Our dog Sullivan has long curly hair. Until Monday he resembled an 80s R&B singer because his entire body appeared to be covered with jheri curls. But it was so so cute! Well…a trip to the swamp with his buddy Lucky is all it took for him to be covered in burrs too deeply imbedded in his hair for us to get out. To the groomer he went. Because of all the junk stuck in his hair they almost had to shave him but were able to keep 1/2 inch. He now looks like this…
Cute, right? Yeah, well he doesn’t think so. Ever since I picked him up this dog has been moping around the house. Eh suggested that maybe Lucky had been making fun of him for his haircut. Since I don’t speak dog I can’t be sure, but Jesus, what a sorry sad dog he’s turned into.
Huh. Remind you of anyone you know? Pot meet kettle. Kettle meet pot.
And what a sad family of dog owners we, in response to his behavior, have turned into.
I had a meeting this morning with a colleague with whom I’ve been working for a year in various capacities. We started talking about how we both allow the people around us affect our mood/happiness/etc. But as I left the meeting something occurred to me. I have always found myself in situations in which I’ve had the power to change the mood of the room. Both positively and negatively. And I’ve done so without thought, care, or consciousness. I’ve been careless.
I thought back to the time when my husband and I were struggling mightily. I was not an easy woman to work with then. My colleagues had to treat me with kid gloves because they never knew what to expect. After weekends when people would ask the normal “how was your weekend?” I would sometimes be so ridiculous (and unhappy) that I’d answer with something like “well…I’m still married…so that’s good.” Seriously? If someone said that to me I’d probably start laughing uncomfortably…it’s so ridiculous. I let my unhappiness at home dictate my behavior in all other aspects of my life. What a waste!
More recently I’ve simply forgotten my ability to have input into the mood/tone of a group. I’ve allowed situations, and my environment, control MY mood instead of the other way around. For someone with control issues you’d think I would have realized this by now. But as I’ve admitted before…I’m sometimes an idiot.
I decided as I drove back to the office to see what would happen if I went in with a great mood, enthusiasm, and a willingness to chat with anyone. It. Was. Crazy. Of the six colleagues with whom I work closely, a group that is typically quiet and serious and sometimes grumpy, every single one of them brightened and became chatty and enthused. I’m sorry…what?! I mean come on…it’s THAT easy???
Am I a superhero and didn’t even know it? Because this girl clearly has powers.
A bit later I had an appointment with a woman I’ve not worked with in quite some time for various reasons. There was potential for it to be awkward. And in the beginning, it was clear that she felt that way, but I just talked and talked like we’d worked together continuously and soon it was like there’d never been a break in our partnership. By the end we were planning our next meeting.
I spent the day exuding confidence, cheer, enthusiasm, and people threw it right back at me. It was as if they were mirror images of the mood/energy I was throwing out there.
Okay…so then came the more difficult realization. Hmmm…so if I have the “power” to control the mood and environment, what have I been doing in my own household to make it a good place to be? Well…as I said the other day…I wake up on Mondays unhappy we didn’t accomplish more over the weekend and sad that it’s over. Awesome. I’m sure THAT’S fun to be around. I’ve been stressing about birthdays, and exercise, and work…so it’s likely been REALLY awesome for my little girls and my husband.
Jesus…I can be an a-shole. Especially when I forget what I bring to the table. Idiot.
TODAY: What if I use my ability to set the tone and make my office and home as lovely for the other people involved as I can (which in turn should make both better for me too)? And WHAT IF I started wearing a Wonder Woman outfit? That would so totally awesome…that is…if I looked at all like Wonder Woman. Which I don’t. Sigh.