Why was I so flipping cranky? All week long I've felt so happy. I've been joyful even. I've been like a Hawaii vacation commercial with myself. I walk around and randomly pause to smell the flowers. A few days ago when I was taking a walk and it started to rain on me I thought, "Oh goodie! Now the pavement will have that amazing just-rained-on smell that I love so much." I have tried new recipes, cheerily done all the laundry, made my daughter's lunch for her when she ran out of time, all with a twinkle in my eye and not a hint of a grudge.
And then yesterday afternoon it suddenly switched. Crankiness took over like bald tires on black ice and I spent most of the day trying to crawl my way out of this swamp I somehow landed in. I tried a long walk. I saw a group of senior citizens dancing to Polka music in a picnic shelter and even that only boosted my spirits for split second. The gloom came right back. I tried meditating. I tried watching an episode of Broad City. I bought a succulent and some basil to plant. The crank held on like a tick.
I could feel the ooze of negativity seeping out of me. Who had I become? And why? Was there no boundary to this negativity? Would I ever come back to my joy? As I parked my car to sub a night class at the studio I thought, "Laura, you have got to get your shit together or you are going to ruin the Friday evening of every person who walks through The SweatBox doors."
Unable to explain or shop or walk or think away my mood, I had the momentary burst of thought that maybe this could be hormonal. And suddenly I could breathe. Maybe I hadn't turned into a terrible, cranky old lady. Maybe this was a temporary hormonal state. I texted my friend Kate and told her about my hideous mood. She shot back with the offer to drive by my house and have a ten minute swear off. Since I was already at work, I declined, but the camaraderie of the gesture made me feel better.
Isolation is a terrible feeling. It's insidious in that once you're in an isolated state it's very hard to ask for help to get out of it. Kate and many other women in my life are dealing with hormonal shifts that, for lack of a better term, "fuck your shit up" at unpredictable moments. It's not unlike puberty when I hid in my room for no other reason than, if my mother told me it was time for dinner, I would jump out of my second story window. We all need to feel like we can be understood, like we belong somewhere and fit in.
I did end up getting myself together to teach last night. It was a beautiful group of humans and by the end of the class my heart was swollen with love and gratitude for all of them. I'm lucky that I have peers who are going through these hormonal shifts at the same time that I am. And I'm grateful for my yoga community who reminds me that being cranky is temporary.