Becoming grumpy

Thursday, February 8, 2018 Permalink

I’ve been feeling bad of late. I’m pretty sure I’ve been more short-tempered than I should be with my mother.

And she doesn’t deserve it.

It occurs to me I’m pretty much used to my own space at the end of the day. I’ve always been envious of those who go home to loved ones…. someone with whom they can share the ups and downs of their day. It’s something I’ve never had and I – usually – retreat to the bathtub for an hour or two which, for me, draws a line underneath ‘the day’ and allows ‘the night’ to commence.

becoming grumpy

Pic from: Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book on Amazon

I’ve mentioned before, my (not so new) full time job is based in a neighbouring town – just 40km away, where my mother lives. Which is also my childhood hometown. Initially this seemed problematic (to my now-unaccustomed-to-commuting-self) though many many people drive between the two places each day.

I decided early on to stay at mum’s two nights each week. She was happy with that. It allowed us to catch up regularly and meant our weekends were free for other stuff. Not to mention less driving for me.

Of course I’m spoilt and she cooks dinner and furnishes me with leftovers; and I happily leave washing in her laundry basket after our sleepovers.

A couple of months ago I started pilates (in mum’s town) and so I’ve managed to wangle those two nights there. Perfect. Yes?

However… I notice of late I’m tired and short-tempered when I get to her place before heading to pilates and even on my return (despite the endorphin-enhancing exercise) I’m more abrupt with my mum than I should be.

I even find myself being quiet and focussed during pilates, whereas normally I’m a multitasker, chatting away while I work out.

Naturally I’ve been pondering my bad moods. I’ve got no reason to be grumpy. Although it occasionally feels like I’m fitting into someone else’s timetable my mother wouldn’t care if I ate later than she did, or nibbled instead. And interestingly, when I’m at my place I sometimes kinda miss the structure I have at her place.

Becoming grumpy

In all honesty I suspect part of my dilemma is that whole – living between two worlds – thing. It means I need to plan ahead more than usual and it can get a bit confusing… I usually reach down to feel my bed when I wake, to work out where I am and which day it is.

I’m getting better at keeping an assortment of clothes in both locations, although often tend to want something that’s ‘elsewhere’.

I probably struggle more with my work belongings. I’m constantly telling my work roommate I feel I’ve forgotten something as I pack my laptop, notebook, folders and various bits and pieces I need on the day or two I work from different locations in MY hometown.

I suspect it’s a settling-in thing; but don’t necessarily ‘like’ the person I am at times. It’s not who I want to be any more. I’ve spent enough time going through the motions, biding time, bottling my feelings or putting them on pause to deal with them inappropriately at a later stage (usually via food).

I’m telling myself it’s good that I’m picking up on this early although I just need to get better at dealing with it.

Am I over-reacting, or do you think it’s worth monitoring our behaviour, attitudes and feelings for the slightest glitch?

* I SO need this shirt…. available via Red Bubble!

The Lovin’ Life team includes:

50 Shades of Age | Seize the Day Project | And Anyways | Write of the Middle | Deep Fried Fruit.

28 Comments
  • Kooky Chic
    February 8, 2018

    Perhaps you will feel more content after your trip away?

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2018

      Maybe… also I’ve got another trip planned. I really must write about that. (Next week maybe!)

  • Lisa Ireland
    February 8, 2018

    This is probably useless to you but I’m wondering if some of the grumpiness is age/hormone related. We are similar in age and I’m finding myself becoming more grumpy and short tempered than I’ve ever been! I’m usually a pretty happy person and I’m quite even tempered, or I used to be. Increasingly I find myself short tempered and snappy – which I don’t like at all! I’m making an effort to rein myself in so I don’t upset others, but I still feel annoyed or grumpy a lot more than I used to!

    • Jo
      February 8, 2018

      I’m feeling the same, Lisa. I find myself snapping so much more than usual – & having to concentrate harder. I’m 51 next month so suspect that it’s hormones as well.

