We bought a ridiculously huge Slip N Slide.
Technically, it’s not even a Slip N Slide. It’s a commercial grade, 40-foot long inflatable blue water slide with 7-foot tall inflated rings that spray water down on you as you slide through. It takes up our whole yard.
(Fortunately, it only required a trickle of water to get it going.)
There’s really only one mood you can have after going down this thing.
Yesterday I was in a different mood, a shitty mood: the result of a confluence of events: problems with work, stolen phone, flat tire, possible fractured wrist of my teen, thoughts about paying for college, kid drama at elementary school.
All of this coming at me in my small world and then outside of that, a swirling ring of the crap that surrounds us all: lying politicians, tough headlines, schools suffering, corporate takeovers, climate change, wars waged by narcissistic zealots.
As much as I’d like to believe this stuff doesn’t get to me, it does — even with meditation, even with my “failsafe” morning routine, a consistent gratitude practice, all that journaling.
Sometimes the shit just gets in you.
So, as I was saying, yesterday I came home with all this stuff weighing me down. I thought about having a weekday beer but my wife was in the backyard with one of our closest friends and our daughter. The Slip N Slide was all blown up. I could see it over the fence and I could hear the screams from the gate.
To be honest, I was in such a funk, I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to have a beer and brood. That’s the mood I was in. Or more specifically, That’s where my mood wanted to take me.
I threw on my trunks before I could convince myself otherwise, and I launched myself into that inflated tunnel of water.
It was cold. I went super fast on my belly, my arms outstretched and hands in front of me like Superman, flying down the frictionless corridor until I splahed into the 6-foot-tall inflated wave at the end, my head and hair drenched, eyes wide open, fists gyrating in the air.
After just 3 minutes and 40 feet, my heart was pounding. It was exhilarating. It was ridiculous.
Just what I needed.
And judging by the laughter of my people at the other end, it hadn’t just work for me.
This thing is less a Slip N Slide and more like an invention you might find in a Dr. Seuss book: a Magical Mood Changer-Upper. You enter one side droopy and in despair and go out the other elated and full of hope.
With a star on your belly and a smile on your face.
The Magical Mood Changer-Upper. There may be one in your house; if not a Slip N Slide, then something else. And it’s worth looking for because when you don’t have the energy to change your mood, the Magical Mood Changer-Upper can do it for you.
(Star belly adhesive kit sold separately.)