Make a big deal of everything.

Sure, we all have things we really care about, but what do we gain by insisting it’s our way or it’s no way? Stress.

It’s amazing how the tension evaporates from our shoulders when someone says, “I’m fine with that”, or “That could work.”


Have the wrong pet, or be the wrong owner.

If you think your pet always looks like this, or perhaps that your pet would like to kill you, then it’s time to think outside the litter box.

Your style might not work with this pet, and changing how you spend time with your pet might make you both happier.

Or maybe someone else might love the little scoundrel more.


Make your mother look like this.

Everyone wants to be treated with respect, or at least with courtesy. Know when you’re having a bad day and don’t take it out on those closest to you.

They love you, but hey, you have a lot of say over what words come out of your mouth.


Eat a lot of junk food.

Eating a lot of fatty snacks is a wonderful luxury, and a growing source of grief and grumpiness.

When we put on pounds we lose the spring in our step, and like it or not, feeling heavy is a drag.

When did we forget how fantastic fruit is? Be an emperor and eat some grapes!


Insist on doing life on your own.

We all need some time to ourselves — even extroverts (such as when they vote). Everyone needs to have friends, to share good times and get through bad times.

When we think that two heads aren’t better than one then we’re also saying two hearts aren’t better than one.

People need community, and it’s often just a smile away.


Don’t get enough sleep.

This is an excellent way to make not only yourself but lots of people around you grumpy. And unlike eating too many fatty snacks you can generate gallons of grumpiness very quickly.

There are some types of fun that require staying up really late and listening to either drunken people yelling or long-dead actors on TV.

But surprisingly, most things in life can happen within our usual sleeping cycle.  Cut out a bit early and wake up feeling refreshed.


Drink more than you know you should.

What are we, still 15 years old? Bio-chem students might seem a bit nerdy but they do know an essential secret: that alcohol at high levels is toxic, messy, and a great source of vitamin G (yes, G is for Grumpiness).

Don’t be like this pumpkin — all orange and dumping their insides. You’ll still have fun.


Try to do too much.

This isn’t just about work, but about all areas of our lives. When did overdoing everything become a national contest?

There will always be more things to do than we have time for and the skills for. Working together on projects is a great way to make headway and to share the joy of progress. We need to be able to say “no”, ask for help, and find a new balance of quality and quantity.

If your life is a parody of a soccer Mom then it’s time for a time out.


Treat small mistakes like the end of the world.

Things go wrong — every day — but rarely will they bring down the sky. We have a vested interest in the current moment of our life and when it goes wrong it can surprise us. People can get frustrated and defensive. They can even go beyond grumpy to all-out anger.

Be kind and forgiving to yourself and those around you. Instead of making a big deal, try a shrug and say “Oops” when things go wrong. You’ll find most mistakes are quickly forgotten.


Take all the credit.

We all contribute, but in different ways.

Each day is part of a long term project called life, and the task that just got done is threaded through the lives of people who helped along the way — whether you know or appreciate them or not.

Celebrate victories with gusto, and small successes too — prevent grumpiness by acknowledging shared efforts.

We aren’t living in cold caves like smelly cavemen. Enjoy sharing the spotlight, and be thankful for living in community.

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