Getting Over It

I’m done with Winter.  I’m ready for the cold, grey days followed by the frigid, dark nights to go away.  I don’t want to shovel any more snow or slide across any more icy sidewalks and parking lots.  I’m tired of dry skin, frozen nose hair, and chapped lips.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s time for Winter to be over.  Right this very minute.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’ve been feeling a little crabby lately.  And it’s not just Winter I’m tired of, either.  I’m so sick of all those robo-calls that constantly bombard both my cell phone and my land-line that I’m seriously thinking of living a phone-free life.  (No matter how hard they try, no one can call you if you don’t actually have a phone.)  I’m tired of the way my dog insists on trying to lick his stitches, because it means we have to keep that silly “cone of shame” on him for another few days.  That thing hurts when he slams it into my legs, which he does on a regular basis.  When you live with a dog wearing a cone, sometimes love hurts.

I’m tired of all the nasty, petty meanness that I see every time I log onto my Facebook account, and really wish that more people would live by that old adage, “If you can’t say (or post) anything nice, then don’t say (or post) anything at all.”  I’m even more disgusted with the hatred and violence I see all too often on the news, and wish it would all just stop, immediately.

But the problem is, I can’t make any of it go away.  Not even my cell phone, because I really need that little device to stay in touch with my family and friends.  And I don’t really want to live my life as a crabby person.  So that means I have to figure out another way to cope with it all.

Today I think I took a step in the right direction.  I woke up in a particularly foul mood, probably because I went to sleep last night to the sound of sleet hitting the bedroom window.  It didn’t help that the morning dawned cold, slushy and very foggy, and I was due down at the animal shelter to walk dogs for several hours.   I thought, seriously if briefly, of not going in, but then my sense of responsibility kicked in and I got dressed and drove to the shelter.

IMG_4539And you know what?  The longer I walked the dogs, the less crabby I felt.  The dogs were just so darned happy to be getting out for a walk that it was kind of hard to keep that nasty mood of mine going.  And afterwards, when I came home for lunch, my own dog was so ecstatic to see me that I was willing to overlook a few painful jabs to my shins.

The lesson here isn’t just to spend more time with dogs (although I do recommend it).  It’s that when we’re feeling overwhelmed and crabby, sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves isn’t going to help.  But what will help is making the effort to do something for someone else (two or four-footed).  I honestly don’t know if it’s just the realization that we really can make a difference in the world, or if it’s the happiness that we give others reflecting back on us that lifts our spirits.  I only know that it works, and that’s good enough for me.

114 thoughts on “Getting Over It

  1. Happy you’re better. I have heard a few Bible teachings , specifically from Joyce Meyer, on a principle about getting out and doing good for others when we ourselves are down or have a problem. Seems to work.
    Maybe you can decorate that cone with colors and soft edges so it’s not a “cone of shame” or pain. 🤔 Hope Finn will be better soon.

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    • Yes, I do think helping others when we are down is a great way to lift our spirits! Actually, Finn has broken three cones so far, of the hard plastic kind supplied by the vet. So we tried one we got at a pet store, that is softer and has a covering around the edge. It seems to work, but it is SO much less painful. I’m a convert!

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  2. Yes I hear you ! Ready for winter to be over. I have a Facebook account and I haven’t been on it much lately myself it’s full of people being rude and it’s just not an uplifting site to be on at the moment so I take breaks. I’m happy you are able turn your mood around send some of that my way lol🙂

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    • Yes, it is time for Spring, isn’t it? And I’m with you on Facebook….I go on to see happy things about friends and family, but the rudeness and the “I’m right, you’re wrong” posts just depress me, so then I log off. I’d rather walk shelter dogs!!!

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      • Yes exactly … I go on and log off I did get a notification tonight from there and I usually don’t follow my class page .. but something made me check it out and it was about a man that has a beautiful family 3 young kids and a wife , well known 48 yrs old so I know of him from our town. He is good friends with my husbands good friend… got killed yesterday snowmobiling in Vermont .. with buddies . I now wish I didn’t look .. I know eventual I would of found out but didn’t need to before bed.. so sad .. thanks social media.. that’s a nice thing you do walking shelter dogs , must be peaceful.🙂

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  3. Excellent prescription for turning our bad moods around. We could all use more time spent outside ourselves and our worries. Btw, I saw a picture on Facebook recently (so, it’s got to be legit, right?) of a dog whose owner made a cone of shame alternative out of a pool noodle (google “pool noodle dog cone” or something like that). It seemed just as effective and a lot more comfortable – for your dog and your shins.

