Last night, I slipped into the pit of despair. You don't jump in, like a kid leaping into the ball pit at McDonald's Playland. You don't want to be in this pit. Your feet can't always find the bottom, and the balls aren't primary colors plus green. In fact, if the pit of despair had balls at all, they would be white with scuff marks and dents and teeth marks from the angry kid who chewed them all up.
So, this pit--you slide down into it. It starts with a simple irritation and then builds with a good friend walking away in the middle of a conversation and then gets layered with the ribs not being taken out of the oven on time and then the job that waits for you the next day that you know is a hopeless task that can't be accomplished. All of that makes a pretty slippery slide that is hard to stay at the top of unless you've got a good grip on the handles.
I guess my grip wasn't as firm as it should have been, and I went head first into all the dirty balls. I sat in my big leather chair watching the US Open with Husband and #1, with my elbow stuck into the arm rest and my head leaning on my open hand. Boo hoo. If exercise pumps endorphins into your blood stream, then moping in a big leather chair with your head in your hand pumps something closer to, I don't know, maybe black bile.
Self-pity is something that should be allowed for 10 seconds. You know, if you actually count out ten seconds--one one thousand, two one thousand...--it's not such a short length of time. And it's enough time for a brief self-indulgence like wallowing in your misery. Misery is a word I use lightly here because I recognize that my "misery" really is not misery at all. I don't know what true misery is, but when you're in the middle of feeling bad for yourself, it sure can seem like something worthy of a lot of attention and pats on the head.
Over the summer, #1 and I made collages as a kind of cathartic exercise. I hung a couple of mine in my office, but they are on the wall behind me so I can't see them unless I make an effort. This morning, I moved the most positive and breathy of them to the front wall, the wall behind my monitor so I can remember to sit at the top of the slide and hang on to what I know is right.
From up here, on the top of the slide, things don't seem all that hopeless, and if I put my mind to it, I bet I can design some damn good book covers that people will actually like. And then I'll still have time to make twenty-four sandwiches for the girls' tennis team--the turkey, cheese, and pesto in pita they've been asking for.