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Getting up on the grumpy side of the bed

It was a beautiful, almost-autumn morning, but did you, as I apparently did, happen to get up on the wrong side of the bed• Before you think I’ve finally lost it, I will explain that rather strange question. My loving mother always smiled as she asked me that when I was unusually grumpy upon arising, and of course, I just went on my grumpy way, not even answering her, thus setting the pattern for perhaps a whole day.

If my disposition had turned sour seemingly overnight, it was certainly never because I forgot which side of the bed to get out of; those moods came over me when things didn’t seem to be going the way I had planned. You probably recall what is said about “the best laid plans of mice and men” — well, sometimes it’s true’

Mom has been gone for many years, and I have been an adult for a very long time, but every once in a while one of those “wrong side of the bed” days still happen. Unfortunately that particular Sunday morning turned out to be one of them. If you have never experienced one, I’ll tell you what it’s like: things are going along fine when, all of a sudden, it hits you and plans are changed. No great catastrophe, no big deal, just a simple plan thwarted at the last minute. And as you know, I have a problem with changes of any sort.

It was the day my very first great-grandson Jordan was to celebrate his fifth birthday in grand style and we were to join in the festivities, but for some reason fate (or whatever) stepped in and down the drain went my well-laid plans. Such a little thing, really, but suddenly I was very grumpy. If you don’t believe me, just ask my long-suffering husband.

As Jordan was having fun at his birthday party, I should have simply blamed our stay-at-home day on circumstances that couldn’t have been avoided and gone about my daily routine. I could have salvaged the day by using those precious never-to-be-recovered hours making someone happy — someone such as my husband who bravely and uncomplainingly bore the brunt of my grumpy silence.

Instead of nursing my feelings, I could have used those fleeting hours to encourage someone who perhaps needed a little boost, I could have called my cousin to see how her latest round of medical tests turned out. Maybe I could have thanked someone for a special act of kindness or even for an encouraging word at just the right time. I could have baked a cake or read a good book or wrote a column soon due, making a girl at the Daily Courier happy.

I was told later that evening that Jordan had a great time and wasn’t that the exact purpose of the day, whether I was there or not! Now there, I feel much better, not the least bit grumpy. It could be because I made some people happy in spite of myself: my husband who was relieved to see me smiling again; Jordan, of course, because he received his gift from us special delivery (his grandma), and last but not least and in a roundabout way, my friend at the Daily Courier who waits patiently for these columns each month.

This one I found quite unexpectedly, reminding me that those ideas are always lurking around the corner; I just have to watch for them.


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