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    • That’s a good idea..I’ll look into it. We did try an inflatable neck cone, but they only had one size and it didn’t fit him right. I’ve heard good things, though, if you can get the proper fit. Right now, he’s in a more flexible cone with a covered edge, and that has helped a lot!

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    • Trust me, Svet, you are not alone in being sick of winter! This year has been a long one, and I think most of us are yearning for Spring. Hopefully it will arrive early, but meanwhile, spending time with animals does help!!

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  4. Ann, I know how easy it is to be crabby when outside the weather is dismal, cold and dreary. I lived through Pennsylvania winters for 45 years. The one thing that kept me sane and smiling was my jogging routine. I was like the postman – neither rain, sleet nor snow could keep me from jogging. Now, about that cell phone…….I have no solutions. 😎🙏

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    • I can see where daily exercise, especially outside, would help lift your spirits! And good for you for not letting bad weather keep you from jogging…that’s dedication! And the cell phones…yeah, there’s no answer. Yet. LOL!

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  5. Love this, it’s so true that sitting and feeling sorry for yourself never improves your mood, but doing something that distracts you and makes someone or something happy will drastically improve your mood. And I’m also in total agreement that people should follow the rule of “if you don’t have anything nice to say…or post…”

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    • Wouldn’t that be nice? I don’t go on Social media to be outraged, or to ridicule those who see things differently than I do. Meanwhile, yes, we need to just do something that makes us feel better, and helping others usually does the trick. Thanks for the comment!

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    • Oh, I agree! Most dogs have just wonderful outlooks: if things are going well, they’re happy. If they aren’t, they just go to sleep and wait for things to improve. And it takes so little to make a dog happy…..

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  6. Oh, Ann, I knew that you would come around to a more positive conclusion after describing how crabby you feel being exposed to all those annoying things around you. As to the phone calls, I set our answering machine to two rings. That way at least the illegitimate callers are being discouraged.
    I really like your conclusion that if we try not to be discouraged and pass on our love to others (even dogs), we feel energized to do more positive things and truly make a difference.

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    • That’s a good idea, Peter! The people I do want to talk to will leave a message, and those I don’t will stop calling so often. And yes, I really do get a lift from helping others. Sometimes when I’m down I have to remind myself about that, but I’m always glad when I do.

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  7. Great post! I also felt like that, but in reverse. It is an extremely hot humid summer here and I was sick of hibernating in air-conditioning 24/7 so I changed my priorities and volunteered at a local charity shop where people are grateful to be given cool drinks.

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    • What a great idea! And yes, extreme heat can be just as discouraging as extreme cold. Anything that keeps us stuck indoors for long periods isn’t good for our moods. But volunteering where people are grateful for something as simple as a cold drink really does put things into perspective, I imagine!

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  8. Re the weather. I live in S. Ontario, and it is my rationale that I have choices. I can live here, or I can find some other place to live. My choice is to live here, so my next question is do I choose to hate the weather now, or do I choose to love it. Based on the knowledge that I cannot change the weather, then I must choose between being miserable with our ice, snow, rain and high winds … or be happy that we have some distinct seasonal variations. Would I choose to be miserable … or happy? A no-brainer really!

    The same rationale can be adapted to pretty much any adverse situation. 🙂

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  9. You’ve been in on the snow? We haven’t. We have had so much rain that the rivers are over-run. Bet it is really something to work with those dogs. We have puppies that are almost 7 months old. So much fun.

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      • Wow, winter has sure been paying lots of areas visits this year. My folks are in NW Missouri and have had tons of snow and like 15 degree highs. We had one small snow. Enough to pull a sled around the yard. The puppies are keeping us entertained for sure. Oh my gosh, they are naughty! But, cute. Ha ha.

