Now that I have your attention, I’d like to assure you I’m actually having a pretty good day.

My hubby and encourager often makes suggestions about what I should write about and yes, the title is his.  I wonder why?  🙂

The truth is, yes, there are times I am grumpy.  It is pretty rare I would show that in my work, but it has happened.  Far more often it is my hubby who hears the brunt of my frustration, and I have to say, he is a pretty good listener.

For those who suffer chronic pain, or live with difficult circumstances that seem to have no end, they have my full empathy.  It is very hard to be up all the time when life is hard.  We need to acknowledge that.

We all respond differently to life’s pressures, and I’ve always known I fall into the melancholy camp.  Most artists do, I think.  This time of year when the days are short, and the cold sets in, I can be prey to SAD, which is Seasonal Affective Disorder. 

Thinking about Grumpy made me think of Snow White and the seven dwarfs.  I loved that fairy tale.  There is Happy and Sleepy and Doc and Bashful, Sneezy, Grumpy and Dopey.

Apparently these were not the original names the Grimm brothers gave them, but that is fodder for another blog…I was thinking that I can be all of those at some time or another.  I also love the children’s tale of Winnie the Pooh, where I very much like the character of Pooh, so easy going and kind.  Everyone wants to be his friend.  But I joke, I might feel more like Eeyore some days… a little sad, but I still show up.

And I have some wonderful friends like Tigger, who is crazy and energetic and frankly quite exhausting, and I admire all his endless energy and passion.  No, I was built to move at a slower pace!

So when I recognize Grumpy emerging, what do I do?

It is a bit like anger… really all emotions are not wrong, and it is good to be authentic and own how we feel.  It reminds me of what I used to tell my children when they were young… it is not wrong to be angry, but it is wrong to hurt others in your anger.  I still believe that.

If I walked around with a scowl, that could be contagious and not really conducive to caring for others!  I’ve discovered a smile is also contagious, and when in doubt, I practice in the mirror.  A smile can make all the difference in the world.  So can laughter.  I can choose to smile!

Gratefulness is another wonderful antidote to a sad state, because there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.  So there is plenty of medicine in my mental cupboard to help turn things around.

Sometimes that takes time… and this time of year I am even more aware of practicing self-care, as I also encourage others I meet to do the same.  Getting exercise, drinking enough water, eating well, quiet moments, prayer, positive thinking… all can help, especially when we are in a crisis, or under a great deal of stress.

And I’m grateful for a hubby who makes me laugh… even if he might call me a “grumpy” chaplain at times.

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