Monday, November 6, 2017

Canceling the Negativity

Ugh. I had a bad e-mail morning.

I got an ugly blog comment. Not personally nasty, just rude. Anonymous, of course, because people are like that and as awesome as the internet it is, it will also be more than happy to kick you while you're down. My policy for blog comments is that anything that pisses me off must be FAKE NEWS, which works just fine since I'm not the leader of the free world.

Honestly, I don't care if people out in the world who obviously aren't my friends and who clearly don't care about my feelings agree or disagree with my parenting or decorating decisions. No one else gets to live in my house or raise my kids. I definitely wouldn't make the same choices as a lot of people whom I follow on social media or blogs. I just expect that we aren't dicks about it.

Trust me, it's possible to very politely disagree with someone or make a polite suggestion in the form of constructive criticism. It's also possible to just not make a comment at all. And I know that negativity is a reflection of that person's life, but it's awfully easy to spread ugliness, I guess.

Anyway, I deleted the comment, but it nags, you know? And maybe I'm not supposed to say that or address it on the blog? Because then I'm admitting that it worked and the commenter got what they wanted?

But I'm just being honest. It hurt my feelings and it made me not want to blog.

Also I had a frustrating e-mail from a student in my inbox.

And a zillion other e-mails to sort through (60 to be exact).

And I think the reason e-mail is bothering me is because I'm tired. Coco isn't sleeping well, which means no one is sleeping well. Just looking at her, the way she's holding her little mouth, the slightly weird set of her jaw, like she's trying to hold so still and swallow just right to make it hurt as little as possible--you can just see that her mouth still hurts so bad.

So today I'm feeling tired, but I woke up at 6:15am because my body thought it was 7:15am and for the first time in my life, instead of relishing in the extra hour and snuggling back down in the sheets to doze off for another hour, I actually got up and did yoga before work.

So I guess the score is 2 | 1 for bad vs. good things so far this morning. Sick Coco, bad e-mail, good yoga.

My goal for today is to cancel out the negativity! I obviously can't heal Coco instantly, but Zuzu and I are going to pick up a treat for her on our way home today.

I'm going to try to have a very productive afternoon in my office. I'm going to eat lunch with friends rather than by myself at my desk. I do need to do some grading, but I also get to start a new novel for my Victorian Crime and Detective Fiction class (The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green). I'll tackle the e-mail so I can cross that off my list. And I'm going to put some positive blog and IG comments out in the world to balance the negative.

And I'm asking for positive suggestions--any no-fail solutions for shaking off a rough start to a day? Anything you do to turn it around when you're feeling bad? Maybe I need to make plans for a bubble bath tonight...

Update: I'm at 2 | 2 now. I got a lovely e-mail from a blog reader I've never met, who shared with me that she recently got a book of matches from a local flower shop in Berlin (!) and the name made her think of my Eliza. All the heart emojis, right?


  1. -Go buy a coffee for yourself and the person behind you.
    -Get some flowers (orange! yellow!) and put them in a mason jar in your kitchen.
    -call your mom
    -buy dog food to keep in your car for the next time you see a homeless person with a dog
    -book a trip to England ;)

    Some of those should do the trick ;)

  2. Sorry your day got off to a rough start! I really enjoy reading your blog. I teach at a university and can definitely identify with your discussion of the highs and lows of teaching. One thing I've found helpful is putting thank you notes, kind e-mails from colleagues, former students, etc. up on a bulletin board in my office. It reminds me of the positives of my job and the wonderful people in my life. I hope the rest of your day gets brighter!

