I’ve been remarkably irritable this week—remarkable, as in, worth remarking on, which is exactly what the 10yo in our house did after overhearing me (and my grumpiness) during an evening Zoom meeting earlier this week. I looked up to see this note written for me:
There are probably plenty of reasonable explanations for my grumpiness—social isolation paired with “too much” together time with the same housemates; dangerously incompetent leadership in the White House; the existential burden of unknowing; the relentless ubiquity of white supremacy culture that has kept Ahmaud Arbery’s name out of the national news for two months and has kept his white killers out of jail*.
There are plenty of justifiable reasons to be irritable and grumpy. And I don’t like being irritable and grumpy. So I’m deliberately seeking and noting cheerful things in my life.
Here are some things that have brought smiles and laughter this week:
- Old and new friends in our Sunday worship services. Even those friends who thought they were in a service being broadcast from Columbia, SC, or Columbia, MO.
- A low-pressure Facebook challenge that has motivated me to identify and name some of my favorite books.
- People giving their stimulus checks to UUCC Food Insecurity and Columbia Community Care.
- Walks at 8:30PM with enough “daylight” still to see.
- Participating in the UUCC [Virtual] Chalice Choir’s recording of “Spirit of Life”. (Michael and I plan to premier it in worship on May 17!)
- Juliet Takes a Breath, a young adult novel by Gabby Rivera, with a queer Puerto Rican protagonist. I haven’t quite finished it yet, but it has made me laugh and cry and quote good lines at the dinner table and on social media.
- The performance of the child Jolee’s original composition I Wonder What’s Inside your Butthole. Posted by Jolee’s parent on Twitter, it has become so popular that other artists are recording remixes and covers.
- Goslings and baby turtles observed at Lake Kittamaqundi and Lake Elkhorn. (Which then brought to mind the book character Gossie and her bright red boots—also a joy!)
- Nail polish, applied to my own fingernails simply to amuse myself.
- A firm decision that Maryland public schools will remain closed (distance learning only) for the rest of this academic year. (I’m not happy about the need for this decision, but I’m relieved that a decision—and the right one for the public health—has been made.)
- Lilacs blooming.
- Chocolate crinkle cookies. Baked entirely by the children in the house. Delicious.
I still feel irritable, but less distressingly so after composing this list.
What is bringing cheer to your world?
I miss you and your hugs, UUCC people. Take good care of yourselves, and I’ll look forward to seeing you soon.
* Update: Ahmaud Arbery’s killers were arrested on Thursday, May 7.