A good way to cure grumpiness

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My mum told me last night that she thinks I’m becoming a grumpier person, and it struck me as I laid awake in bed this morning that she might actually be right.

I think it’s since I started commuting to London that I’ve become far less tolerant of the general public and their incredibly annoying behaviour, such as taking phone calls on silent trains, sniffing, incessant coughing, bag rustling, dawdling, getting in the way, or just being loud and generally irritating. (Tourists with suitcases and small children: I hate you the most).

I have become a constant complainer. I pick things apart when they  don’t need picking, and even whinge people who are probably just being nice and trying to help me. In my 25th year I have become the grumpy old woman I expected to be at 85. I despair at whatever the next 6 decades have in store.

When I mentioned this irrational grumpiness to my boyfriend, he agreed that it might just be “the London commuter coming out” in me and that I should probably just roll with it, but I know if I continue like this for much longer I’ll drive myself mad.

So this morning I decided to set myself a mini experiment: to write a list of all the positive things that happened to me throughout the day. I left out things like “the traffic lights turned green as I approached them” because sending you to sleep as a result of reading this is the last thing I want to do. This said, I did try to pay attention to the simple things and little victories that made me smile, only in the hope that by the end of the day, I’d look less like Grumpy Cat, and more like this:


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Here’s just a few of them.

  • I left the house on time, and to my surprise it wasn’t raining, or too cold, or too windy.
  • I made it all the way to Clapham Junction on the train without hearing any announcements from the “onboard supervisor”, and even when he did pipe up, he kept his chatter to a minimum. (Take note Southern Rail staff: I know I probably need better headphones, but I don’t need to hear your life story every time the train approaches a new station).
  • Remembered that Stylist is out today! Picked up a copy at Victoria.
  • Nearly got hit by a car en route to the office. Survived.
  • Arrived at work in one piece and there was just enough milk left in the fridge to make a cup of tea.
  • My superwoman Editor swooped in and saved me from dealing with the really awkward client I’ve been stuck trying to please for the past two days.
  • Received the itinerary for an event I’m attending tomorrow morning, and these magical words cropped up

  • One of my lovely colleagues offered me a chocolate during what I call my pre-lunch hunger hour (12pm-1pm), when I am always absolutely starving.
  • Lunchtime finally came! Went for a walk and the sun came out. Arrived back at the office and missed a total downpour by about 30 seconds.
  • Finished for the day, walked to the station with a work friend and had a great catch-up about our recent holidays and life in general.
  • Had a tweet ‘liked’ by a fairly well-known comedian who I really admire. I’d posted something on Twitter last week about how happy I was that his sister, author Zadie Smith, was on a podcast I listen to, and he came across it somehow. Pretty cool!
  • Showed my Dad the latest edition of the magazine I write for, and he seemed really proud of me. Which was nice :)

Collecting all these moments was a really pleasant and heartwarming experience, and made me realise that getting wound up by menial things (such as the lady who was blasting Britney Spears’ back catalogue on the train home this evening), is just a surefire way to put yourself in a bad mood. And life’s too short for all that – time to start appreciating the good stuff.

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