Fall into Crabbiness

//Fall into Crabbiness

Fall into Crabbiness

Fall makes me crabby. I’m picking fights with my husband B for no apparent reason. 

Example 1) Tuesday is my day to cook. Yes, I’m spoiled. He cooks – or takes me out – all the other days. He says he enjoys it, finds chopping meditative; who am I to steal this pleasure from him? Anyway, I have everything ready: a fresh spinach salad, roasted potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and sweet peppers. The kitchen smells wonderful, I’m starving (translation: hangry) and I’m waiting for him to work his magic on the leftover turkey. Where is he? I dump some oil on the turkey, shove it in the rapidly cooling oven, scowl at him as he comes in.

“I didn’t think you’d ever get here,” I say.

“It’s 5:30,” he points out. 

And it’s true. He generally comes home from work between 5:15 and 5:30. Geez Reets! Relax a little.

Example 2) The other morning, spliced in between obnoxious and ancient rock from FM96 Taz and Jim (we listen in case they have something to say about B’s building that he runs), B’s smoothie-making machine and the Barista express coffee maker, I find an opportunity for conversation. 

I share with him what I was writing in my journal, about Harry and Meghan, how it makes me so damn angry that nobody likes them anymore. Their love story on Netflix was so sweet, so romantic, moreso than I expect the David Beckham doc to be, and so what if Harry bashed Camilla to Charles? He was cheating on Diana with her! Harry reminds me of Diana so much, he has that same charismatic energy.

B endures my tirade. Pretty sure if I was just talking about Diana, he’d have something to add. He saw her once on a crowded street in real London, actually felt her star power from a distance, thinks they locked eyes, had a moment. Anyhoo, he just shrugs, shakes his head, says, “I have no comment on this.”


Of course, it’s not about Harry and Meghan. Or Tuesday cooking. Perhaps I’m upset because I can no longer drink coffee outside on the porch; the house suddenly got way smaller, darker and colder. I’m wearing socks for cripes’ sake!

Oh and, despite many experts positing that modern warfare will be fought differently, perhaps on screens rather than on battlefields, there has been yet another horrific incursion. As the morbid details of that Saturday get revealed and retaliation begins, we see that people – as they’re fully entitled to – have varying points of view.

Thinking about points of view can drive one absolutely insane, huh? I try to put myself in other shoes and minds. To some degree I must succeed because I ran into a blog-reader recently who said, twice!, “You’re so compassionate.” I take that as a huge compliment.

Palestinians in Canada celebrating what Hamas did in Israel? I can’t wrap my head around it. 

I know it’s a complicated issue. Discussing the Middle East with my sister-in-law the other day, she brought up the bible story her mom shared with her. Here it is from britannica.com: “Ishmael was born and brought up in Abraham’s household. Some 13 years later, however, Sarah conceived Isaac, with whom God established his covenant. Isaac became Abraham’s sole heir, and Ishmael and Hagar were banished to the desert, though God promised that Ishmael would raise up a great nation of his own.” Isaac became the forebear of Jewish lineage, Ishmael of Arab.

So, if you peel back a couple thousand years and millions of people? It seems you have a couple of brothers vying for a father’s love and land/wealth while adopting different beliefs about religion.

Will we ever be able to accept people, as is, regardless of what they believe? Will we ever be able to share the land?

On a smaller scale (and aside from badgering B), I’ve been experiencing and witnessing the evolution of friendships. They change over time, yes? People grow, or don’t. Of course, I think I’m the enlightened one, but the other thinks so too. Mind-bending stuff. Like in that old Eagles song “The Best of My Love”: “You see it your way, I see it mine, But we both see it slipping away …”

Maybe she’s just not that into me … 

Listened to a great Mel Robbins podcast about it – there’s a podcast for everything right? The “Let Them Theory”. Your friends left you out of a Toronto getaway? “Let them”. Your kid and his friends want to go to McDonalds in their tuxes and gowns before prom? “Let them”. Your gf wants to date another loser? “Let her”.

The bottom line is, who can we control? Numero uno. You gotta do what you gotta do from your point of view having endured your own past with all of its excruciating highs, lows and in-betweens.

