You know you are having a bad military day when things start ugly, get ugly and stay ugly. Usually all within the first hour you wake up.
If each ugly event would happen separately on it’s own little day (and your soldier, sailor, airman, Marine or Coastie was going to be home), it would be no big deal. You can handle breaking a hot water pipe. Or losing your car keys. Or forgetting to buy milk. Or getting the news that the deployment is extended.
You can deal with discovering that all the clothes in your closet suddenly must have belonged to a much thinner, cuter person. Perhaps an elf.
Those things you can do. Just not on all in the same hour of the same day. If you are feeling doomed, here are five ways you can start over on a bad day.
Bloody Mary for breakfast. Sometimes the kicker is to surprise yourself out of your normal routine. Instead of your usual ‘coo coo for Cocoa Puffs’ routine, reach for something that will shock your tastebuds. Add lemon. Add horseradish. Add Tabasco. Skip the vodka. Sigh deeply.
Do anything. Plenty of studies suggest that doing anything will make you feel better than watching TV or laying on your belly contemplating the dust mites. This does not mean you need to paint your barn. This can mean that you straighten out your knife drawer. Brush your dog’s coat. Look up a better recipe for Bloody Marys than the one you have now.
Read in the tub. Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, author of Apartment Therapy, recommends that we all skip the shower at least once a week and take a long bath instead. He points out that Alan Greenspan, longtime Chairman of the Federal Reserve, was notorious for starting every day reading in the tub. And look how many bad days he conquered.
Pinterest yourself. Set a timer on your phone for seven minutes (the exact amount of time one is allowed to spend in heaven undisturbed). Read through quotes for bad days. I personally like to be reminded: It’s a bad day, not a bad life. And my new favorite: You can’t be sad when you are holding a cupcake.
Make a To-Be List. Most days start with a To Do list. Restart a bad military day by cutting up your To Do list and making a To Be list. I want to be happy today. I want to be accomplished. I want to be peaceful. Then ask yourself, “What do I need to do in order to be all those things? I need to be finding a place to buy a coconut cupcake.
Clap your hands. This one is a little extreme, but I am counting it anyway. Our blogger friend Raleigh Duttweiller says that when she was at summer camp, the kids had to wake up, clap their hands really loud and say, “THIS IS GONNA BE A GREAT DAY AND I FEEL TERRIFIC.” Sounded hokey to me. But something about a grown woman clapping her hands for no reason in the middle of the day and growling a command is somewhat intimidating to strangers. It tends to make people get out of your way. Mostly by crossing the street.
Plenty of bad days pop up during a good military life, especially during deployments. Doing something about it -- doing anything about it -- tends to work. If not, tomorrow is another day and you are sure to do better then.
What else do you do to restart a bad day?