Monday, May 4, 2009


My father used to say self pity is the most sincere of human emotions. Wow. That says a lot about him, doesn't it? What I've wondered for many years, but am unable to ask him (since he passed away so long ago) is: what emotion isn't sincere? There are lots of insincere behaviors, but emotion? It is by its very nature always sincere. My poor father - he was so miserable.

Though ordinarily I tilt towards gratitude and cheerfulness, I have my moments when I think "Why me?" or "This is SO unfair." Who doesn't? I am generally snapped out of these moments almost instantaneously. I'll be walking down the street, for instance, bemoaning something or another and then right in front me I'll notice someone walking with crutches or in a wheelchair or in some other way physically compromised. It's as if God or the multiverse or however you look at it is urging me to waste as little time as possible in a Woe-Is-Me frame of reference. Life is short, after all.

My practice at these moments is to turn on a dime, to stop right then and give thanks for my excellent health and for the fact that physically I am in fine shape for a woman of my age. I could be in better shape (who couldn't?) but boy could I be in worse shape. Wow.

All that said, I'm sporting a pout today since I was supposed to be traveling to Florida tomorrow to hang out with one dear old friend and one brand new friend. The original plan had to be scrapped. Now it seems I will have to wait until October. Hence the pouting.

Isn't emotional intelligence about the capacity to deal gracefully with situations in which instant gratification isn't possible? Oops. Not exhibiting emotional intelligence today. Oh well.

I'll live. The days and weeks will pass quickly. October will come and I'll head down to hang out with these dear ones. And all will be well. Life is good and I am grateful, oh yeah!

Cool old drawing of the Capitol, framed and hanging in the bathroom at Teaism by the White House. I love the half-finished Washington Monument.


Andrea said...

I'll pout right along with you. My grumpy weekend mood is spilling over into Monday morning. Think it has something to do with the rain?
We'll be our chipper sleves again in no time!

Evening Light Writer said...

When I get in a pouty mood like that I usually call my mom and she always says "sounds like someone is having a pity party." I usually get a chuckle from that..if I was going to have a real pity party what color of balloons would I use? What would the cake say? If that doesn't work then, I usually allow myself 5 more minutes of pure self pity and then I move on to something else. I'm sorry about your trip though, I'd be disappointed too but Florida in October is a fabulous time I think!

Reya Mellicker said...

That's what my friends tell me, Evening Light Writer.

And yes Andrea, I think this rain (though I know we need it) is getting on my last nerve. Sometimes I am so fussy! Hope your grumpiness soon lifts.

Joanne said...

October will be here in no time. I mean, when I think that Memorial Day is only a few weeks away! Wasn't it just New Year's? Where does time go?

tam said...

My understanding of emotional intelligence is the balance between self awareness, awareness of others and emotional expression. So i think you're doing just fine. Disappointment is one of my least favourite experiences. Hang in there, the rain will pass. xx

mary said...

when I had a good pout going on - my father would say "If you stick that bottom lip out any more, a bird's going to come and perch on it". That and a hug and it was over.

A huge disappointment deserves a good pout!

Chris Wolf said...

What's wrong with disappointment and pouting? they are your true feelings right now. You're not asking us to pout too.

Only idiots are cheerful all the time.

willow said...

Sorry to hear your trip fell through. When something like that happens I always figure there was an unknown reason in the cosmos.

Love the old Capitol print!

Fidgeting Gidget said...

You're allowed to pout.....I would pout, too.

You do have a very good point, though---we should always be grateful for the good fortune that we do have.

I need to work on that sometimes.... :)

Love the old print!

John Hayes said...

It's hard when plans change at the last moment, & I think it's perfectly ok to have a bit of sadness & frustration about that sort of thing. But you're right: true self-pity is a waste of our precious time here.

Lori ann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
analogman said...

Reya, the multiverse is watching out for's going to rain for the next 4 days! That must mean perfect weather in October for your visit!!

Meri Arnett-Kremian said...

I've got a new mantra to deal with moments of self-pity. It's "So what! Now what?"

Perhaps it's unfair (whatever "it" is), but what am I going to do about it?

And everything's so much a matter of perspective -- you're disappointed you'll have to wait until October for a trip to Florida that you expected now, while I'm so excited about my planned trip to Egypt in October.

Merle Sneed said...

Arizona awaits, if you're looking for a substitute vacation.

deborah said...

there's nothing 'intelligent' about denying your true emotion
i say pout
pout it out

then go to Florida when the weather is miserable in DC
and when tornadoes are not all about

for now, go ahead and pout
get it out

love and more of it

R.L. Bourges said...

I'm revising the definition of emotional intelligence to: emotional intelligence is the capacity to properly name and acknowledge whatever emotional state the multiverse squirts through our endocrine system and THEN to turn on a pin, a dime, a quarter or a huge parking lot, depending on what we can manage at the time.

Be well. Hope the rest of the day brings unexpected (nice) surprises.

Madame Ladybug said...

Pouting is natural sometimes. You are right. There are no INsincere human feelings.

The gloomy weather sounds perfect for wearing something red that spins out when you twirl.

Red always seems to be better when the weather is dark.

Amy said...