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  10. I know exactly what you mean. Thursday is my volunteering day, and increasingly I find myself waking up on Thursday mornings wondering why I keep going in: the work is demanding and often frustrating. Some Thursday afternoons I come home wishing I hadn’t gone in, but mostly I find some satisfaction in what I do – seeing peoples faces change and watching their confidence grow makes the effort worthwhile.

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    • I don’t know what your volunteering job is, but I’m glad that you are sticking with it. Sometimes walking shelter dogs is so hard…we see so much abuse and neglect, and we don’t always get the happy ending we are hoping for. But we have to just focus on the fact that our work and our presence does make a difference. Hang in there!

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  11. Dogs are wonderful at making us feel unconditionally loved. 😊 You lighten up the lives of those dogs at the shelter every time you arrive to take them out. 🐕

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  12. I need to follow your example and do something that gets me out of this late winter funk that I’m in. No dogs to be walked around here unless it’s my feet. So maybe I should walk them, eh? 😉

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  13. I love to read your posts. There is so much out there that can bring us down…the news, unkind social media posts, bone-chilling dreary weather. And yet, when we simply keep going, as you did with walking the dogs at the shelter, we get a new perspective. Sometimes, the best we can do is just put one foot in front of the other and keep walking. And then, whether it be our barking, furry friends, the sun breaking through the clouds, a surprising encounter we did not plan, our mood lifts. Even in the worst of weather, it is a good idea to leave our boots by the door, ready for an outing. Someone out there, man or beast, rain or shine, usually does need us! And as a bonus, we feel better too!

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    • You are so right, so often the best thing we can do is just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and know that we are moving in the right direction. And then sooner or later, we do get the lift we need!

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  14. The winter never bothered me until I moved to the South. Two days without sunshine is too much. On this rainy day, I’ll be quilting in my windowless sewing room. And yes, the phone calls have become extremely annoying. Now my own number is calling me. I change my mood in the garden. Even weeding lightens it.

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    • Oh, yes, I am so ready! Until then, helping others really does help lighten my mood. It reminds me that I can make a difference, and the happiness we give really does rub off on us too. Thanks for the comment!

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  15. Sounds like a bad case of the winter blahs. Half the remedy is to acknowledge what it is, the other half is to ignore it and walk the dog(s).

    I get depressed too – but Scooter never does. When I go to walk him, he bounces up and down with an enthusiasm that I haven’t been able to muster in fifty years. Granted, he is only five years old and like any five year old, he bounds into waist deep snow and plows his way around the yard. Out on our walk, he snow plows into the fields and while I hike six miles, he covers sixteen.

    Maybe one day he will tire of it all – but that kind of enthusiasm is contagious.

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    • Dogs are so good at showing us how to live, aren’t they? They don’t get the winter blahs (which you’re right, I am suffering from that) and they live in the moment, enjoying whatever good comes their way. We need to copy their behavior and thought patterns, I think!

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  16. Oh, I can’t imagine shoveling snow and slipping on ice. I am ready for warmer weather even though we didn’t even get a light frost. You are so good to get out to walk those dogs. Who can be crabby with happy dogs? Yes, keeping busy and helping others can combat crabbiness. May winter be over for you soon!

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    • You know, there is good on Facebook, especially for those of us who have moved often and enjoy reconnecting with old friends. But there is also so much crap on there, with people deliberately trying to stir up trouble, and people busy trying to convince others that their life is perfect. It’s like shopping in a bargain basement: you have to sift through a lot of junk to get to the few good pieces. So believe me, I understand why you stay away. If it weren’t for my blog (I have readers who only access it through Facebook), I think I would have given it up long ago too. You aren’t missing much, that’s for sure!

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  17. You’re not the only one who’s been feeling a little crabby lately. Your walking of the shelter dogs is very kind thing to do for animals with not much else to look forward to, and it’s nice that it helps lift your mood as well. Winter definitely begins to get old this time of year. Everyone’s mood will begin to improve soon with warmer days and a cone-less dog. Hang in there, Ann!

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  18. Lovely message here Ann and one that we can all take to heart. I totally agree with you that it’s when we’re out doing something for others or walking our dogs that our mood shifts. How can we possibly stay cranky when we have a set of innocent eyes looking at us. Oh, and for the record I don’t have a landline anymore and I rarely look at FB. Roll on Spring for you! 😊

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    • I keep thinking about getting rid of our land line, but hang on to it because my cell doesn’t always get good reception at our house, so sometimes it’s easier to have a conversation on the landline. My guess is that you don’t miss either the landline or FB one little bit!! Thanks for the comment, Miriam!

