Thursday, September 12, 2013

Grumpy Pants: When You'd Like to be a Better Person

Yesterday afternoon was SO hot here in our corner of the world, but I spent it the nicest way I possibly could: in a cool hair salon, letting someone else making me pretty (a task I find exhausting) and sipping a granita. Ahh...

I know I've raved about my salon before, but seriously, I love it there. They play all this relaxing, slightly folksy music and while my hair is being rinsed, I look up at tall, pressed tin ceilings. Then my angel of a hair lady puts this minty stuff in my hair that cools my scalp while she massages. Best. Feeling. Ever.

This is one of my happy places. Isn't it perfect?

During my ugliest moments (hair in foils), I read The In Between, where, despite my fancy look, Goins took me fantastic places like Seville and Paris. It was purely delightful and unexpected. 

So you'd think coming away from all this bliss, I'd be rested, rejuvenated and ready to love on my family. Ah, no. I was grumpy. 

When I went to pick up my little goobers, I had to traipse all over campus in the heat because they were at work with their dad and I wasn't sure where they were. It was frustrating, but how could all that goodness be undone in one frustrating situation? I don't know and doubt it's that simple either. I've been running on full steam for three weeks and fatigue builds up. I guess. It's a truth I rebel against often, wishing for a more bounce-backy self. 

When we all arrived home, I said lots of edgy things to everyone, no mater how nice I tried to make my tone. I was surprised. I'd been looking forward to an evening at home with my whole family present, so why the bad mood? Then we sat down at dinner and I said, "This is so nice, but I am SO grumpy!" as I slumped over, arms stretched out on the table. What relief. My daughter laughed, Chandler smiled and the tenseness left my husbands' face. My daughter asked me why and I said, "I don't even know!" and we laughed together. She said, "Sorry for laughing at you when you're grumpy." 

I told her it was okay. "It's good to be able to laugh at yourself." Brian offered me a way out (go get a burrito and do the errand you were mad you didn't get done this afternoon) and I took it. But not until I chatted a little longer with my adorable family. Suddenly I wanted to be with them, these wonderful people who love me when I'm a grump. Who are patient enough to wait for me to bounce back. Who help me do it. 

I got hugs before I left because I'd be gone until after bedtime. I teased the kids, "And I can't sleep without hugs from you!" 

If you're reading this with envy, I totally understand. My kids might tell you this is a rare sighting of the best version of their mommy. This is the fun, fresh person I long to be all the time, but can't seem to unearth. What I learned at dinner was, sometimes all she needs to come out is deciding the irritable version of me is alright - even lovable to people who don't condition their love. 

So happy coaxing, people. Don't berate yourself for not being happy when you have every reason to be. Laugh at your worst self, and maybe your best will steal the show. 

Love you!

P.S. If you buy this book via the link, I get a small commission.


  1. Oh my gosh, I needed to hear this today. I am having exactly one of those days, but have yet to figure out what it's going to take to get my grumpy pants off.

  2. This is refreshing, Kendra, and it helps me look out a different window at my all-too-frequently grumpy self. I so love the "Grumpy Pants" moniker! I choose to remember it, because I can imagine addressing myself in this way - resulting in some inner laughter. The way you simply put your mood out on the table (literally) is inspiring.

    The past year as my dad's primary caregiver has yielded a Grump in me I had not fathomed could exist to the intense extent it has. Thank you for sharing a pragmatic strategy I can try on immediately.

    Big Hugs of gratitude . . .

    1. I think it's the care-taking of another human that wears on our souls in a unique way. Maybe because we care SO much and are invested deeply, making the menial tasks profound, but simultaneously exhausting. So glad to help you in your important work. :)

  3. Great post! I found it so much harder to get out of my grumpy pants now that I have a child. Before-kid I used to take my time, make a chai tea and curl up with a blanket which would always work on one of this "what the hell is going on?" days ... but it's not easy now. Being honest and direct definitely helps and it also reassures my daughter that everything is fine, just mummy is a bit grumpy.

    1. Yes, me too. I feel relieved once I know that damage isn't being done by my mood. If my children's minds are writing the story without the, "I must be awful cuz mommy's so unhappy," then I can accept the mood more easily!