      • Debbish
        February 9, 2018

        I’ve had a few false alarms but kinda hoping this is it (in terms of ummmm…. lack of monthly visitors).

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2018

      Hell yes, I’ve really noticed my moodiness of late. Given I live alone and will be home alone on weekends, I notice my moods are very up and down. (And I had some terrible palpitations recently one night. My fitbit registered that I was doing cardio exercise and I was lying in bed! All part of it I guess.)

  • Deborah Jefferis
    February 8, 2018

    I think we take out our grumpiness/ bad moods on people we are sure of. I would talk to your Mum about it. Say sorry she will understand. She probably already does.

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2018

      She read my post and I talked to her about this last night… she suggested I was overthinking things too much. (Which I know is the case!) Also she’s probably used to my moods after 50yrs!

  • Jo
    February 8, 2018

    I find I’ve been grumpier & short with hubby (in particular) lately. I’m not sure whether I’m resentful that I’m working & he isn’t or whether I need more of my own space or whether it’s hormonal. I’m beginning to suspect that hormones have a large part to play.

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2018

      I worry some of it is an ageing thing / becoming more set in my ways, or at least, wanting things my own way. I’ll often think of things to tell my mum but when I see her I’m tired resentful and can’t be bothered.

  • Cassie
    February 8, 2018

    I think it’s a sad truism that we tend to be our worst selves to the people we love most. I see it with my kids, and I see it with the way I act towards my own parents/in-laws. I suppose it’s the product of being expected to be ‘nice’ when we’re outside the home. We all need a pressure valve to release ‘the nasties’ and that valve seems to exist at home, where our loved ones also live. I guess there’s two ways to look at it, one is to beat yourself up about it, or the other way is to appreciate the fact that we have someone who still loves us even at our worst. When my kids are being particularly horrible, I try to remind myself how lucky they are to have an environment where they are loved unconditonally. I’m not saying we should just go ahead and be horrible! It’s always wise to try to ‘do better’ and be our best selves more often, but no one is perfect.

    • Sydney Shop Girl
      February 8, 2018

      Cassie, this is so true about who we are to the people we love most. I see it in my son but am finally beginning to see it in my own actions. I think self regulation is a good thing an am with you in trying to ‘do better’… It’s hard sometimes though.

      SSG xxx

      • Debbish
        February 9, 2018

        Ah yes… I do try to make an effort even if my mood is rotten and perhaps – as my mum isn’t overly troubled by my behaviour – I mostly succeed in reining the simmer in but I do need to get better at self-regulating (on many levels!!!!).

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2018

      What a lovely thought Cassie. And it is true. I always try to appear peppy for everyone else and usually collapse in the safety of my own place and probably am the same at my mother’s – I obviously worry about her feelings but feel more able to be my real self.

  • Natalie
    February 8, 2018

    Working full-time and living in two places can be tiring, Deb. I think it’s very good that you’re picking up on this early, and try to do better.

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2018

      True Natalie. I can work on the situational stuff – try to be as organised as possible, keep certain items in both places, keep to a pattern but there’ll always be a bit of confusion. (I almost rolled out of bed at my mother’s last night, thinking I was at my place and about to toss myself in one direction before remembering I’m on the opposite side of the bed at her place!)

  • writeofthemiddle
    February 8, 2018

    Hate to say it but it all probably boils down to peri-menopausal hormonal crap. I’m the same. I can be a grumpy cow sometimes! Not pleasant at all! However, your living between two locations would be hard on you and maybe you just need a holiday (which you’ve got coming up – your exciting Italy trip). I’d say a mixture of all things. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Maybe you’ll be a new, refreshed person after your holiday! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2018

      Gah! That holiday is a loooong way away (well, 6mths I guess), but I also need to get better at how I spend my weekends at the moment. I stress a lot about stuff I SHOULD be doing. I recently had a rostered day off and messaged someone talking about how guilty I felt I hadn’t done the writing (book reviews) I was supposed to. She reminded me it was my day off and I suddenly questioned my assumption that my days off are all about chores. (And then I realised I was thinking of writing, blogging, book reviewing and reading as a chore!)

