Grumpy thoughts have a place, then you zap them away!
by Cindy Myska, co-founder of DailyHap and therapist
My husband Frank used to go around the garage, his man domain, can of spray poison in hand, and fire away at any roach who had the audacity to run out across the concrete. It was an important task that had to be done most evenings just after dark. Nothing else could be the focus of Frank’s attention until those roaches were zapped. I call it Roach Patrol.
Neighbor: “Where’s Frank?”
Me: “Oh, he’s out on Roach Patrol.”
Neighbor, “Ok, I’ll head to the garage.”
One year after both my parents’ death, I was with my sister at my parent’s home, trying to find some closure, both literally and emotionally. It seemed like we had only made a tiny dent in wrapping anything up, be it selling their possessions or finding peace amidst it all.
My little sister, the baby of us three girls, the sweet gentle one who never steps on anyone’s toes, tells me she knows that I am grieving because I am . . . discontent. What??? Yes, she says in her sweet, I’m-just-sayin’-and-I-love-you-anyway kind of way, yes, you have seemed really discontent lately.
I immediately interpret this to mean I have been grumpy lately. Tacky, short, miserable, irritable, curt. No fun to be around.
So, serious situation that this is, I take my cue from Frank. It is time for Grump Patrol. I need to focus on zapping any of those little grumpy thoughts that have the audacity to run out across my mouth. Zap ‘em, one by one before they get out of control and run all over the place. ZAP! Watch out you grumpy ZAP, gnarly, ZAP, mean-voiced ZAP, short-tempered ZAP Discontented Self! Whew, got ‘em for tonight.
But then it starts all over the next night. Just like those roaches in Frank’s garage, the Discontent seems to return as if I had never zapped it at all.
All those years of watching Frank on Roach Patrol, I finally realize why the Neighbor visited with him while he was on patrol in the garage: That’s just what it takes. ZAP, one at a time, you can visit, but there’s nothing more important than tracking down every last one that scurries around.
Sister: “How are you doing?” Me: “Oh, I’m out on Grump Patrol, serious Grump Patrol.”
Sister: “OK, I’ll head to the garage.”