Smile, smile, smile…

My dear friend Moot Mommy’s husband, Moot Daddy, was recently laid off. This after a duly diligent (and possibly psychic) Moot Daddy approached his CEO and asked, point-blank, “Am I okay here?”, only to be emphatically assured, “OF COURSE!!!”—but a mere two weeks later? Down came the axe. For Moot Mommy and Daddy it’s a familiar story—many people they know experience similar situations. Suddenly grocery lists grow money-fangs and roar and gnash impolitely, the land line is ditched, COBRA comes into play and the spouses do their best not to turn on each other in moments of extreme WTF. Moot Mommy takes it into the bathroom when she must depressurize the tear ducts. Moot Daddy brings on a few hard laps around the block when he must vent his WTF. They both try very hard to think of the sacking as a blessing—for instance, Moot Mommy is convinced Moot Daddy was never appreciated properly by his Management and since the sacking he’s already had several promising job interviews and been thrown some nicely paying freelance gigs. Well, all righty! Moot Daddy himself admits he wouldn’t mind a change of working venue and a pay raise. Super-duper! They are very positive, Moot Mommy and Daddy, considering they’ve lost half their income and have a toddler entering the need-my-own-swingset phase. I learn from watching them, the way they listen to each other without scorn or exasperation, even when the other is saying something completely ridiculous and irrational, like, “Maybe we should move to Vietnam,” or, “I don’t need health insurance–you and the baby can have the health insurance,” or, “I guess we’ll be eating peanut butter for the rest of our lives.” Following is a little list of Whistle While You Work-ish items Moot Mommy finds extremely helpful in this time of crisis. She passed the list on to me and I’m now going to share it with you:

1. When you wake up, no matter how you feel, smile. Seriously—you have to try it to comprehend the impact smiling when you wake up can have on your entire, entirely unpredictable day.

2. Brush your teeth (hair, not so much—but a clean mouth coaxes the psyche up from that horrid dark lake called The Blues).

3. Shout the word JOY at traffic instead of F***** or F***head or F****** A****** M***** F*****.

4. Remind yourself that you forgive everyone who ever did anything nasty to you. You don’t ever have to condone their behavior, or tell them in person that you forgive them, but do tell yourself, “I forgive everyone. I forgive everyone. I forgive everyone.” (Another trick on old-man psyche, makes him want to put on a dress and flirt shamelessly with his reflection.)

5. Play music. Often. Some personal favs are:

Madonna’s “Ray Of Light”
U2’s “Beautiful Day”
Anything by Jess’ca Hoop—music so weird your psyche doesn’t care what’s happened in the real world, it just wants to listen and pretend to be on LSD.
Jill Scott “Livin’ My Life Like It’s Golden, Golden, Golden…”
Indigo Girls “Closer To Fine”
Fred Neal’s dolphin song (good luck finding it, but if you can…)
Dixie Chicks (so many)
Beethoven’s 9th
Dvorak’s 9th

6. Look at your child(ren). No, I mean: LOOK! Those developing limbs, deft fingers, coconut-white teeth, beautiful, elastic skin. Your gift(s).

7. Flip through your wedding album.

8. Talk to family or friends, or phone, or email, or blather briefly on Facebook—just keep in touch so you don’t feel alooooooooone.

9. Pamper yourself inexpensively (cookies and milk, glass of wine, bath and a book, a new T shirt from Target, a few “minutes” at People

10. Decrease the caffeine in your morning half-caf coffee (for now).

11. Don’t stop working out.

12. Say this: We have enough money.

13. And this: All is well.

14. Remember: This, too, shall pass.

15. Remember: This, too, is wicked exciting!!! Ha ha!!! (more maniacal laughter as is also good emotional outlet…)

16. Remember: Breathe.

17. Remember: Your therapist has good ideas and has seen plenty of people-in-crisis. Make an appointment to check in.

18. Remember: Tell your husband you love him.

19. Remember: Say, “Thank you.”

And finally, number 20: Remember to remember (somehow).

Thanks, Moot Mommy! Good luck to you, Moot Daddy and Hamlet Jr, my favorite little family. I know everything is going to be just fine (don’t throw that frying pan at my head, Moot Mommy—metaphorically or otherwise: all is well, all is well, all is well).

Bigggg Smile!

10 Responses to “Smile, smile, smile…”

  1. Sandy, Mother of 4 says:

    Thank you, thank you, wise young woman. We of all ages and circumstances can benefit from your suggestions.

    Let’s all wake up and be in the moment! Joy!

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