  • Jodie
    February 8, 2018

    I always say that I over analyze everything…and there’s a good and bad to it. Usually I at least learn from it…and realize something (maybe). And many times I even am able to put it all behind me….
    Could be you need more time?? But grumpy isn’t the worst thing in the world either…LOL!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2018

      True Jodie and it isn’t like I yell at her or anything. I’m mostly impatient in my own head and not-effusive. As I walk home from pilates each week I hear families and couples fighting (some of the neighbouring streets are pretty feral) and I’m reminded we don’t do anything like that, so perhaps it isn’t that bad after all.

  • leannelc
    February 8, 2018

    I think when we’re out of our comfort zone we tend to get snappier and snarkier and the easiest people to take that out on are the ones we love the most – because we feel safest there. I think you just need to explain that to your Mum so she doesn’t feel hurt or take it personally (that’s something we mums tend to do at the drop of a hat). Then just allow yourself the grace to accept that this is a time of upheaval and change and you’re allowed to react to that – just don’t stay in that mode for too long – look for the positives to balance it out (there endeth my contribution!)

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2018

      I like to think she knows how I feel about her – though she knows I struggle to say it. (I’m not good with the L word!) But I’ll usually tell her that my mood isn’t about her… that I’m tired / grumpy from work or other stuff happening. Or tired. She’s just unfortunate to be there at that time.

  • Raychael Case
    February 9, 2018

    I think there must be something in the air at this time of year. Summer holidays weren’t nearly long enough. I was looking forward to a few days, mostly on my own on the Gold Coast catching up with a blogger friend being the highlight (still is). My mother from NSW who I’m lucky to see once every 5 or so years, caught wind of my movements and needs to be in the area for a wedding next week anyway, so is now joining me. Which will be great but there goes my solo trip, my time alone to get my head in the right space for everything that is going to be thrown at me when I return. I can feel a staycation review coming on the moment I return.

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2018

      I had Xmas – New Year off so didn’t have much of a break, though I’d only worked part time before October so can’t complain about needing a break really. I do fantasise though about the idea of getting away (somewhere) and disconnecting and not having any commitments (like blog posts and the like).

  • Emma
    February 9, 2018

    I am such a creature of habit and a homebody I couldn’t do the two nights away but it does sound like a wonderful way to have a link with your mom. It sounds like a mindset thing and sure it will get better. In the meantime, have you told your mom so she doesn’t worry?

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2018

      She reads this Emma but her only comment was that I overthink things too much. I think she knows that I’ve been stressed about work stuff (waking thinking about it all a lot etc) so knows that it isn’t always about her. Of course I’m absolutely sure I have habits that annoy her as well. (Although it’ll surprise you to know I’m not perfect, I do realise!)

  • sizzlesue15
    February 9, 2018

    I hear you Deb! We currently are living in Brisbane and the Gold Coast and going between is not as enjoyable as we thought. We can’t retire to the GC yet mainly because of Mike’s mum in aged care home and also I help with my grandson when my daughter travels for work. The idea of living in two homes sounds appealing we are in the city and then head to the coast but in reality it is exhausting and you don’t feel relaxed at either place. Perhaps it is also adjusting to the new full time job as well as the travelling that is making you feel tired and when we are tired we also get grumpy!

    • Debbish
      February 9, 2018

      Oh yes Sue, that sounds hard for you. My brother recently took a redundancy from a workplace after almost 30yrs and in recent years he spent days in Sydney / Melbourne almost every week, though lives in Brisbane. I think it was exhausting. And disruptive.

      I used to travel a bit for work – though not as often – but overseas etc and it made it hard for me to get into routines. I think I’m slowly getting there with my routines but you’re right, it’s only been a few months so I’m probably still adjusting.

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