This makes me smile because I always score very high on those emotional intelligence quizzes, but I have the silliest way of dealing with a disappointment. I allow myself to fold my arms across my chest, stomp my foot and crinkle my nose. Then I indulge myself in a Starbucks, lunch at my favorite fish taco joint, or a new shirt.Drama over.

I learned this technique from my children. I figured if little kids, yet unmarred by the world, can stomp and cry for a few minutes and then be distracted and made happy by a new coloring book or bouncy ball, it might work for me too.

I realize I'm leaving the only completely insane comment on your post. I really do think there's something to be said though for the philosophy of "Boy, this situation really stinks, but oooooooohhh, Starbucks really does make a smashingly good green tea!"

Reya Mellicker said...

I love all these mottos - Chris you're so funny (only idiots are cheerful all the time). I like So what, now what? And Pout it out.

Wow, who knew there were so many ways to work with pouting? I had no idea.

Thanks Danny for reassuring me about the weather. You know I want to come down there to see you, rain or shine, it really doesn't matter ... and to meet Marla at last. But thanks anyway. I'll let the weather predict me, as it always does.

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh and Madame Ladybug, what a great idea. If I had a red skirt that twirled, I would put it on right now. Instead, I'm headed back to work.

xxoo to all!

Reya Mellicker said...

One more comment: Amy? You are NOT insane! I love your technique.

Jeninacide said...

That's a good point about sincere emotions vs. insincere. The thought had never actually occurred to me that emotions were one or the other!

I am pouting too. I had to reschedule a trip to Costa Rica in June all the way until DECEMBER. Wah! At least I still get to go though, right?

Elizabeth said...

Gosh, do I agree with you.
It is very boring pretending to be a little ray of sunshine all the time.
How wonderful it is to be human and have all sorts of emotions even the pouty, grumpy ones.
and you are quite right - there are so many people who would give their eye teeth (and more) to have a quarter of what we have in the way of health and wealth.....
which doesn't mean we can't
pout too....

word verification:

who is ken and why should we bother to amuse him?

Mrsupole said...

Hi Reya,
Sorry your trip was changed, but it is still on, which is great. The powers that be must have a reason to change it.

Thank you so much for the hummingbird link. It was exactly like the one I saw that day. It was so nice to see it in slow motion.

I would like to ask if you and everyone can visit my post and get the word out about how to give some pencils to some children who need them. I posted the information on my site to make it easy for everyone to have. I also hope that all of you can post this information because the more who find out about this then the more pencils and pens the kids will receive.

I would like to thank you ahead of time for doing this.

I also sent this info out in an e-mail to friends and family. And hope you all do too.

God bless you all and thank you.

Verily I go. said...

You make me smile so often. I just see the little girl with the pouty face and the pouty voice and I'm pretty sure there is cause. If you need to work into the arms on the hips and the little stomped foot. You can go right to the Power Pout. Pout away.

Daisy said...

I'm glad Jake is better, Reya. He is a lovely dog.
Your photos are, as always, spectacular.

Lover of Life said...

I think it's really okay to be disappointed, sad, hurt, mad, etc. But if it lingers - best to start listing and being grateful for your blessings. Our mind just loves to jump in the self-pity rut, doesn't it.

Sorry about your disappointment, though.

suezoos1 said...

I love rainy days, even when they go on for days and days...strange that way I guess, but just stop and think, October in Florida is not nearly as hot and sticky as this time of year..Pollyanna says!!

hele said...

I think emotional intelligence is all about the capacity to deal gracefully with the fact that we do not always feel like dealing gracefully with situations in which instant gratification isn't possible. :)

Ronda Laveen said...

Pouting. So much good advice and sage wisdom here. Not much to add. Loved Evening Light Writer's query of what color of balloons would she have and what would cake say. To me pouty is purple. Don't you just swear that she is an elder dressed in a young suit?

I would have purple pouty lips. How's that for alliteration. And cake saying...Uhh, maybe something like, "Oh, poop!"

Pouting Purple Poop. That's pouting.

And Chris and Lady Bug and Amy? Gotta love it. I feel that the important thing is to live it and embrace it FULLY for an instant, a an hour, a day and then move on. Own it fully and then drop it. Yeah, that is what I feel.

Dare I say that may 21 year old neice left yesterday for Florida for a hair extension educator workshop? I told her I wanted to see the pictues.

A Cuban In London said...

The key phrase is 'I'll live'. Yes, you have your health and your job. You will live. And you're also right that all emotions by their own nature are sincere. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Reya Mellicker said...

I agree with you Ronda, that there are many old souls running around in very young bodies here - and everywhere really. You and I, for instance, though not so young in terms of human lifespans (maybe I should speak for myself) are still very old souls in very young bodies. It's an interesting dynamic!

Anonymous said...


Verily suggested that I visit your blog, and I'm so glad that she did. I know exactly what you are talking about in seeing someone else in worse condition and suddenly realizing that life isn't so bad.

That being said, pout all you want. I particularly love Amy's method of pouting. Sounds completely logical to me.

By the way, is that beautiful flower a peony or a rose?

mouse (aka kimy) said...

it is frightening to think how quickly october will be here....

i always pout when a travel goes awry...