Turn that frown upside-down.

We have the Sunday blues today. Odie is moping around. I am feeling bored, restless, and trapped by the rain. V is having mood swings like an adolescent. The dog is shivering in a corner, making a puddle of drool as she pants over how the thunder is going to kill her. Our cats are smacking the shit out of each other.

It’s just one of those days.

I am working hard today to convince myself that it’s all in my head. When I think about MY life, in my little corner of the world, things look pretty good. I have a home, a job, a family, and the luxury of complaining. But if I do something seemingly innocuous, like watch Bill Maher looking for a laugh, I’m filled with worry and angst over the state of the world. Was it always this horrible and depressing, and I was just oblivious in my younger years? Surely war, famine, natural disaster and class warfare have been with us for centuries. Religious people have been crying “END TIMES!” since the week Christ was crucified. If you want to sound like a wise prophet, just predict war, famine, political unrest and natural disaster.

I don’t believe in the prognostications of Armageddon. I respect the people who do. In fact, I have some ultra-religious friends of varying sects, and I have found that the ultra-religious, when they love you, can tolerate a LOT of unreligious behavior from you. For that, I am grateful to them. I think they even pray for me, which is awfully thoughtful of them.

I have written before about self-serving philosophies. Maybe that’s one of mine. It is too horrible to think that my children will not grow up because the world will end. So I choose not to believe that. And yes, I realize that the “up-side” is that if you are “saved” then you will all be transported to Heaven to spend all of eternity together, so this earthly plane will cease to matter. I’m just very “earthly-planed” in my particular beliefs, and I’m going to go ahead and keep believing that we’re going to be around for a long time. I’m reading “Physics of the Future” by Michio Kaku to help me towards that end. Fascinating stuff.

I live in Southern California, where every time it rains, people start moaning that we need to build an ark. I guess I’ve learned to be immune to some of that “The Sky is Falling!” talk.

But the pessimism and fatalism seep in. It’s easy to get sad and hopeless when you listen to the news. And if you turn it off and shut it out, you can be accused of burying your head in the sand. Being part of the problem. That’s what my father-in-law once said to me when I told him I don’t pay attention to all of that crap on the news.

I think that maybe I will get some books on CD to listen to in the car instead of the news. I don’t like to listen to music, and talk radio is nothing but politics, which is lately nothing but depressing. This must be what the Republicans felt like during the Obama campaign. Defeated.

For the last six months or so, I have been generously making a monthly donation to my local YMCA in the form of a gym membership I never use. Today, I decided that I’m going to start using the pool. I was a swimmer as a child and a teenager. My doctor recommended that I exercise to help with my joint and back pain, and the YMCA has a pool. Today, I bought some prescription goggles for fifteen bucks, and a four-dollar silicone swimming cap. Knowing my tendency to make grand plans that I never follow through with, I am planning to start small. One day this week, I will leave work early, go to the pool, and paddle around a bit. I must remind myself not to attempt the 500 meter freestyle of my youth. I have wanted to go back to swimming for ages, but vanity about my skin and hair have kept me from it. I did some research, and apparently with the right products for both, I can minimize the chlorine damage. My skin already looks like hell from this pregnancy.

Writing about and thinking about positive changes is already turning my mood around a little. V is playing with her Play-doh now, and just announced, “We’re having a party!”

I could use a party right now. Sounds good.


About Mrs Odie

Friendly Pedant; Humble Genius
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10 Responses to Turn that frown upside-down.

  1. Trixiebell says:

    There’s a difference between ‘burying your head in the sand’ and ‘maintaining perspective’. I stopped listening to the news a few months ago when on one morning’s broadcast, the lineup of stories was: murder, murder, murder-suicide, flooding in the Midwest, Glenn Beck spewing hate, and the further descent of the economy. Even the traffic report had a fatality (“They’re waiting for the coroner to arrive, so you’re going to be sitting in traffic for a bit if you’re in that mess.”) and a dying deer on the road. Now, I check weather and traffic on my phone, and sit quietly before I leave for work. On the way to work, I listen to an audiobook or classical music. It totally uplifts my mood for the day.
    What is the purpose of learning every little detail of all the misery in the world? How much can you change? I check the CNN website for updates on the big events, but I read very few stories and I never read the anonymous comments. So, I know what’s going on in the world, but I don’t let it take over my thoughts. If there’s a charity that can use $25, I’ll send it. If there’s an issue that I can email my senator about, I’ll do it. Then I clear it from my mind.
    Good for you with the swimming! I’ve started walking more. I find that listening to an audiobook and/or carrying my camera makes me more willing to walk farther.

