Saturday, June 23, 2012

Don't Make It Worse

Yesterday I had, to quote Judith Viorst, "a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day."  A big project that I had screwed up royally occasioned a tense conversation with someone I love, and I don't handle conflict very well - actually, I can't deal with conflict AT ALL - so when I have conflict, I cry, which never improves matters, for what is more pathetic, really, than a 57-year-old crybaby?  So at 4:30 I left work and slunk home to spend the evening wallowing in misery.

Here is the important thing: I wallowed in misery for the next several hours, but I didn't do anything to make things even worse.  I had already had a huge late lunch, but I could have driven to Dairy Castle and bought myself a cheeseburger AND a hot fudge sundae with their wonderful black raspberry ice cream, thereby undoing a week's worth of careful eating monitored by My Fitness Pal.  I didn't do that.  And there is a certain person I was tempted to call, thereby undoing two weeks' worth of resolve not to call this person.  I didn't call this person.  Instead I got in bed and read for the entire evening: Beverly Cleary's two memoirs,  A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet, reading that I need to do to revise and expand my paper on Cleary's Henry Huggins and Ramona books for the book being made out of the papers from the China conference. So in a small way, I actually made my life better.

But making things better is more than we should expect of ourselves when it's wallowing time. It's enough that we just don't make things worse. This morning I woke up and weighed myself and had a pleasant number to record to My Fitness Pal. I felt glad I hadn't made any phone calls to regret afterward.  I walked to the Greencastle farmers' market and had a blissful hour sitting in the shade chatting with the knitters and crocheters who congregate there. Now I'm going to drive to Bloomington with my friend Keith to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and have an early dinner.

Things are going to be okay. They always are, sooner or later. But because I didn't make things even worse on my bad day yesterday, things can be better sooner rather than later. And I'm grateful for that.


  1. Having an it to make worse, I'm very glad for this post. So often in trying to make things something is made worse. Here's to the sooner.

    1. Thanks! I'm a big fan of the "sooner" myself....

  2. We ought to explore Yamhill County when you come as it is more or less on the way to my home from the airport & you've talked about that book several times! Eliza & I read it quite a while ago. I wonder if they have something commemorating Ms. Cleary...

  3. Oh, I would love that! Yes!!