a man looking sad at a party surrounded by presents

Left of Normal

Yesterday I just shut down. I was grumpy. No matter what happened around me, it all seemed gloomily annoying. Somehow I managed to keep my mouth shut and avoid snapping at anyone, but it wasn’t easy.

It went something like this:

I’m 67, good god I’ll be 70 in 2 and a half years! Sure the sky’s blue today but tomorrow it’s supposed to rain. And why the heck am I living in Washington State anyway? They say the weather’s great in Florida. Besides, isn’t that the state most OLD people like me go to? What’s the point though? I’ll probably be dead soon anyway.

I have three main goals I try to accomplish every day: writing, walking, and practicing drumming. If I get at least two of those done I’m pretty happy. Yesterday none of them were accomplished. So, of course, I beat myself up over it.

I’m not normally like that. Most of the time I keep upbeat. But there are those days, you know the ones, when everything seems left of normal.

Throwing myself a pity party

So I had a great pity party. There were lots of presents for me. Depression was wrapped up in a black box with a pretty blue ribbon. A red box was filled with anger. I found a yellow bag full of fear. A green package was stuffed with envy. Oh yeah, best of all was the rusty old bike that took me nowhere.

But you know what? It was all right. I could give myself a day to fume.

To be honest, it felt really good. I didn’t have to be the brave little cancer boy that never complains. So, to hell with everything. Pouting, snarling, fuming, raging, bitching–it all felt so good.

Now, today, looking back at whomever that was, I wonder what was so bad. I mean, I’m alive, I have a great family and a generally happy life. I’m retired so there’s no boss trying to run my life. (Well there is my wife, but I like the way she runs my life.)

It's okay to feel angry about blood cancer

Maybe instead of World Blood Cancer Day, we should have World I-Have-Cancer-And-It-Really-Pisses-Me-Off Day. But just in case the committee that decides such things won’t agree to such a day, we could at least allow ourselves a personal day off.

It’s okay to be angry. Don’t feel bad if you have a down day.

Somewhere there’s a Zen monk sitting on a mountain top, knees crossed, looking all relaxed, but seething inside because the hard rock under his butt is doing nothing for his hemorrhoids.

Go easy on yourself

So take it easy on yourself. Feeling bad doesn’t make you bad. Go ahead and celebrate a pity party. Enjoy it. Give it all you’ve got.

Tomorrow will be better.

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