Have you ever had the misfortune of waking up in the morning, knowing that the day is going to suck? Understanding that the sun who succesfully chased away the chill of the night couldn’t manage the same feat in your soul. Within minutes of opening your eyes you have a premonition that you might be killing someone, or at least have a story to tell by the time the moon will show its face again.
It doesn’t even take a specific incident to jolt the dark feelings stirring in your heart. Or a serious mental condition like depression, bipolarity or too much oestrogen. It’s just an average Joe waking up, wishing that he could pull the duvet over his head and go back to sleep until the next morning, like a scene from Groundhog Day.
In reality parents can’t afford days like these. We can’t hang around in bed because underaged kids can’t drive themselves to school. So we try the normal remedies of making shitty days less um… well shitty. We try exercise, caffeine, even a hot little smooch from the wife. But if nothing works, the only thing left would be to act your way through the morning, in order to prevent permanent damage to your children and marriage.
With the kids at school a few minutes later, driving to work, one contemplates all the brilliant assholes you have to share the next eight hours with. Never mind the countless issues piling up on your desk. Normal people battle keeping all the balls in the air when they feel up for it, but it takes all kinds of crazy to consider managing that whilst your brain vacated his normal happy place and dropped in on the Dark side momentarily. There is always the risk of someone having their face ripped off.
What makes my situation even more bizarre, is the fact that I share the office with a friend. Who became a colleague. A very good friend of many, many years. He is the type of friend that has seen me at my best. And at my worst. And basically everything in between. He knows the exact location of all my let-rip buttons. And being the sadist that he is, the best moments of his life, is seeing those buttons go off.
I had a serious problem.
A couple of hours into my day, something dawned on me. (By this time the death count was still low) The fact that I was feeling miserable was my own issue. No one likes to see an adult moping around. No one likes to see self-pity and negativity on display. They actually prefer to ignore it. Like bad news.
So I did what any self-respecting man would do, I started drinking. No, I am kidding. I kicked his ass. Still kidding, because consuming alcohol and cage fighting during office hours are frowned upon; as we don’t work in a brothel.
I did the next best thing. I made a choice. I opened my dark chamber and switch a frigging light on.
People like to talk about the ability of the human spirit to succeed in some of the most difficult situations faced by mere mortals, or the importance of a positive state of mind when wanting to scale Everest or finish a plate of Sashimi. BUT ironically, the power of positive thinking is also evident in the most arbitrary daily situations we deal with. Like waking up in a foul mood. The secret is that every reaction one has in life end up being a choice.
Embracing the dark side is a choice, not an irrevocable result of a situation you find yourself in. Make the choice. I decided to take my middle finger and flip the biggest bird imaginable to the bad day I was having. I shoved it on its ass and stormed passed it.
And it worked brilliantly. I had a great day. My happy grenades was flying through the air, exploding with shrapnel of joy and laughter, injuring everyone in close proximity. And having a good day is something other people will notice, for it is infectious.
The next time you wake up on and you would love to throw your alarm clock through the window, looking desperately for a cat to kick, remember you can choose not to have the clouds of dread hovering in your soul. Just flip a huge mental bird to the bad day, which you then, most probably, won’t end up having.
And if that doesn’t work, at least you dropped an f-bomb on something other than your boss.