The Bad Mood That Started In 1980


My family has this inside joke that we say about grouchy people. It goes like this, “we haven’t seen (fill in the person’s name) in a good mood since 1972.” However, upon much reflection, I have realized that my bad mood started around the day of my birth.

The idea of living a cheerful, positive approach is appealing. Unfortunately, this was not the disposition I received when my personality was being formed. Thank you, Creator; thank you parents (I am working on my ability to accept personal responsibility, for my grouchy self, at a later date). My mood has steadily improved over the years, especially with the introduction of coffee, in the daily routine and leaving those pesky teenage years in the dust.

While it can be argued that many factors impact one’s mood. According to Merriam -Webster’s Dictionary, mood is defined as, ”  a conscious state of mind or predominant emotion.”  Basically, my predominant emotion is despondency with a dash of melancholy, mixed with an unending flair for the dramatics. Or just plain grouchy, if you prefer the quick and dirty description of my emotional state.

I do not strive for an state of irritation and most days, I am in a decent mood. Irritability has long been a foundational component of my ability to move forward. I like to call a coping skill. Not your typical run of the mill,  traditional coping skill or one that is even encouraged, however, one that has awarded me the ability to sustain difficult days at work, difficult situations, etc… Even as I read & words written, I am thinking, that is some bull shit. Irritation and anger not only have stunted my relationships; it has impeded my ability to take responsibility for my actions, words, and thoughts. Ironically, my level of irritation coincides with my anxiety, as well. Irritation and anxiety are a partner made in the deep throws of emotion, some call it passion; I call it a heavy burden.

Today, I left work. Again, I felt tired, anxious, and pissed off. Now, to be honest, I have consistently complained about every job I have had. I drove home in silence, with thoughts of despair running freely in my mind.  I made dinner. The kids ate. The cat and dog were fed. I tried to shake this dark, tumultuous mood brewing. I wanted to pack my personal affects and drive away. Instead, I snuggled my dog and made a cup of tea. Slowly the noise within settled. I sat on my porch, ate a lemon muffin and listened to music.

The point is, I had a choice. One moment to take ownership of my time on this earth. I wish, I could tell you I just finished hiking the Appalachian Trail  or created the new Google.  There was no great battle of success. There was one simple moment that I purposely sought out an alternative to the story (or, mood). The essence is in these little victories.

Life lessons will always challenge those that seek refinement of the inner self. I am by no means an expert on this subject. The unfeigned me is unsure of how to fix the inner struggle with self. I am by no means an expert on fixing oneself. However. I leave you with 5 suggestions from my own experience with this thing called life.


  1. Do something you enjoy. Today, I made delicious lemon muffins and tea
  2. Read the book: The Little Book of Hygee, Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking.
  3. Stop letting others decide your mood. Only you can control how you react and/or feel.
  4. Find a small way to live out one of your dreams.
  5. Go create that inviting space that gives you the ability to relax and enjoy life.

“With coffee, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy?” -Oscar Wildish

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