Middle Aged Thrills: High-Fiving (and Crying) In Home Depot / by Dana Bergstrom

Sometimes it absolutely feels like sheer joy to shop in your favorite home improvement store. And sometimes it doesn't.

Pauly and I have had a few nutty days while working on our current fixer upper. Whenever we listen to our fear-based egos/inner bullies, I'm convinced that he'll make expensive, rogue decisions that will land us in a van down by the river. And he's sure that I'll permanently lock myself in my office and refuse to help with the remodel. Unpleasant memories from our last fixer upper resurface, we fuel our egos by focusing on the crappy flashbacks, and then less-than-fun conversations ensue.

But Pauly is a clever, clever man. He knows that little things make me happy and help keep my vibe extra jacked in the present moment. I mean, really little things - like high-fiving.

After being married for nearly 23 years, last winter we began eagerly and spontaneously slapping our palms together for the first time ever! It's utterly silly and I still cannot believe it took us almost a quarter of a century to engage in such a ubiquitous, free, yet totally fun activity.

Our favorite high vibe Home Depot employee and friend, Cheryl, has cheerfully seen us through a few fixer uppers.

Our favorite high vibe Home Depot employee and friend, Cheryl, has cheerfully seen us through a few fixer uppers.

Pauly recently added a little flair to it. Now whenever we high-five he shouts, "Team Dana!". Every single time he does this, I become wildly giddy and smile from ear-to-ear.

I think he says it to get me to cooperate more often, you know... encourage me to think that we're on the same page.

It totally works!

The other day at Home Depot we stumbled upon loads of great things on sale and became extra animated. He knows I can get anxious when spending lots of money so Pauly kept the vibe high. He was shouting "Team Dana!", we were high-fiving, and I was giggling like mad all over the place. We ended up buying so many bargains that we couldn't take it all home. Pauly smiled as he told the staff about Team Dana, so they wrote that as the name on our pickup orders. Team Dana! Now on a sign in big bold letters on a pile of building materials! He saw the sign and had to yell and smack hands again. Yaaaaay!

We now have tiny nonsensical celebrations everywhere we go!

Our last less-than-fun incident in Home Depot was a few years ago. It involved a raucous meltdown over a door handle. I was hormonal and had clearly been listening to my ego/inner bully full-time that day. (Actually, I'd been listening to it almost exclusively on the last fixer upper.) Pauly showed me his choice of doorknobs and I lost it. I broke down crying while simultaneously showering him and much of the store with loud expletives describing his taste in UGLY-ASS DOOR HANDLES THAT I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT LIVE WITH!


Out of the corner of my tear-filled eye, I watched several people in bright orange aprons steer clear of the high drama.

"Team Screaming Bawl-Baby in Aisle Six," they must've furiously whispered into their walkies-talkies. "Keep an eye on the lady nut-job. Looks like she's about to destroy the entire hardware section."

What I focus on is what I get.

Listening to my lack and fear-based inner bully obviously turns me into a crazy person and this has become less appealing by the day. So practicing awareness of it and finding fun ways to keep my vibe light and upbeat is where it's at.

So here's what I'm hoping...I'm hoping that your family members do not read this post because I'd love to see if Pauly's psychology works on assisting others from choosing a low vibe/inner bully state. If you decide to start high-fiving while chanting "Team [insert loved one's name here]!" or some similar high-vibe mantra, will you let me know how it goes? Or maybe you do something like it already! I'm curious if this strange pep-talky technique is effective on any other humans.

Okay then. (Palm slap!) Team Perimenopausal Middle Aged Lady! Let's keep our excessive sobbing and public swearing to a minimum and make it a great day! Whooooo!