And Another Lesson

So, I was writing this post all about Edward the Cat and how he loves me and the more I wrote, the more I started to feel like one of those Crazy Cat Lovers who anthropomorphize their pets and start writing dialogue from the cat's point of view and pretty soon, I thought maybe I should take a break or some medication or something.

So I went over to Poppy Buxom's website because she's funny and only slightly snarky and she had this whole list of 52 things that annoy her or anger her or otherwise make her feel something disagreeable. I read through it and I agreed with a few things and cringed at a few others. Then I thought, "You know, I just had a good lunch and I can't even think of five things for a list like that (assuming we disregard the universal things that disgust us ALL like pedophilia and animal abuse and stupid shoes...)"

But a little bit later, I got in my car to go get Ana from school and the Cowboy Junkies were playing on the radio and I thought, "Well, all right, that's one thing. I hate the Cowboy Junkies. I mean, it's been 20 years or more --get an affect."

Well, boy howdy, I was off and running and apparently, there are quite a few things that offend me or displease or annoy me.

1. People who don't turn on their lights when driving in the rain. I don't get what sort of of moral high ground they think they're taking --like they're conserving...um, light?

2. Static electricity. (My poor cats.)

3. People who use my towels. I have an acutely sensitive nose and I don't ever want to smell anyone else on my towels, ever. Ick.

4. The fact that no one in my house can push a chair back in, turn their clothes right-side-out before they throw them into the laundry, or seem to remember that whatever gross stuff they leave in the trash baskets, *I* have to empty.

Oh, y'all, I was getting all wound up... let's talk about heroin chic and people who do that lose/loose thing and High Fructose Corn Syrup...and...

Dudes. It was bad in that way that bad behavior is contagious. For me (and only me because Poppy did it without suddenly feeling like she needs anti-depressants), the more I thought about disagreeable things, the more disagreeable the world seemed.

And then, you know, I went to pick Jane up and realized that I was scowling the entire way... I almost missed spotting the two boys I see every day, who get off the bus and then stand on the curb talking for another little while because that's what best friends do.

I almost missed my Janie's sparkling little face as she bubbled over with tales from her day.

I almost missed that feeling I have of near-painful happiness when my little family is safe and warm inside our house, with a fire in the fireplace and supper on the stove.

When I was concentrating on the negative, even my foot hurt worse, and today, that is saying something. For me, and please don't go off on anyone who might not be quite so emotionally fragile, the Pollyanna outlook is more than just my perky little Southern self making itself known, bless my little heart. It's a defense mechanism --a coping mechanism --against the weight of the world. All those little disagreeable things that shroud our lives in distaste and displeasure and discord --those things are easily accessible. It's harder, but for me much more vital, to find the grace in the small things.

I'm sheepish but unapologetic --there is magic in the tail of one Edward the Cat that cannot be found in any Cowboy Junkie anywhere.

Comments

hollygee said…
Maybe this will allow all those shiny moments to pop into view:

http://www.schmutzie.com/2008/11/grace-in-small-things.html
Ream O Rama said…
Wow, that was a pretty toxic list. Granted we all gotta vent sometimes, but there are just some days that I am hanging on to a little positive by the skin of my teeth and really can't handle that. For me, it is usually late January and early February...

You go Pollyanna, I am pulling for you!
Karen ~ said…
You are so right ... this is why Oprah does her gratitude journal, not a b*t*h journal!! :-)

You are what you think ... I am trying to get my 14 year old to realize that.
MadMad said…
Well, it's like they say: smile, and soon enough you'll have something to smile about. Or something like that. But you're absolutely right.
Poppy Buxom said…
Don't blame me--it's Avitable's fault.
kim said…
If it makes you feel any better, this morning as I got ready for (gag!) work, Maggie's two little back paws were sticking out from under the blankets, crossed. And my heart soared...
Suna said…
One of my friends got one of those rubbery bracelet things with a message on it that encourages her to see the good in things and to not spread negativity. I can't remember exactly what it said, but think it's a darned good idea.
To paraphrase a quote from Abe Lincoln..."I think everybody is as happy as they make up their mind to be" or something like that, but you get the drift.
Ann in NJ said…
Negative thoughts definitely spawn more negative thoughts (it's like wire hangers in the closet...).

Nothing wrong with deliberatly maintaining a positive viewpoint. There's a difference between positive and naive.
Becca said…
totally agree with the positive v negative thing. the world all seems worse when i allow the neggies to rear their heads.

But i want to read that post about Edward.
Katie said…
Bad drivers....ack!
Chairs....grr.
High Fructose Corn SYRUP!!!

I do however happen to like the Cowboy Junkies...I can't help it.

:)
Kathy said…
You know, as someone who has recently been "put off" by the overall rudeness of the blogosphere (I could give examples...but I won't), you are not only my good friend, you are a breath of fresh air.

On February 7th, I'm going to a scrapbooking class and making a mini album called "7 Thing I Love" - one of them is gonna be you.
Ei said…
Who would have thought we'd part ways on Cowboy Junkies. Hum.

Barb, I love you for your enthusiasm and awe for life. Dude. Don't apologize for what makes you amazing!
LaDonna said…
I admire someone who can create a list like that without sending themselves into an anxiety attach or a fit of anger. I couldn't do it. Yes, isn't it amazing how so much focus on negativity can cause us to miss life's little pleasures?

I find the thought of Edward's tail far more appealing than that list! :)
Mokihana said…
Maybe we could have 10 minutes a week for snarky thoughts? Really, just a few?

Like when I'm trying to back into a parking space, blinker on, back-up lights on, and the person behind me won't back up or go around me?

Oh please... just 10 minutes?

I drive with my headlights on all the time. I understand that it's a law in Canada. Statistics show fewer accidents that way.