs were being total pests, both trying to be on top of me at the same time. They could tell that I was in a bad mood, and they both think that’s the cure. They’re often correct, but it wasn’t working today.
So I decided I would journal out my frustration. It didn’t make me feel better. The roots of my irritation were too much my own fault. I did too much sitting yesterday, not enough walking. I did too much watching, not enough writing. I ate delicious gluten-free pizza — nightshades, corn, dairy, so multiple food triggers — and not enough good food. I deserved to feel crappy.
Nothing was going to change my mood.
But then I got lucky. Or unlucky, as the case might be, but I’m choosing to call it lucky. I got some new neighbors.
I already sort of hated this campground. It might be really nice if it had half the people in it or if I had three kids that I was hoping to entertain on a busy summer vacation, but as a spot to sit and write, it’s not exactly heaven. I could tell myself all sorts of things about how it could be worse, and it seriously could be much worse, but it is no Frances Slocum. It’s the kind of park where you can watch all television all day long and not feel guilty about it, if that makes sense. It’s the kind of park where the cars almost outnumber the trees. (<—Total exaggeration.) Yes, I am being curmudgeonly — people are having fun family vacations all around me and that’s a very nice thing but I wasn’t going to be one of them.
And then my new neighbors arrived and they are even more curmudgeonly than I am. In fact, they are way MORE curmudgeonly. They are angry. I’m not quite sure why they’re angry, but it involves a fair amount of bad language, words about calling lawyers, a sense of absolute grievance. I think it has something to do with the site they’re in. It’s not good enough for them? It’s missing something? But along with their anger about whatever is going on with the campground, he is the kind of guy who’s telling her to not ask stupid questions and to get that dumb look off her face. And of course, it’s a campground, so the only way for me not to be overhearing them would be to close up my windows and start my air-conditioner running.
Talk about getting immediate perspective. I feel incredibly sorry for them — especially for her, of course — but I am also really grateful not to be them. They might be the kind of people who enjoy having grievances. Maybe complaining satisfies them. Maybe living in that emotional space feels comfortable and normal to them. But for me, it was the spur I needed to get out, to eat something healthy, to do a little stretching, to snuggle my dogs, to change my day.
The sun is shining and life is good.