Sunday, August 07, 2016

feeling unaccountably cranky

This happens to me some times. Even as I realize I don't really have a reason to be - I'm not having any health issues (I'm STILL grateful to be over the stomach mess, even as I am cranky right now), things are basically okay, I'm ahead on some of the work I need to do.

But I still feel kind of cranky. Part of it is that it's just so hot out, and I've kind of lost my appetite to the point where I know I need to eat something but I cannot think of one single thing I could prepare that appeals to me (And I can't do carry out because of the sodium content, and also Sunday afternoon is just not a good time to go out to restaurants here in town because everyone else does). I can't QUITE justify going to the Braum's and just getting a milkshake (I did that for a few meals at the height of my stomach stuff, when I couldn't deal with solid food)

Part of it is that driving through downtown last afternoon after running an errand, I saw yet another empty storefront. We're pretty much back now to how it was when I moved down here, where there's little of appeal downtown (We DO still have the fancy kitchen stuff store, and maybe I need to go there and spend some token amount to help support them, but again: I'm not in the market for fancy kitchen stuff at the moment). I guess it really was a brief, shining moment when I said, "Wow, maybe soon I won't even need to think of doing things like going to McKinney because we'll have enough fun shopping here." (I blame the oil downturn, in part, for this. No one has any money. I really DON'T, either, and I probably need to be socking more away against some future problem but I do also need to get out occasionally and spend $15 or $20 on something that's pure fun)

Part of it is, as much as I hate to admit it, I don't do well with isolation for long stretches. I didn't see anyone on Friday, didn't see anyone other than the checkout person at the wal-mart yesterday. Maybe I'm not really an introvert? Because being alone too long makes me feel sad and tends to make me brood on whatever I've been worrying about.

Also I admit just the nasty, snarky tone of some people gets me down. I'm so over that adolescent attitude that says you can't just be happy for someone or enthusiastic about something because being so is somehow "uncool." I try to find things that make me happy or enthusiastic to talk about; I am more likely to post cute pictures of cats or a genuinely funny video that someone made than to try to puncture someone else's joy. But there are enough people out there running around with sharp pins looking for the joyful balloons of others.

There was a series of Tweets (retweeted by someone I follow) on Twitter about not being a perfectionist, not needing to feel like you have to do something ENORMOUS to have a good effect on the world. This was one of them:

I think a lot of people do a lot of good just by being good friends and citizens, and too often no one pats you on the back for that.

And as much as that is true and I recognize that sometimes saying that kind word to someone, sometimes doing that little decent thing, is the best thing you can do. But my argument was: Yes, no one pats you on the back for that BECAUSE THAT IS HOW PEOPLE ARE SUPPOSED TO BEHAVE. And I realized something: I get down on myself a lot because while I can do good, it's very SMALL good. And at the same time, I see people getting ahead, being lionized, getting attention, whatever, for being outrageous or rude or even outright unpleasant. And that feels fundamentally unfair.

I don't know. I'm not saying it very well. I guess it's that I get frustrated with myself for wishing I did see some recognition for the good things I do because I know I'm doing those things because I'm supposed to do them, but when I see someone who's just a big mess of rudeness seemingly achieving far more success and getting more attention than any of us little rule-followers does, it's frustrating. Or maybe I need to redefine "success" to be "not getting any attention ever, only doing good with no hope of being thanked." I don't know. It does get kind of lonely sometimes though if you feel like you're working in a vacuum.

And yes, there's that dark petty little part of my soul that DOES want to be thanked or recognized or noticed or something for just being a decent person in a world that all too often seems bent on rudeness and selfishness. So it leads to some cognitive dissonance: even as I would like to see some thanks for the efforts I go to, I also recognize I should NOT want that because I'm only doing as I ought.....and I also get frustrated because I feel like there are others out there actively working to UNDO the good people do....

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