It can be a challenge, keeping the mood steady, positive, relaxed, especially when there is no particular schedule to keep you on task and distracted. My mother was probably depressed for most of her life, though she didn’t often succumb to it in any noticeable way. She did housework, cooked a delicious dinner every night, raised my sister and me, went off to work every day when we were old enough to fend for ourselves. This routine kept her busy and her mind off the kind of fearful musing that would occupy it when she had too much time alone in her final years.
“I’m afraid your nephew might be subject to depression,” she told me when the kid was about three. “Sometimes he’s just so down, he won’t look you in the eyes, it seems like he’s sleep walking. Then we take him to Lester’s and the waitress brings him a cookie when we sit down. He eats the cookie and suddenly he’s like this” and she does a wild dance. Eyes suddenly wide open and mischievous, manic grin on his face, moving like Carmen Miranda with a pair of castanets, swinging long arms from side to side, snapping his fingers, mugging.
I wish I had a movie of my mother doing this imitation. She would often oblige and reprise a remark or imitation and she was not shy in front of the camera. If only I’d had one when she told me about my nephew’s amusing mood swings.
The challenge for all earthlings, getting the mood music right. Is it easier to dance with music that moves you? Of course. But how to keep the right music playing in your head– or how to learn to dance to music that might not move you as much as other music?
Here’s one to try– patience. The hardest thing in the world, perhaps, and maybe the most necessary thing. With patience ridiculously hard things can be accomplished. Without it easy things are sometimes too hard to master. The funny thing about patience, or maybe not, it must be absolute to do much good. Being patient 99 times and enraged one time won’t butter the biscuit, as they say.
But 99/100 is still a very good score, particularly when we’re talking about something as crucial as patience, so don’t lose patience with yourself. It is like anything you would master, takes constant practice until you can do it every time.
It’s not like the world is teeming with masters. But if you would be one, begin learning to master your moods first.