It is raining, again, and cold. I have been sick with a lingering spring form of the creeping crud for the past two weeks. I am grumpy at best, bitchy if I am honest about it. There is a fire in the wood stove to take the chill off and I have spent the afternoon — after a very nice Mother’s Day Brunch created by my oldest daughter and her husband at my youngest daughter’s home — lying on the couch, covered in my favorite afghan, napping. This morning my youngest’s wonderful, kind-heartedboyfriend brought me cold medicine in an attempt to make me feel better, and minutes ago my husband handed me a mug filled with a steaming toddy to try to make me stop coughing. (I have a feeling the toddy is less about making me feel better than the fact that my constant hacking is starting to aggravate the crap out of him. But, I’ll take it).
I should be taking this day to read, research, and work on my manuscript since the rain has me penned inside. Instead I have been staring out the window between naps, watching and listening to the rain pelt the windows, wondering when it is ok to give up and go to bed until tomorrow. I am wallowing in self-pity about just about anything I can think up, especially the fact that tomorrow is Monday and I will have to go to work and I have managed to pretty much waste an entire day away from my outside office job doing much-of-nothing. I am whining. I am not being verbal, but I have done nothing but moan and complain inside my head for the entire afternoon. I generally am a pretty up-beat positive person so what the hell is wrong with me? I am thinking about all this when my phone buzzes from its perch on the windowsill beside where I am lounging. I glance at the caller id and see that my elderly next-door neighbor is calling.
“Happy Mother’s Day Miss Virginia.”
“Hi Sweet Pea. Happy Mother’s Day to you too. How are you feeling on this dreary day?”
“Kind of like the weather.” I tell her. “But don’t mind me, I’m just whiny and unmotivated. I can’t seem to get out of my own way today.”
“Me too,” she chuckles, “Go with it. The more you whine the better. Don’t you know that is what will cure what ails you? We are all entitled to a day like this every so often. That is the purpose dreary days serve. Get it out of your system today. Rest. Recharge. Then start over tomorrow.”
We chat for a few more minutes about neighborly things and life in general. As we say our goodbyes she tells me to go write–anything–even a grocery list and I will feel better. After we say goodbye, I realize that she has managed to pull me out of my grumpiness a bit just by calling. I think about what she said, almost giving me permission to feel the way I do, but with a gentle reminder that I need to get back to work soon. I realize I have imparted the same kind of pep talk to my children every so often when life gets them down. Give yourself time to feel badly and then get on with it. This too shall pass. Maybe we all need someone to tell us it is ok to feel this way sometimes.
So, I have decided to embrace the rest of this wet, miserable day. The rain is still thrumming against the window, but the light from the fire is glowing warmly, the dogs are lazing on the floor by my feet, my husband has put some light jazz on the stereo, and the toddy has kicked in enough that I am not coughing until my eyes water. What have I got to whine about? I’ve got it pretty damn good.