Your friends left you out? Perhaps you haven’t been keeping in touch? Invite them to something. Your kid didn’t make a reso at a fine restaurant? Well, this will either be a great lesson in planning, or incredible memories will be made. Your gf has ongoing dating issues? It’s really none of your business. Unless, of course, she asks. But do not fall into that trap! She’s still gonna do what she’s gonna do.

Battles, both big and small, need an adversary. B has given me good advice on this in the past: “Sometimes it’s better to just be dumb and happy.” In my daily meditations, I’m taking my strongly held beliefs, molding them into rectangular shapes, like books, and setting them on shelves, so I don’t have to hold them so tight, defend them so forcefully.

I actually like living where there are four distinct seasons. It just takes a bit to adjust; the temperature shift was swift this year.

I can’t control what any other person on the planet thinks, says or does, but I can certainly plunk my crabbiness on a high shelf, way out of reach.



  1. julia October 12, 2023 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    Oh Rita. I really enjoyed this one!!! Im not a fan of getting into winter and i miss my tea on the patio too. Made me laugh you taking things that way and blaming B. Poor guy. I had 18 for Thanksgiving and just before my plumbing failed. Only one bathroom. However i made it work thanks to a neighbour. Sometimes life is just quirky and have to roll with it. Hugs

    • Rita Hartley October 12, 2023 at 4:36 pm - Reply

      Yeah I feel sorry for B too, but he seems to be able to handle me. Just as you handled your Thanksgiving! Way to persevere. Onward into the tunnel of fall/winter …

  2. Brad October 12, 2023 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Wow, such a great read, thank you Rita!

    Why is it my kids think dad is crazy when I tell them 80’s music is the best!!

    How can the Gaza war still be going on after so much grief and loss over the decades…

    Why on earth does my neibour want to chop down that beautiful tree!!!

    Dumb and happy and using the high shelf after meditation, I think this may be great advice to use, ha ha.

    Certainly doing more listening than talking over over differing opinions… from number Uno’s!

    • Rita Hartley October 12, 2023 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      Omg! You just made me lol!! So many hard things to wrap one’s head around!!!

      Try as we might? Some things we’ll just never understand.

      Listening skills are good! And detaching from one’s emotions while listening …

      And the mantra, over and over: “Let them.” 😬🤣😂

  3. Nancy Joyal October 12, 2023 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Such a good post Rita! With all that’s happening in the world, the everyday personal stuff and November gales arriving early, I can relate. A good dose of meditation, some self compassion and sending love to all those suffering in the middle east does seem to help a bit.

    As a friend, know that I do care! (I listened to that same Mel Robbins episode). Thanks for your post.

    • Rita Hartley October 12, 2023 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      As a friend, I care too! Mel is great huh? I lol-ed thru that whole podcast.

      People have very strong feelings, on both sides, of the Middle East crisis. It’s terrifying and truly all we can do from here is bear witness and continue to pray for peace 🙏

  4. Mar October 13, 2023 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Rita, way enjoyable post…thank you! “B sounds like a good guy but can he dance? As for Fall crabbiness, and the inevitable Winter blues that follow, come on down. Anytime. I offer coffee, good music, “B”s breakfasts, sunshine, the beach and conversational engagement on all topics. You know the deal. See you soon. 🙂

    • Rita Hartley October 13, 2023 at 9:48 am - Reply

      You know he can’t dance, you know he can’t dance 🎼🤣. But he has Jazzercised so …

      Thx for reading & commenting! Look forward to catching up soon in Iowa.

      And for sure we’ll be down south asap! You’re the best host ever (and it’s hilarious that among your offerings is B’s brekkie 🤣)


  5. Marg Perez October 13, 2023 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Really enjoyed this read Rita. You sure do have a way with words. I like the metaphor of putting all your worries together and shelving them for the time being like a book on a shelf. Brilliant!
    I do like the way the journalists are now telling the stories of the civilians and children on both sides and calling for a humanitarian way out of such a dreadful and dangerous situation. My heart goes out to all the journalists stationed in Israel and the Middle East trying to get the real story out to the world.

    • Rita Hartley October 13, 2023 at 1:56 pm - Reply

      Thx so much for reading & commenting Marg! As much as people have a distrust of the media these days I’m so impressed with their bravery in running right into the war zone to get the stories out! Truly heroic. Let’s continue to pray for peace in these turbulent times 🙏

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