Alex’s Something of the Week [3]

Alexander Baughman
Alexander Baughman


[This post is part of Alex’s Something Series. Click here to read more.]


Another week, and of course there’s another random thing to talk about!

For any newcomers to this series: these posts involve me trying to recognize and respect whatever I’m feeling or thinking, regardless of their cause. By validating those feelings/thoughts, we empower ourselves to make adjustments and take action as agents of our mental health– we can actively make changes to stop, encourage, diminish, or welcome that feeling/thought in the future. 

So here’s something I felt this week.

Zip zing zang z00m from r/PrequelMemes

Two things: 

  1. That meme is not entirely accurate, but I felt I had to include some sort of fun content in this anecdotal post
  2. Of course I’m going to take every opportunity I can to force Prequel Memes into the conversation

This one is a little lengthier than usual, as it’s story-based rather than video-based; please bear with me. I spent the night at my partner’s apartment recently to forgo the commute and get a little extra sleep before heading to Active Minds in the morning. The plan was glorious and ultimately foiled by her adorable cats, who proceeded to trod all over me, becoming significantly less adorable in the 1-3 AM light. So I got up, tossed and turned on the couch, and awoke unrefreshed four hours later. Annoying right?

That account doesn’t consider the fact that I unfairly told the story as if both cats were troublemakers when only one kept me awake; it doesn’t consider that I am a light sleeper, and just lay there looking at her on my chest for a solid half hour at one point, passively waiting for something to happen. Nor did I mention that later I barked “NO” at her, as if she would respond to that, and woke up my partner in the process.

If my previous blog posts are any indication, I try to live pretty cheerfully. That morning was pretty rough though. My mind was a loathsome mixture of irritability and weariness which almost colored the rest of my day.

So what can I do about all that? First of all, as I awoke I performed immediate damage control à la “that was then; this is now… I’m awake now… and right now my mood is a choice,” and other assorted rationalities. But when all you want is a good night’s sleep before a week of work, those systematic tools can feel lukewarm at best.

Second, I acknowledge that this probably isn’t a one-time thing: that cat wants cuddles! Perhaps next time I can just get up and settle on the couch immediately rather than wait and wait (and wait) for the cat to do something differently; I’m an autonomous fellow, after all– next time I can just make the change promptly instead of wishing it away, probably getting more sleep in the process.

Third, to identify the root of the problem: I just wanted sleep, and I didn’t get it. When I put it that way, it seems a rather silly thing to get upset about. Physical or mental exhaustion is no joke and certainly needs to be addressed, but being irritable because of fatigue is on me; the cats may have been accountable for me being tired, but I was accountable for my mood and sour disposition.

This lacks the upbeat conclusiveness of previous blog posts; some days are better than others. But at least I can resolve to try to approach ordinary situations like the Great Cat Fiasco of October 2019 with a little more grace next time, lest my mood spiral out of control again. 

What was a feeling you felt this week? What made you feel that way? What is something you can do about it?


This post is part of Alex’s Something Series. Click here to read more.