Daily Archives: July 5, 2011

The Jolly Librarian Considers Grumpiness

Today, I woke up on time, but didn’t feel rested at all. I was coming off what can only be described as a bad weekend. (Well, to be fair, only the Sunday and Monday of the long holiday weekend were bad. But, obviously, that was the part I remembered most vividly.)  As Tom Petty would say, I “was tired of myself and tired of this town.”  Even my morning workout didn’t improve my mood. As I drove into work, I thought of just driving until I ran out of gas or road.

But I’d agreed to meet some colleagues for lunch, so I did, although I felt a little sorry for them being exposed to my grumpy self.

Now it would be nice to say that my companions’ good spirit cheered me and brought me back to myself, but that would a lie. I was still more than a little grumpy when a friend to the right of me leaned in and whispered that she had to go to the bathroom and that she wouldn’t be back soon, but for no one to get worried.

To explain, she has a condition that, when she drinks too much caffeine, sends her heart into palpitations that then causes her to be sick, very sick. It’s apparently not life-threatening, although it does appear that way to those out of the loop: nausea, sweating, light-headedness, etc.

“No one better feel sorry for me,” she said as I drove her home. “I did this to myself. I know what caffeine does to me.” But not only did I feel for her, I also felt less aggrieved at the world.

That’s the thing about grumpiness: Often, it only takes getting out of yourself for it to dissipate. There wasn’t much I could do for my friend, except drive her home. But just the act of thinking about someone else was enough to turn the day around for me.

Now, there’s no doubt that I’ll have more grumpy days ahead, but for this one day, a chance to help someone else made things better. And I’m going to try to remember that for next times as well.