Not In The Mood…!

Posted: November 20, 2013 in Podcasts, Wandering Thoughts
Tags: , , ,


Monday was “Nothing.” Tuesday was “How Do I Know?” And today is “Not in the mood.” What exactly am I saying? Is it a good thing or a bad thing. How long will it last and where did it come from?

Wikipedia says that, “my mood is an emotional state. But my moods differ from emotions in that moods are less specific, less intense, and less likely to be triggered by a particular stimulus or event.” That is such a relief! Now I don’t have to figure out why i’m not in the mood. Wikipedia also says that “my moods generally have either a positive or negative valence. In other words, people typically speak of being in a good mood or a bad mood.” That’s not the case as far as i can tell at this point. i am neither feeling good nor bad… just not in the mood. At this point many would just chalk it up to this or that and let it go, but no not me.

my mood differs from temperament or personality traits which last longer. There are cases of long-term disturbances of mood such as clinical depression and bipolar disorder and they are considered mood disorders. my mood is an internal, subjective state but it can be seen or sensed by others from my posture and other behaviors.

It’s said that sleep or more specifically lack of can be an influencing factor in my mood. If i am sleep deprived I may become more irritable, angry, more prone to stress, and less energized throughout the day. Studies have shown that even partial sleep deprivation has a significant effect on mood. University of Pennsylvania researchers found that “subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. When the subjects resumed normal sleep, they reported a dramatic improvement in mood.” This could have some substance as recently I willingly decided that I needed more hours in my day so I began getting up 3 hours earlier and then as we prayed for additional income we got a catering job that requires that I get up even earlier on those days. I am quite sure my body has not physically nor mentally made the full adjustment and thus it could be a part of my “not being in the mood.”

I could go into the details of “Bad Moods” versus “Good Moods” but as i said this doesn’t feel like that and trust me i have experienced both of them plenty of times in the past. No this is just simply “Not in the Mood.” I’m not angry, disappointed or frustrated with anyone or anything. That would require me to be in the mood and i’m not so it can’t be any of that. On the other hand i am not jumping for joy, excited or chomping at the bit to do something. Again that would require me to be in the mood.

Okay, “not in the mood” needs a little more, like the question what? What, am i not in the mood for? Well… i’m not in the mood to be here today, but i’m not in the mood to go home either, or anywhere else for that matter. i’m not in the mood to do the post and podcast today, yet here i am doing it, without anyone twisting my arm. i’m not in the mood to listen to music, but it has been playing in the background all morning, and… i could just reach over and turn it off, but i’m not in the mood so it plays on.

So for how long can one be, “not be in the mood?” Am i to search for a cure as though this is a sickness or something to be cured? Or do i just embrace it as “where i am” for this moment?

i found information as to what to do with a bad mood but nothing for a “Not in the Mood.” Psychologists say that if i were in a bad mood, i could instantly lift my spirits by forcing myself to smile. Numerous amounts of research studies have shown that making a facial expression, such as smiling, can produce effects on the body that are similar to those that result from the actual emotion, such as happiness. i’m not completely sure that forcing myself to smile will change anything in this case but i have nothing to lose so imagine a big smile on my face right now. Nope, i’m still “Not in the Mood.”

i know… i haven’t come to any conclusion.  “Not in the mood.” i get it, no conclusion as to whether it’s okay for me to be “not in the mood,” or do i have an issue that demands attention. J.D. Salinger author of The Catcher in the Rye says, “If you’re not in the mood, you can’t do that stuff right.” Maybe he’s right, i certainly don’t want to not do my stuff… whatever it is right. Look i wouldn’t want to live in this place everyday but maybe i just need some down time, or better yet some catch my breath time. Time that isn’t filled with good or bad but time that is filled with His grace. Sometimes that grace allows me to endure and other times it allows me to enjoy. Either way it’s His grace.

So here’s what i’m going to do. First i’ll keep forcing myself to smile and then i’m going to follow Robert McKee’s advice, He says, “When we want mood experiences, we go to concerts or museums.  When we want meaningful emotional experience, we go to the storyteller.”  The best story-teller i know is a man called Jesus.


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