Maybe it's a reaction to the stress of not knowing what's next, even though I've had a full four months to suss the sucka out. Maybe it's the Resistor whispering sweet uglies in my ear as I near some kind of (oh please oh please oh please) creative breakthrough.
Whatever flavor of fear is to blame, I have been horrified to note of late a creeping desire to trash-talk, whatever, whomever, whenever.
I know it's no good for me: even if it wasn't the #1 poison the Four Agreements warns against (which it is) and even if happiness handmaiden Gretchen Rubin hadn't discussed the downside multiple times (which she has), I literally feel awful now when I gossip. Sick to my stomach, plus a little dizzy. And that's on top of the self-loathing that kicks in.
Fortunately, my friend Dave Seah introduced me to the ultimate spell-breaker for lifting the hex and clearing the fog that a good, and by "good," I mean "bad", gossip session induces. I was at the end of a long jag of gnarly, personal posts to our Google Wave project, not gossipy blips, per se, but that kind of venting that's just to the side of it. When I finally copped to overindulging and confessed to the weariness it had brought on, rather than batting back a similarly heavy reply, or a snarky joke, or just ignoring it entirely, as though it had never existed, Dave said the exact perfect thing:
"Okay, then, ice cream for everyone!"
I laughed out loud when I read it, the sticky ugliness vanished in a poof of delightful, and immediately, God was back in her heaven and all was right with the world.
Since that exchange, Dave and I have used it at least twice more in the Wave and I've found myself using it quite a bit in the course of my day to get myself back on track from all kinds of derailments: Accidentally read another horrible thing about racist fear-mongering while you were on the interwebs? Ice cream for everyone! Crabby friend on the phone attempting to launch a bitch-fest? Ice cream for everyone! Catch your own ungrateful self complaining again? Ice cream for everyone! It's short, it's easy to remember, and it doesn't dangle loosely from my bony wrist.
So. Weekend over? Tough week ahead? Stupid guy cut you off in traffic on the way to work?
ICE CREAM FOR EVERYONE!
Unless you have a better one. Eh?