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9:47 a.m. - 2011-06-23

After a while the usual techniques lose their effectiveness. It's become a bit of a struggle to keep up the whole happy/grateful thing all the time. I know I don't have to, that even people whose lives are reasonably secure are allowed to have bad days, but there's a big difference between knowing and believing something. Failure to constantly acknowledge how good I have it is to risk having it taken away. Got food? A faithful husband? Kids not on drugs or in jail? Then shut up. At least this is how it feels deep down, down where that primal LA lives, the one crouched and howling in a cave while lightning and thunder tear the sky apart. The superstitious one who fears what might come next and anxiously tries to ward off evil with appeasing ritual and magical thinking.

I also know how ultimately self-defeating this line of thought is. It's what kept me down, settling for crumbs and never, ever daring to ask for more. My survival mantra of, "Don't screw it up! It could be SO much worse!" kept me in a downward spiral, accepting less and less and less until the only thing I could do was pretend I was delighted to still be breathing. It was okay I was sad and hungry-hearted and in pain all the time, at least I wasn't dead, right? I was here, what the hell else could I want?

Sometimes I catch a hold and flip that crap on its back. Knowing it will all be taken away is exactly why I should shoot for the moon. If I'm going to crash and burn anyway, why not go for it? How silly to be shoved off a curb when I could fall from a penthouse! If the fates are coming for me no matter what I do then why not make it worth the trip? When the inevitable comes I could humbly and resignedly hand over the teeny scraps in my hand or I could insist the fates bring two moving trucks and a whole crew of dismantlers. My choice.

And if this tempting the fates worry was all for nothing and how our lives turn out is a cosmic crapshoot and that (barring deliberate acts of hostility and stupidity) how I live and think has zero to do with how it ends up- that falling boulder was gonna hit me whether I was Satan or a saint- I might as well get off my duff and live already.

This includes my being human and allowed to have a shitty attitude and a mouthful of gripes sometimes. It's difficult though.

I know some of my relentless Pollyanna-ism is an instinctive reaction to Mick's overflowing negativity. I always feel the need to be the counterweight, the yin to his yang. Thus the universe is appeased and not prepping a lightning strike for excessive ingratitude. Mick's ability to freely bitch about anything (even his job! In this economy!) scares the shit out of me. Really. Also he doesn't bob up when I'm down. We don't trade roles. If I'm grumbling Mick joins me and soon we're in a choking swamp of neg. I hate it. Not only is it scary, it's exhausting. All that crabbing wipes me out.

We've discussed this. Mick gets it and he does try a lot. Stopping himself before the distress on my face gets too bad. Cutting off mid-rant and shrugging, "Meh, it'll fine." Then offering a hug. Letting me wrap myself in comforting peace again. We're both working on allowing ourselves to be happy. Mick is pleased to know he can purposely turn off the neg and it's okay. A mastery of self that wasn't the moral concession he'd believed it would be. Mick the Cop felt obligated to see all the bad doings and be upset over them. Who'd be minding the store if he went off duty? He understands now he's not letting down the side of righteousness by relaxing and enjoying himself once in a while.

You know what? All this navel gazing hasn't turned my frown upside-down. I'm still in a foul mood.


Grump, grump, grump. ~LA

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