How a Root Canal Shook Me Out of a Funk

Corner close up of eight various white and orange and white koi in a pond.

I’ve written about this before, “death by paper cuts,” but it’s true. The little things add up and sometimes that kind of blockage can be more detrimental than a big shake up. Part of that is the sorting through all the little things that got you to where you are now (if you can even figure that out) but part of that is owning that things went sideways and what your part was in that.

Some of it may be uncontrollable, but how you manage it is all on you.

I’m struggling with that right now, because try as I might, I’m worried. We have a koi pond and have been monkeying with a contractor trying to fix it for months. Literal months–since the end of November 2023. I thought we were there and something happened. Now, I have a kiddy pool with a fountain pump and all twelve fairly large koi sitting on my back deck in the 90 degree heat.

A grumpy looking husky sitting in a garden of daffodils while wearing a daffodil costume.

Needless to say, I’m not a fan.

It’s the very scenario I’ve been trying to avoid and yet, here we are. I’m still holding out hope that the contractor will deliver solidly in the next four days so we can get everything back together because I finally had a private meltdown. Two hours past the scheduled work time, I get a call asking me if I’d emptied the pond which had already been previously discussed at great length that we were not to empty it. They said they would do some work then drain it. Suddenly no, it needed to be drained and it was too late to come out and get work done that day (because, they were two hours late and they probably didn’t think we could catch the koi as quickly as we did).

I could hardly wait to get off the phone because I so frustrated. When I hung up, I told Chief that I needed some time alone so that I could cry. Which is exactly what I did.

Crying complete, I came back out and we emptied the pond of the fish after setting up their miserable little temporary abode. And by miserable, I mean little and plastic. Every night I worry about the kiddie pool leaking (despite being brand new). The pump quitting (also brand new because the old one broke during the last minute shenanigans) or shooting all the water out of the pool, and other sundry mishaps. Some of which have happened in the past.

My cry was seriously surprising that it finally came out now, given the months this has been dragging on. Every week or every other week, messages, promises, a lot of talking leading to little or no action.

Finally, the complete change of plans on the day of not showing up for an appointment.

I tell you all this to say that I could cool my jets but this is costly on so many levels and has occupied so much brain space. I already struggle with Mother’s Day then that mishap (on said day). To top it off, I fell in the pond. Yup, slipped into the water trying to catch the koi and soaked myself and my phone–landing on the hip with the phone in the pocket. I’m thankful it didn’t break or malfunction from the soaking.

One more round of monkey business on Monday–no need to elaborate other than to say it put me in a mood because I thought finally, finally, we were all set.

Tuesday, another no-show topped by the joy of going to the dentist for a root canal.

Now, here’s where I really want you to pay attention: it snapped me out of the foul mood.


Well for starters, it gave me something else to think about for three hours. Actually, a little over three hours. I had been working myself into a lather. There’s nothing like your body doing something physical or having something done to it that will make you quit with the dwelling and obsessing. Also, I love this dental office. It’s full of such good people. Everyone there is nice, caring, and funny; and Dr. Spigner is great at what he does. They are a fun bunch of people.

Surprise of all surprises, I left in a much better mood than when I arrived, despite having a root canal.

And there you have Fabulous Fools, it was all on me. As Harry S. Truman liked to say, “The buck stops here.” I can reframe; tell myself a better story; shift perspectives; focus on something else. If I’m still in a bad mood, maybe I need to hydrate or have a snack. Ultimately, I am the one to make the decision. Period.

I’ve committed to this contractor for a variety of reasons. I still have hope and faith in them that this job will get done. It’s just not on my timeline and no amount of fretting and pressuring will make it so. And that, Fabulous Fools, has been a theme and variation of the past couple of years. I’m learning and relearning to roll with it.

What tactics do you employ to get yourself out of a funk or bad mood? Do you get trapped in the paper cut conundrum?

Give me a shoutout! 🤠

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