Turning a frown upside down

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One thing most people would probably say about me is that I’m an eternal optimist. I’m always flipping crap into rainbows. I don’t quite know why – I have just always had a ‘life’s too short’ ‘glass half full’ practical, get-out-of-your-own-way mentality.

I understand this can be super frustrating for some of my friends. In fact one couple cut me out of their lives completely for it. They wanted to live in a state of wallow and I was always throwing up a ‘what if….’ or ‘how about…’ or ‘it’s not that bad…’. One day I had a brainwave. After years of giving unsolicited ideas about how they could stop taking turns being miserable, I came up with the ultimate way out of their belly-button gazing funk: VOLUNTEERING! Surely things couldn’t seem as bad if you spent some quality time doing things for others? Especially for a worthy cause. Can I get a ‘hell-yeah’?

(I know you’re thinking at this point – why not just butt-out and mind my own business but I just see my positivity as being friendly! no?)

I suggested it and that was the final straw. They just didn’t want any more ideas. I had to accept that it actually WAS none of my business. I also had to accept we’d outgrown our friendship. We were both sucking the energy out of each other. They called it. ‘we can no longer continue with this friendship’ the email read.

Some people flip houses. Some flip eggs. Some do back-flips. I flip negativity.

Some days my sunny-side-up-ness gets tested. Yes it does. This week there have been 3 such occasions…

Monday: Our chocolate Lab, Chili (yes one ‘l’ after his namesake the Red Hot Chili Peppers!) spent all night trying to cough up something. It appeared a bone was stuck. $487 and a night at the vet including injections, x-rays and enemas (eww baby) we discover a bone shard has torn his oesophagus which is now inflamed and he requires anti biotics, anti inflammatories and – get this – POACHED CHICKEN AND RICE – for a week. Does anyone know how to spell MOTHER$#%^$#?

Sunnyside UP version: Miss 10 wants to be a vet so she is absolutely delighted to work with the vet to determine the issue and administer the drugs plus hand feed the hand cooked food to the dog (supervised, yes)

Thursday: I’m melting. Wicked witch of the west style. (not the east because the wicked witch of the east was a goody goody and that’s boring). We have a super retro 70′s house with a flat roof, slate floors, concrete slab and incredibly bad eco-friendliness. When it’s hot outside it’s HOT inside. When it’s cold out, you get the drift. There is no way to air-con the place because every external wall is a floor to ceiling window. You can’t put ducting into a concrete slab or a flat roof. Believe me I’ve had 6 different experts here over the past 8 years. I work from home. I hate the heat.

How do I flip this?

Sunnyside UP version: DAY OFF. WORK VIRTUALLY. With the wonders of modern technology I can manage my client’s Facebook pages from my phone as I chase the air conditioning around town including a hospital (visiting a friend’s mum); the Alannah Hill outlet (bridge road. what?!? it was near the hospital. WHAT?). A friend’s office (‘just popped in to say hi. no… of course it’s nothing to do with your air con.. what do you mean?’). My favourite cafe (‘missed you guys.. just had to pop in.’ Westfield ‘kids.. let’s go get frozen yoghurt! eat up, mummy has to do some email’)

Friday: Worms. Dare you not to get itchy while you read this paragraph. I mean really – if it’s not worms, it’s nits isn’t it? (itchy head? you’re welcome.) I will try to respect the kids’ privacy by not telling you which one it was but 2 nights of itchy bum later, little white threads are discovered in the undies.

Me in my head: “ARE.YOU.KIDDING.ME.BITCH?! (the bitch I refer to is MOTHER NATURE)….. does this mean I am going to miss my boxing workout which I’ve been looking forward to all week and which is the only thing that keeps me grounded and sane through my crazy week mind body and spirit? does this mean you’re not going to school tomorrow and I’m going to get the mother guilt AGAIN for asking you to please watch a bit of tele while I get some work done” (I work from home, managing facebook communities and consulting and professional speaking which isn’t actually conducted from home but the office is at home, you know what I mean).
Still me in my head: “Does this mean we’re going to be UP.ALL.NIGHT trying to find ways to stop your bum from itching before we can get an appointment at the doctor? This is grossing me out. Hold it together girl, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to have this little one not freak out. So you can’t freak out about SMALL LIVING CREATURES CRAWLING AROUND in your kids body.”

To kid: ‘don’t worry, it’s very common. everyone gets them. look here – google says it’s very common and it’s nothing to worry about, let’s pop you in the shower, change your clothes and bed sheets, put some pawpaw lotion on and ticketyboo it will be morning time and the doctor will tell us what to do’

me in my head again: “OMG OMG OMG it is midnight. can i call my mother at midnight? should I call that 24hr nurse service? google isn’t telling me what to do to help the kid sleep. it is NOT HELPING to learn the worms are nocturnal and crawl out at night to lay EGGS jesus jesus jesus, turn the screen, don’t let kid read that”

to kid: ‘here’s a nice cold drink, toddle off to bed and see how you go’

in my head: ‘PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t get up again. how about I read you the book GO THE F TO SLEEEP hmmmmmm?’

Sunnyside UP version: Character building, educational, it’s a bit of a special bonding moment when you’re up at midnight with a sick kid, isn’t it? You know it is. Plus, this event topped off that crazy week I’ve just outlined and compelled me to start writing this stuff into a blog post. The worms kickstarted my blog habit. Do you think I’ll be delivering this story on stage in a few years time when I’m asked to pop up onto the stage to explain where it all started? Let’s say yes – that gives me the ability to FLIP these worms into gold.

5 Ways to Flip that Frown Upside Down:

  • it could be worse. I mean it really always could be worse, right? You can always think of something worse. Just take a look at www.dumbwaystodie.com and you’ll see.
  • chant to yourself: it’s just not my turn. it’s just not my turn. it’s just not my turn.
  • think of your very favourite thing to eat or drink and plan to eat or drink it the very next day.
  • write down the exact opposite of the situation. what’s making you frown ______________ then ask – what would make you smile? ___________. think about that instead.
  • go to www.pinterest.com and do a search for your favourite thing. Spend 2 minutes getting lost in there.
  • Nana Nikki

    ummm! welcome to motherhood – no really, this is the hardest part.  We all try to get the education right, the friends right, the external influences right; but who trains to get nits out of hair, and worms out of bums!! By the way, yes!!! you can ring your mum anytime.  Love the way you handled it – DONT GET ME STARTED!! Hee Hee

  • Charlene

    Lol!! I am getting a dewormer tomorrow!!
    Made me smile, when I do find myself in a frowning situation in future will surely remember your post and be sure to laugh… Turning my frown upside down.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Mom of 2.


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