  3. Hi - I am really hoping this doesn't post to the public account. It will show as my husband, but I am posting it. I have been reading your blog for years. I started reading it when I was going through infertility. Your blogs have given me hope, made me cry, challenged my parenting and provided comfort. Thanks for giving so much to all of us - especially the ones who are anonymous! Hope your day gets better - Amy from FL

  4. I hope your day continues to improve 😘

  5. So sorry about the negative commenter; it sounds like you made some good decisions for the day to shake it off, including that treat for poor Coco, knocking off those emails, and having a productive day at work. You took control of issues you can control and let go of that one issue that did not ruin your day. Kathy

  6. My ability to shake off negativity has gotten weak over the years. I hate to give another person (especially a stranger) so much control by feeding into it, but sometimes it just wears on you and you succumb. That was at least the truth for me today. I've been having a hard time at work and when I woke up today my heart was filled with dread at going in, my head ached at the thought, and my body said we are too tired to do this. I didn't go. I lay in bed and watched bad tv until I felt bad enough about not going that I got up and made myself eat. Before this current season of job hate, I'd have said cue up your favorite music and go for a walk. Now? I got nothing. Not even crawl back under the covers because that did nothing but make me feel guilty.

  7. I'm sorry about your negative blog comment. I've also had an icky day, mostly because of the shooting and the reactions of state "leaders" here. My best ways to cheer up are to bake something (I know, bad stress eating) or to crank up some music and dance like a fool in my kitchen.

  8. My wife calls me Angry Bear, so I have the ability to let 1 little thing ruin a good chunk of my day, shit my life. But this I do know from the outside -- people that say mean shit on the internet are 99% of the time people we would pity if we saw them in real life. They seem all powerful, but they're really just The Wizard of Oz hiding behind a mask.

    Everyone on the internet has been attacked and it's 99% of the time by anonymous people even if they have "names" it's still strangers being dicks.

    Sometimes I play a game with myself and I realize if this wasn't me, I'd react better to this situation. Like I'm doing now with advice to you, knowing full well how pissed I get when that shit happens to me on the internet. Also since I have kids, I think what if this happened to them? What would I tell them? I'd tell them -- FUCK THAT GUY OR GIRL. And also imagine them typing... seeing that 14 year old stupid teenager or the bitter 45 year old unmarried woman or the 68 year old man who wishes he could write a blog as good as you.... and you start to feel pity for their sad lives. So sad, they read a random blog (I mean what else can it be?) and decided to shit on something that's just about paining a fireplace (my guess based on recent posts). That's just sad for them.

    This blog helped me through my darkest time.

  9. Sorry for the rough start to the day but win-win with the yoga! Exercise is the best cure for a shitty day. That and a excellent glass (or two) of wine. Hope your week improves!

  10. People can be such jerks! Didn't their mommas ever tell them that if they don't have anything nice to say.....don't say anything at all! Honestly, best thing to do to shake off a bad day is take care of yourself. Or retail therapy--that helps me! Hang in there...XO, long time reader...

  11. Hurtful and/ or spiteful comments made anonymously are most definitely unkind and verging on cruel. There’s an insidious wave of other mums seemingly spending a lot of time being just plain nasty to mums who “dare” to share some aspects of their parenting highs and lows. Ignore them!

  12. Well, here are couple of positive bits for you day...coming from a stranger on the internets that really enjoys your blog. One, I wish I had a fireplace to whitewash now because that turned out so beautiful. Never would have crossed my mind to do that. Two, I recently read a book by Kate Morton entitled "The Forgotten Garden". The heroine's name? Eliza. And over and over again while reading I thought of your girl. Bonus, it was a great read. <3

  13. I'm sorry someone was a jerk. I believe they exist so we can keep ourselves in check. Rather than give them power by letting them ruin my day I try to take note of what it was that upset me so much and try very hard to never do that to someone else or act in that same way.

    And meditation helps. I have found the simple act of deep breathing while counting down from 100 helps me let things go. Most times I'm ready way before I get to 0 but there are days I need every single number in that countdown.

  14. I’m sorry about the negative blog comment you received. It says more about him/her than you, which you already know but doesn’t erase the sting of meanness. I’m offended on your behalf! Hope it doesn’t discourage you because this is one of my favorite blogs (I’ve been thinking about it since you posted but haven’t had a chance to comment until now). Chin up, don’t let those f***ers get you down! ;)

  15. I don't blog, so I don't have a fancy account, but I wanted to leave a message saying how much I enjoy reading your blog. I'm infertile and going through IVF (no luck so far, unfortunately) and your posts are things I look forward to reading when I am feeling low.