Slumping and grumping
MapKid invented a new word this week: grumped.
To be grumped to be made grumpy, and boy oh boy howdy has he been grumped lately. The cat grumps him, as does our selection of breakfast cereal and his visit to the dentist. “That grumps me,” he announces, scowling, and proceeds to stomp around in an enormous huff. My son’s mood has lately been about as pleasant as a bear awoken moments after entering the REM phase of hibernation.
His mamma, meanwhile, isn’t so much grumped as slumped. I am, my friend, in the pits. I ooze gloominess and a vague sense of despondency. I exhibit unhealthy urges to spend my day curled up under my desk. I invent reasons to go to Brahms for strawberry milkshakes.
There’s no need to worry about my state of mind. I’m not depressed, I’m not suicidal, I’m not even sad, exactly. I’m merely suffering, I think, from a post-Summer-of-Hell hangover that will wear off in a day or so. Parenting of all sorts can be exhausting and challenging and soul-battering, and parenting my particular kiddo has been particularly rough lately.
I know three things about my slumps.
First, they pass. This is not terminal slumpitude, just a temporary blip in the mood radar.
Second, sometimes I just need to feel what I feel. I have a bad habit of denying my state of mind and insisting, chirpily, that everything’s great! Just great! No, really, it’s all awesome! And then retreating to my room to hide under the covers. I’m feeling a faint shade of indigo, and that’s OK. So I gave myself the day off. I also, er, gave myself yesterday off. (One advantage of working for oneself: ease in requesting personal days.) I haven’t been productive for three months, two more days aren’t going to matter much.
Finally, there’s nothing like a solid sense of accomplishment to eliminate a bad case of the slumps. I do, in fact, have a writing assignment, and it’s not going to write itself. So tomorrow I intend to gather my resolve, pack up my laptop, and go forth and write. Since I’m susceptible to my own bribes, I’m going to camp out at Central Market where I can (a) take advantage of the free wifi and (b) get myself a yummy lunch. And maybe gelato.
So count on hearing from a peppy Elizabeth in a day or so. And feel free to start using the word “grumped” yourself. It applies in numerous situations, not just those experienced by 7-year-olds. “Wow, the traffic was terrible–I got really grumped.” See what I mean?
What do you do to ward off the occasional slump? Tips are welcome in the comments!