  2. Niamh says:

    I totally agree with what Trixibell said above – I listen to the radio on my way to work and turn up the news bulletin but if it’s stuff I don’t want to hear, I just switch it off again. I don’t watch the news at night but check various news websites during the day so I am informed but I can still choose what I want to take in. For a while here (Ireland) the news was full of doom and gloom about the economy, unemployment, the bankers who fucked up our country and the resulting bailout from the IMF. It wasn’t only depressing, it made me really, really angry. So I chose not to listen.

    Good work on the swimming – baby steps is the way to go. I’ve just decided to do a mini-marathon with a friend in June and am starting the couch to 5k tomorrow – eeek!

  3. Chelsea says:

    When I was pregnant, swimming was the only thing that made me feel better. Somehow having that belly floating for a little while made all things right again. The kickboard and I were good friends.

  4. Melissa Thomas says:

    Hi Mrs Odie, Unfortunatly I don’t need to ignore the news, Im living a very real Natural Disaster in my home city. Two huge earthquakes 6months aparts have destroyed it, and it was beautiful. I live alone with my two small children, the fear and uncertainty is awful and soul destroying. I have some positives, like my life and those of my children are not among the dead and missing, I still have a home. Things that used to seem so important are not at all. Now its small steps towards things like helping my 5 year old daughter regain her confidence to do anything alone. I will never be the same. Anyway, I have read your blog for awhile now, I enjoy it. Also, swimming in pregnancy was amazingly helpful for me. Keep ignoring the news, but maybe spare me a thought while I ride out the scary aftershocks? Thank you.

    Melissa , Christchurch, New Zealand

    • Mrs Odie 2 says:

      Melissa, I am so sorry for what you all have been through in New Zealand, and you in particular. I have lived through earthquakes, but haven’t seen anything close to what you have seen. Light and love to you and your children. And to your beautiful country.

  5. Jessica says:

    My mother in law and sister in law and I were doing some shopping this weekend and in the car, my sister in law turned to me and told me that pretty soon, the economy is going to collapse, and transportation will fall with it, and everyone is going to go crazy and lose their minds because they won’t be able to get anymore food than what is in the grocery stores at the time. “Y’all come on to our house when that happens, cause it’s gonna happen!” she said. She and the rest of the in laws have apparently been preparing for this day for awhile and have months worth of emergency rations and supplies stored up because they are legitimately convinced that this is coming, and it is coming soon. After my sister in law said this, my mother in law was reminded that they need some bigger flashlights in the emergency bins, and that they should stock up with some solar lights as well, to be safe.

    “The Bible says people will give you a handful of gold for a handful of food when the end times comes,” my sister in law said. AND SHE FREAKED ME OUT. I’m no believer in 2012 or the end of the Mayan calendar or any of that, and I realize every single generation has its people who trumpet that they are living in the end times, and eventually, one of them WILL be right, but when people get so riled up about this and tell me they’ve got MONTHS WORTH OF FOOD stored up in preparation, I get scared. It gives me the willies!

    Which is not to say I won’t be going to her house in the event of this happening, because I will want to eat and enjoy flashlights, but in the meantime, I wish she’d just be quieter about it and stop freaking me out by quoting the Bible and Fox News.

    • Mrs Odie 2 says:

      This is like my MIL and my husband. Only my MIL abhors FOX News. Still, I have never had a conversation with her that didn’t somehow lead around to how we’re all going to die.

  6. mrsk6 says:

    I feel a certain amount of glee hearing a teacher talk about not paying attention to the news.

  7. alexandria says:

    I don’t know you, and you don’t me but I have to get this straight. I wrote some comments on your KH posts. I am not the Alexandria that wrote horrible things to you. Your edit at the end of one of my posts made me go, “what is she talking about?!” So, just to be clear that I do stand by MY comments. I try to be nice to everyone and that was learned early on in life. I am shocked by this other Alexandria’s comments to you! No one deserves that. Cannot believe it.
    I am so sorry you have been subjected to such immaturity and hatred, Mrs. Odie.

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