I think we all have two options: you can control your mood or you can let your mood control you. I often fall victim to my moods–like a few weeks ago when I literally was in a grumpy, tired, unmotivated, blah mood until 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
This weekend I had two experiences where I decided what my mood would be instead of letting my feelings take over. It made me feel really powerful and happy (because I obviously chose a positive mood). I hope that by sharing these experiences, you may be inspired to choose your mood the next time you’re in a crappy mood.
After work on Friday I was super motivated to sit down and put the finishing touches on our wedding album before meeting friends for dinner. I walk in the door of our building and head to the elevator when who do I see coming up the stairs? Mike. “What are you doing?” I ask. “Doing laundry. I found another bed bug.” My first thoughts: “You’ve got to be kidding me. Why are you looking for bugs?” I was kind of angry.
I head to our bedroom, asking Mike where he found said bug. I’m fuming as I lift the mattress to look for others but then decide “I’m not going down this road. I’m going back to my positive and motivated mood and will finish our wedding album.” Two hours later, I sent edits and approvals to our photographer, checking off a big to-do that’s been on my list for months. I was so excited, relieved, and felt accomplished.
Saturday, Mike and I planned to get into the Christmas spirit by going to the mall, going to see the National Christmas Tree, and watching a Christmas movie while making gingerbread men. We head to the mall to start our Christmas shopping. Within
an hour 30 minutes, I’m overwhelmed and tired and, aside from two small Haagen-Dazs ice-creams, we haven’t bought a single thing.
Instead of the holly-jolly spirit we intended to get from the mall, (I know, what were we thinking??) I feel more like the grinch. I’m ready to call the whole day off and go home. We decided to go into one more store before heading out. We end up purchasing one gift, so that makes us feel successful but I’m still kind of exhausted. When we start discussing the logistics of paying for our Christmas gifts like which account we’ll use, I say something to Mike, he doesn’t understand exactly what I’m saying and I snap at him in the middle of J Crew saying something to the effect of “What, am I not speaking English??” He decides to wait outside.
As we walk to the car, Mike says we can just go home if I want to, and that at this point, it probably won’t even be dark when we get there. I consider it as I pull out of the garage figure that by the time we get there and find parking, it probably will be dark. But I’m so tired and kind of just want to go home. And then I decide no, I can turn my mood around. We’re going to see the tree!
We found parking pretty easily and Mike suggested we stop to get hot chocolate for our walk. “My treat,” he says. We stop at Caribou Coffee for a hot chocolate, and then walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the White House and Treasury making our way to the Ellipse, the site of the National Christmas Tree. As we were walking back to the car Marine One flew overhead and landed on the White House lawn. It was so cool!
We picked up pizzas from a place in our old neighborhood, came home and watched Home Alone while we ate our pizza and drank our favorite wine. What could’ve turned into a really sour day ended up being exactly what we hoped it would be.