Monday, August 13, 2012

Who's in charge? Me--or my MOODS?

Age 49: Day 16

 Why is it that I can know to my core how lucky I am, be surrounded by beauty and people who love me (or at least like me), yet still wake up and spend the better part of a day feeling snarky. Pissy. Angry. Irritable. Cranky. There was a nice piece in the Times yesterday on choosing to be anxious -- which posited, essentially, that there are things we can do to reverse a negative mindset, whether meditation, exercise, therapy or drugs (of the prescription or illicit variety). I know this more than most people--after all, I write and edit stories about happiness for SELF. Yet too often, I wake up with what my husband calls "morning demons"--a racing mind filled with all I have to do (or all I won't get done), frustrations, angry conversations I imagine having--you name it. It's in my head. I know by now that the best thing to do is get OUT of bed, have some coffee and distract myself. Sometimes I'll get in the water and swim the backstroke in our little pond, letting the warm water envelope me and staring up at the clouds. Sometimes I'll run. Sometimes I'll snuggle my honey. Sometimes I'll stroke my cat. Or have a nice, unexpected conversation with a stranger. Or lose myself in a good novel. Reading The Beautiful Ruins right now--which toggles between the Liguria region of Italy (Cinque Terre) and L.A. (Good beach read--a notch above the average. Not sure it's worth all the hoo-ha, though.)

Anyway, point being, I take action against my moods, but sometimes, after stroking the cat, stopping meditation, getting out of the mood falls back to crabby--or worse. Then I am not exactly fun to be around. I hope my friends and husband will love me anyway, even when I don't love myself.
The view from our dock. Sometimes, even THIS doesn't do it for me. What gives?


  1. Paula, you're equating a bad mood or mindset with not loving yourself. They may be mutually exclusive. Mornings were terrible for me, too, until I got help and realized it's not a fault. It's just a part of me that shows up, and eventually passes. You may have some anxiety or low-level depression. It's worth getting checked out. I feel like a new person now. Still myself, but not ruled, paralyzed, or victimized by those "demons," as your husband called them. There are times you will have to push yourself a little. But at 49, you may be experiencing changes -- hormonal, chemical, physical -- that could be affecting the way you feel.

  2. Sometimes you just need to "feel." I heard a podcast once about embracing our emotions and owning whatever it is that we're working with; anxiety, anger, fear, happiness. We can't just sweep it all under the rug or it's bound to come back to haunt us. Own it, sister. The good days always come back around :)