This morning I woke up in a panic.
The roofing guys arrived at my house at like 7:30am. I was still in bed, because that is a damned uncivilized hour, and there’s no reason to be up at that time if I don’t have to. For the time being, I don’t have to. Except today. Also, I was up past midnight getting the house ready for the roofers – tarping the attic for the cutting of the roof vent, removing things from the perimeter of the house, taking down pictures, having minor panic attacks, etc.
Do you know what doesn’t help anxiety? People walking on your roof and scraping at it. My cat was totally flipped, and I frankly didn’t blame her one bit. The feeling of things falling around your safe place is singularly unnerving. It felt like we were under siege, or had at least been teleported to a very large batting cage. I tried offering her an Ativan, but I don’t think she understood what I was trying to do, so I just gave her some catnip instead. She was sort of nonplussed, as if to say, “are you fucking crazy? Do you REALLY think a pinch of weed is going to make this better?” To which I say, “we both know I am, dumbass. Take what you can get until you learn to swallow pills with water.”
So I sat down with my coffee and girded myself for a day of jangling nerves, and (of course) shared my misery on Facebook.
And then a thing happened. Nothing special, just a random everyday thing. A friend from college posted something that I resonated with and I decided to drop her an IM to say I missed her and I’d like to get together soon. We made plans and appreciated each other for a few minutes. It felt so good I decided I wanted more. So I put out this invitation:
“Okay, I need an attitude shift. Like this status and I will tell you how I appreciate your role in my life.”
Well, who doesn’t like to be appreciated? One by one my friends joined in and I wrote a few lines about how neat they are, what I appreciate them for, a special memory of them that stands out in my head, or similar. It felt so. good. y’all. Like drugs good. Like falling in love good. I have amassed a really special group of people in my life. I usually take them for granted because life is busy and we don’t see each other much, and maybe we like cute pictures of each others’ kids and vacations, or we sometimes post things that are weird or dogmatic or annoying (or maybe that’s just me), but we don’t spend much time thinking about how genuinely (and I know this word is overused) awesome the people we call friends are. Or maybe you do. Maybe I’m just really narcissistic. It’s not impossible.
It settled me down a whole lot, in any case. Like, more that cat pictures and animal babies combined. So I decided to finally tackle the desk that Jim has been waiting over a month for me to paint so he can mount it on the wall. I went up to the attic searching for paintbrushes, all calm and confident.
BAD IDEA! Oh, SO very, very bad. All that banging and scraping and shouting just inches from my head sounded like it was raining zombie apocalypse. Or possibly giant angry squirrels wielding heavy implements. Whatever it was, I decided I’d rather go out and buy another damn paint brush than spend another second thinking about how hollow the term “safe as houses” really is.
So I sat down and loved on my friends some more until I got all calm again. I especially enjoyed the one I wrote for my childhood best friend, reminding her of when we were in first grade and she told me about how much she loved her new Peanuts lunchbox, but I kept thinking she said “penis lunchbox” and I wondered where you even FIND a lunchbox with penises, and what would that even look like? Was it penis shaped, or did it have a picture of a penis on it? And why did this exist? Especially for seven year olds? Thankfully I asked her to show me her penis lunchbox (when we were seven – not today), and then I understood. A great friendship was born. Also (back to today), my anxiety was totally quelled again.
So I scavenged a paintbrush from the basement and went at the desk. Every time I started getting overwhelmed, I went back and told more people how special they are. Not that I’m willing to give back my bottle, but I’m pretty sure this is better than Ativan. All that crap about gratitude? It’s not just a bunch of hippie feel-good nonsense; science is happening inside of me – chemically! I should totally do this more. I want to start tagging people who didn’t ask to be love bombed to tell them why I am so glad to know them and what weird and awesome thing about them has totally rubbed off on me. But what if I run out? Would it be weird if I got addicted to appreciating people and started going to bad neighborhoods and paying people to listen to me tell them how great they are? Wait. Just…please don’t answer that.
Special bonus-cool is that several of my friends are doing it on their walls, too. I started my very first meme, y’all! It’s no panty hats, but in terms of spreading goodwill, it’s pretty awesome. I’ll bet the Dalai Lama never puts out an open invitation for appreciation. I should totally get awesome robes and the ability to make any crazy ass thing I say sound spiritual just because it’s coming from me.
Blessedly, it’s supposed to storm like a motherfucker tomorrow, so no roofers. Here’s hoping that a half-done roof keeps water out. Also? I really appreciate how you come and read my blog and think that my fucked up is entertaining. It’s really helpful, when I’m feeling like total crap, to think, “how can I make this entertaining to my readers?” So thanks. You’re pretty awesome.