Shake It

I’m wrestling with a die-hard demon.

While I’m busy following my bliss (new mom, new house, new friends), turning about face once every four years or so to clear the slate and redefine my new persona, usually to match new surroundings, like a chameleon, I sometimes trip over my own shadow.

That is, my dark half emerges and gets in the way. Normally jovial (though not as jovial as my dependably jovial husband), when I don’t get what I hoped for, or when moment-to-moment circumstances fall short of expectations, my mood can turn sour and I’m no fun to be around.

In 2011 and beyond I’d like to work on being kinder. But I need to know:

How do you pull out of a tailspin?

How do you resist the spiral of negativity once you’re on the downslide?

My husband says, “I just remember I have a great wife; a great daughter; we own a home—we’ve got it good.” Hearing this makes me smile. Getting an eyeball-popping bearhug makes me laugh. Sometimes we catch it in time, and combat irritability or anger by squeezing the air out of each other. We wheeze so hard we laugh, and laugh so hard we wheeze.

The other day I was in such a funk, even the bearhug-a-thon didn’t work on me. Then what?

How long do you sulk until you snap out of it? How well do you communicate when you’re in a bad mood?

Can we be in a bad mood and still communicate with warmth and love?


It’s a challenge, and it takes maturity and presence-of-mind to accomplish (which comes harder to some than it does to others, and which might come harder Friday night after a long week than it does Monday night after a long weekend), but I believe it’s possible.

I believe I can do it.

I believe my husband deserves kindness. He’s the kindest person I’ve met, which is both lucky and not a mistake; I was hoping to marry someone kind, above all else, and it was only when I stoutly decided to avoid jerks that David came into my life.

Maybe I can adopt a “Stop, Drop, and Roll” maneuver.

Stop. Look. Love.
Or, Stop. Breathe. Smile.

I need a technique! I need a mantra!

My sister and I used to say, “Shrug it off. Shrug it off,” twice, and shrug our shoulders. Once she was my funk-angel and helped me out of a funk when she encouraged me to shake it, shake it, shake my body all over in bursts of movement. It worked to exorcise the demon! Whatever tension I was holding was released.

I’m lucky to have a partner who has a winning sense of humor. I won’t tell all his techniques for diffusing me like a bomb, but…

Once I went to the bathroom for relief during a “heated discussion,” and when I came back to continue “discussing,” there were two shots of vodka on the kitchen counter, and he said: “Drink.” (This was funny and a distraction because we seldom drink. Maybe a couple glasses of wine a week.) (That qualifies as seldom, right, people?)

Another time, he said, “You’re cute when you’re mad.”

I mean, come on! That takes compassion—to not put down a rabid bitch, but fit a muzzle on ‘er.

If you’re willing to share, I really want to know,

how do YOU make a U-turn when you’re frustrated, cynical, or angry?

When you're feeling glum, act goofy. Eat some Fun Dip and stick out your tongue.

About MommyTheorist

Editor, writer, photographer, and new mom
This entry was posted in Bliss, motherhood, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Shake It

  1. Adam B says:

    My technique is one that was taught to me by one of my writing mentors. He reminded me that freelancing (and therefore life, at least for us) is a roller coaster. There are highs and lows and they both move at great speeds. We just have to remember that when we’re at a low point it just means we’re getting ready to climb back to a high.

    • Yes, Adam. Nothing is static and remembering that the pendulum must always swing back can be reassuring when you’re feeling stuck. Thanks for sharing the lesson. It’s also awesome to have life takeaways from writing teachers. A lot of teachers don’t realize they may be transmitting life lessons along with the Ps and Qs. With Facebook, it’s become easier to get back in touch with old teachers and let them know how they’ve influenced and inspired you.

  2. Hoppy says:

    First, I make sure I’m fed. Whenever I seem to be bitching about stuff and worry, step 1 is to make sure I’ve eaten. Preferably something healthy. Then, run run run. No, not away from your problems. But running or working out always does it for me. I always come back from a run with new ideas or a new attitude. Every time. Writing helps too. Keep it up. :)

  3. Any says:

    This is lovely. I always try to remember what pregnancy and parenting books say: this too shall pass. And you know, it always does!

    Great blog! I’m glad to have found it. :)

  4. Bonnie says:

    I sit and sulk and hope the mood passes. Or I try and play with my nephews which usually cheers me up. Sometimes I drink something sweet… the sugar makes me think I’m happy again :)

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