Saturday, November 14, 2009

To be continued...

After a trip to the emergency room and a night in the hospital, Crenshaw learned that her symptoms were not emergent...nor were they immediately explicable.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Crenshaw Passes Gift Resolution

Inspired by advent calendars left for the taking in the break room at work, Katie Crenshaw plans to replace personal purchases with Christmas gifts. She hasn't elaborated on what those gifts might be, just that she has agreed with herself to a strategic plan for holiday shopping.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rejected: Thrown Out, Then, Thrown Back

Not deterred but determined, Katie Crenshaw resubmitted her news story and wowed the editor who had rejected it the previous week.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Moods and their Manipulation

I'm starting to join the camp of people who think that you create your own happiness.

I've been thinking about how so many of the things that make me happy transcend the day-to-day: music, parents, friends, traditions. Music will always be there to cheer me up. I can think of a happy tune no matter what's happening to me or the world. Remembering a long-lost song always puts me in a good mood. When I need some pep, I try to think of a nice song. It works best when the song comes spontaneously, but trying to think of a song helps, too. Even when there are momentary, or even long-term trials and tribulations, there are always these dependable, portable joys in life that you can access just by thinking about them.

I can't believe the power of that song. It's overwhelming.

Sleep is another dependable joy. I think sleeping is like restarting the computer. Everything works better after sleep. Things just go more smoothly. This morning, I wasn't feeling very inspired. I was indecisive and uninspired. Since I hadn't slept very long last night, I took a morning nap. Afterward, I felt so much better.

In addition to thoughts, what I put in my body really does affect my mood. Coffee really can put me in a good mood. Carbs put me to sleep. Rice and beans, no cheese, leave the mind and body feeling content. I can't think of a food that puts me in a bad mood, exactly, but some foods definitely put me in a good one.

Don't forget exercise and the runner's high. The high comes at the peak of exercise. