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Smell the Coffee: Seven days of finding the humor

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Last Sunday, I wrote about this Seven Day Mental Health Diet I was preparing to start. I was determined to make it through a full week without complaining or having any negative thoughts whatsoever. I was going to repackage every potential aggravation so each could be viewed in a positive light.

For seven days, I was determined that there would be no problems -- only adventures.

There were so very many adventures.

And so, so much repackaging.

The first began about 17 hours into the diet, when my refrigerator spontaneously added a fountain feature to its ice-making device. Fountains are all the rage these days, and I was fortunate that, along with the soothing sounds of running water, this new feature also ensured that the shelves and contents of my freezer were emptied and cleaned. Along with the kitchen floor.

Even better, though, was that I didn't have to sop up the water on the floor using dirty towels scavenged from the laundry. Oh, no. Instead, I was able to use all the clean ones that I'd just washed, folded and put away. No dirty towels for my floor! No, sir. Nothing but clean ones.

The event was made even more charming by the fact that there were several teenagers in the same room with the refrigerator when the fountain sprung to life. So focused was their concentration that the water ran for a good half-hour or more before their feet grew moist enough to draw their attention away from their handheld research devices to investigate. I was impressed by their deep focus. (Impressed might not have been my initial reaction, but it was eventually reached.)

Shortly after carrying the last of the soaked towels down to the basement, I discovered that one of our cats found an inventive way of not only telling me that the litter box needed cleaned, but also that he also didn't care for my shoes.

And this was just the first day.

The next morning, I struggled a good bit to find a way to repackage having to deal with a stubborn girl who was determined to remain horizontal rather than get ready for school. I finally settled on embracing an attitude of gratitude, while simultaneously embracing an ice-cold, wet hand towel. I succeeded in getting her out of bed without a single complaint. From me. Not from her.

Three times during my Seven Day Mental Health Diet I had the opportunity to sit quietly for long periods in my car on Interstate 64. I used the time to muse over such silly things as why traffic accidents in other states don't seem to completely close down highways the way they do around here.

Another time that same week, also while traveling on I-64, I was apparently overappreciating the ability to drive while unimpeded by clogged traffic, which enabled me to meet the nicest police officer. We conversed about speed limits and the need to obey certain laws.

So while I might not have made it through the entire seven days without complaining, I found there's something to be said for this repackaging business. If you twist something around long enough, almost anything can become sort of funny.

And once it becomes funny, irritation and resentments get washed away.

Reach Karin Fuller via email at karinfuller@gmail.com.


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