This is my boom-stick.

Is this a pigeon or a mourning dove? I honestly do not know. I consider myself a wilderness-and-nature-savvy young woman in that I can survive a week in the wilderness on my own, but apparently I don't know birds very well. This one frequents my balcony. I think I'll call him (yes, of course it's a him! I'm a nature girl, remember?) Steve.

Occasionally, I find that I have accidentally allowed myself to become surrounded by people who do not build me up. You know the type - I don't think they can help it, but being around certain personality types, generally overly-negative, critical people is very draining and brings me down. I prefer to surround myself with positive people, people who allow me to laugh at my mistakes (and can laugh at their own), and people who can appreciate a randomly-placed Army of Darkness reference (that last one is not mandatory, but a big plus).

But what to do when you find yourself unable to escape the presence of someone or someones who are terrible for your mood and self-esteem? It is difficult and not always possible to remove yourself from family members and co-workers who adversely effect your internal (and occasional external) sense of joy. Thus, I have decided that I need to come up with a list of things to try when I find myself feeling like a useless screw-up.

1) First, one must immediately find a way to take maximum advantage of the time one is away from these people. Otherwise the negativity will build on itself like Tetris blocks when you accidentally leave a great big hole somewhere, and then the music will get really fast and you'll get really stressed out and you won't get your rocketship or your running ostriches. And that will be a drag.

2) Keep a list of people who are good for you and interact with them as soon as possible. This evening, I called The Phoenix Friend. The Phoenix Friend is always good for a laugh. Unfortunately, she lives in Phoenix and I live in Wisconsin. This is a problem. Enter Alexander Graham Bell and his remarkable telephone invention! Yesterday The Phoenix Friend and I had a somewhat exasperating-yet-hilarious discussion about who the other would be if we were characters in Twilight. I say she would be Rosalie, and she says I would be Alice. At least neither of us is Bella. I have a feeling tonight will be Harry Potter. She likes to insist that I am Hermione and that she is Narcissa Malfoy. I may tell her I think she is Tonks, just to see what happens.

3) If you have a journal, go back through what you've written to find the stuff that proves how awesome you are. It's there, trust me! Remember that dream you had about the cooking show starring Barack Obama and Derek Jeter? That was awesome.

4) Cook something while listening to whatever kind of music makes you dance. Currently for me, shamefully, this includes Beggin by Madcon and that Hot and Cold song by Katy Perry. Don't judge me. Seriously though - cooking and dancing? It's great. Just make sure you've rinsed off the spoon before you start drumming with it, or you'll get mushroom alfredo sauce all over the kitchen.

5) Take some online quizzes. You will learn so much about yourself! Today I learned that my inner pop princess is Kelly Clarkson, my inner celebrity is Tina Fey, if I were a character in Lord of the Rings I would be Eowyn, if I were a fantasy/sci-fi character I would be someone called Delenn (who?), I have a North Central accent, I'd be a Temaki Hand Roll if I were a sushi roll, if I were a classic Nintendo game I would be The Legend of Zelda (yes, I do enjoy collecting triangles!), I'd be Lord of the Rings if I were a literature classic, if I were a Star Wars character I'd be Lando (what?! "Lando System?"), and if I were a superhero I'd be Superman or Robin. I had no idea I had so many personalities.

6) Break bread (or accidentally drop your caterpillar roll in your soy sauce and splatter the table) with friends. Eating brings people together in a very specific way I've never really been able to define. It is different than playing a game or talking on the phone. Different and better. Sometimes, depending on how busy your friends are, this might take some time to accomplish. It will be worth it.

7) Take a bubble bath. If you do not have a bathtub, take a shower with some fancy-smelling soap. You can find it cheap at Target.

8) Have a solo dance party. Maybe it's just me, but dance parties of any kind (cooking, solo, brushing-your-teeth...) make everything better.

9) Start a conversation with a fun-looking stranger at the library/pharmacy/toll booth/next place you go. I don't usually come away from this with new friends, but I find talking to strangers about random stuff (usually stuff like, "Oho - The Killing Joke is nuts. You should get it.") is fun.

10) Give an animal a people name. Like Steve. Animals are much funnier when they have people names.

11) Make a list of things that make you happy. My lists usually end with puppies.

Anybody else have things to do when The Man gets you down?


Tricia said...

Whose ass do I need to kick in the family for making you feel down? I'll do it... I'm in an ass-kicking mood!

delightfully mediocre said...

Noooo, I was merely using that as an example of people from whom it would be difficult to escape. :) Maybe I should have said conjoined twin instead. ;)