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  19. It’s that old saying that when you give back you get back even more in return. Or something like that…:) Imagine how you might have felt if you never got out of bed to help out at the shelter. Dogs usually make us smile. Combine that with doing something for someone else and your day was bound to be much better. Doesn’t mean winter and robo calls shouldn’t go away, of course..:)

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    • You’re right, George, my day would have been much worse if I hadn’t pushed myself to go down to the shelter. And I’m convinced that the more we give in this life, the more we get in return. Nothing is gained from just hiding away, except on the days we are truly sick and need a little time off.
      Totally agree that robo calls and Winter need to leave, but since they aren’t, I’ll just do my best to ignore them!

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  20. I thought, seriously if briefly, of not going in, but then my sense of responsibility kicked in and I got dressed and drove
    This is the kind of quiet heroism I often fail at and yet aspire to when my own winters don’t seem to end and I can’t seem to get off my grouch couch. When I think difficult seasons have overstayed their welcome. When I think God should have stepped in a whole lot earlier.
    But the solution really is as simple as what you did, Ann: no matter what the season, go do what we have to do, as best as we can, and leave the rest to God to sort out – because He will.

    Oh, and a get well soon wish from me to Finn.

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    • Thanks! Finn is now doing great, and is happy to be coneless! But I think you are right, the key to dealing with a world that is often difficult and challenging is to simply do the best we can (even when we don’t feel like it) and trust God to make it enough. I heard a sermon about that over thirty years ago, and it’s stuck with me ever since.

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  21. Hi Ann, have you considered giving yourself a news holiday? As an experiment to see how you feel? I saw a quote today that said they had been off all news sites for ages, but the big news always finds its way in. Here is a link to an interesting blog about news and social media https://discover.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/digital-diet/
    On Instagram I follow positive news UK and mediablackoutsa so my feed is filled with positive news. A friend follows Huff Post positive news on fb. There are probably other similar sites for positive news.
    I personally try hard to ‘guard the gates of my senses,’ a Buddhist quote, and do not do fb or the news mostly.
    Hope winter soon passes!
    Lovely honest post from you that most people can probably relate to.

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    • That is actually very good advice. I tend to either turn off the news altogether, or watch it all and get upset. And I don’t like not knowing what’s going on, so turning it off altogether isn’t a great idea, long term. But turning it off for just a few days, especially during difficult times, is probably a good thing. And I really like how you manage to filter out the news you don’t want to hear. That is great! Thanks for the link, I will definitely check that out!

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      • Even if you had a fortnight or a month off it would still be there when you got back! My husband read a thing it said, I can tell you what the news is going to be for the next ten years, wars, terrorism, natural disasters, murders, etc etc…
        One of the quotes in the article I sent you the link for, says ‘Facebook is where friends become strangers, WordPress is where strangers become friends!’

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  22. you are so right- I throw fits at times and just hate everything-when I do, I will do something for someone else, and sometimes for me! I do tend to neglect myself-anyway, it does work. I do hope your days are filled with goodness, that sunshine soon floods your yard instead of ice!

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    • That’s a good point, too, Michele! Sometimes we need to do something nice for ourselves, especially when we’re feeling frazzled or depressed. It can be as simple as getting a manicure, which is what I did the other day when I was feeling very rushed and stressed. It only took 30 minutes out of my day, but I walked out of the nail studio feeling rested and refreshed!

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  23. I so get this post and what you said in it, Ann! 😂 And you’re perfectly right – sitting around feeling sorry for yourself does not actually help, sometimes we really can change our mood by just persisting in our daily routine. I had that a couple of weeks ago, the day started awful after waking up from a particular bad nightmare and all seemed just so UGH! (If you know what I mean. 😉) But I simply went on doing what had to be done and at nightfall noticed that what started bad and kept being so for half the day, somehow changed to ‘Hey, it’s actually an okay day!’ What did the trick for me was the children in my pottery class that as if they knew behaved all like little angles in that day. 😉 Dogs I imagine can do just the same. 😊

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