Only human: Why it’s OK to have an off day

Only Human

Today has been a rubbish day.  Why you ask? No reason. Perhaps walking into the bathroom and stepping on an upturned plug along the way, set my day on it’s course.  

Frustratingly enough, I can’t even claim pre-menstruality (if this isn’t a word already, it really should be).  I just noticed I was in a bad mood and allowed it to continue.  

Rather than finding my daughter’s incessant negotiation over EVERYTHING endearing, today it was frustrating and irritating.  Resulting in my attempting to lecture a 5-year-old on respect for the grown up who is saying no.  If I’m honest, as I heard myself delivering this monologue, even I felt, whilst eloquent, it probably wasn’t delivered to the best audience.

For no apparent reason, I was late getting the kids out of the door and off to school.  It was completely my fault, and I stressed and panicked and rushed them every step of the way.

I was not my usual cheery self with the other school run parents.  I was downright unsociable and used the only social interaction with a good friend at the school gate to launch into a barrage of complaint.  There is no doubt she instantly regretted the question ‘What are you up to today?’

By the time I had finished listening to a very late and overly chatty electrician who came to fix a light explain why life is SO horrible, I pretty much should have taken myself back to bed.  But oh no, dear friend.  I felt that was the optimal time to try to write something witty and clever for my website – BIG MISTAKE.

In short, by lunchtime, I felt near suicidal (yes I’m being dramatic and over exaggerating) and all over nothing.  I ended up running around the house like a crazed person trying to tick off a mammoth amount of boxes on my never-ending to-do list. A massive headache forced me to pass out on the sofa, with only the pure grace of God waking me up just in time to run to the school to collect the children.

I would love to say that the crankiness ended there, but I think you can predict the ending.

Why was I such a major depressive/negative force/grumpy person (please delete as appropriate) today?

In a word, pressure.

From the world’s perspective, I do not have one single good reason to moan about anything.  I am a massive believer in being positive and all the good things that brings.  I genuinely feel I have no right to be anything but happy and I put a lot of pressure on myself to be just that.  But some days I’m just not.  Sometimes I do sweat the small stuff.  Sometimes, I can’t focus on the positive.  Some days, no matter how much I resist, my brain says ‘nice try’.

For me,  this week has been stressful and I’ve felt tired and under a good amount of pressure. Sometimes, by my ignoring the problem, running around slapping smiley emojis and hearts on everything and trying to preach peace and love really fools nobody, least of all myself.

If this sounds like you, let me reassure you (as much as I am reassuring myself)…

You are not being ungrateful for your life and all that is in it, if you just stop for 5 seconds and allow yourself to wallow in the warming pool of self-pity.  You won’t be there long, you’re a rational person, you’ll get yourself out and dry yourself off pretty sharpish; but stop trying to mind wrestle your way out of a bad mood and just accept you’re human.

The moment today that I accepted I was human and allowed the pressure I was putting on myself to take its leave, was the moment I saw my day turnaround.  I dialled down the positivity to a realistic level, cleared my thoughts and apologised to my husband and kids.  

I guess you’re expecting me to state here that it turned out to be a good day in the end? Oh no dear friend, let’s be honest, it was rubbish.  I’m sure tomorrow will be better, but if it’s not, I’m content in the knowledge that we’re all only human and sh*t happens…sometimes.  

Time to be more kind to yourself? Read: Are you kind to yourself? The importance of kindness.

I hope this has provided some reassurance to you that even generally happy, positive people have an off day!  The important thing is to accept it for what it is and do what you need to get through it.  Off days are usually the exception and rarely the norm! 

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