I have had like the worst work week EVER. This is akin to: this is the coldest winter/hottest summer I’ve ever been through, I have the worst headache I’ve ever had, etc. If you really think about it, you can think of worse weeks, winters, summers, and headaches. But that’s a good trick of memory–it doesn’t allow you to really experience past pain to its fullest. Seems like a good survival strategy to me. You can only focus on the present and very recently past pains. The better to dodge them.
One of the very best ways to rid yourself of bad feelings and thoughts is to replace them with good ones. Is that profound (and trite) or what? You may not actually get rid of the bad stuff, but you can balance it out. Call it Fakename’s Theory of Emotional Balance.
Lucky for me, Saturday came along to balance out last week. Two people did it for me:
Fakesister. As we do every week with rare exceptions, we started our day doing the NY Times crossword puzzle online together, remotely, considering she’s in Atlanta and I’m in Tallahassee. It was a good puzzle and was kind of like the beds of the three bears in the Goldilocks fable. It was neither too hard nor too soft. It was just right. However, we still wonder what a “fungobat” is. In addition to the puzzle, we also chat, and today’s consisted of me whining a lot about my work week, but also about my computer problems. Fakesister claims not to know much about PC’s, but she pointed me in several directions where I could look for answers. Including one where she said Warning! Warning! Do not make any changes here unless you absolutely know what you are doing! Well, we already know I don’t know what I’m doing 🙂 I’m kind of like a data entry person. I can use the programs, but I don’t really know how they work. But lucky for me, I think I have fixed it based on Fakesister’s advice! Cue the theme from “Rocky”!
Yard Guy. Just after hanging up with Fakesister, I went out and talked to Yard Guy who is always a pleasure. Today’s topic was: insects. We discussed the carpenter bee who is living in my picnic table, hornets, caterpillars, and banana spiders. Along with a few other topics such as why his family drives him crazy, and why it would actually cost $1,800 to fix the scrapes on my baby Toyota, and why Geico is the worst possible insurance company to have. Just like TV, right on cue, his sister and his mother drive into the neighborhood, pull up and slow down, and his mother rolls down the window and says, “Have you mowed my yard yet?” You can practically hear him grinding his teeth when he says, “Not yet”. So she says”Are you finished with Fakename’s yard?” And I said, “Mostly.” I was deliberately trying to get in the middle and defuse the situation. But. Then his sister starts talking about trying to move a shed from one place to another using a tow truck, and Yard Guy says “That won’t work”. She acts like he’s speaking Russian. In sign language.
Besides replacing bad thoughts with good ones, that’s another thing that works: seeing someone in worse shape than you are. But that is a meager and flimsy and transient and uncharitable way to feel better.
My work issues from last week still exist. I will still have to deal with them next week. But I’ve gained strength from these two marvelous people.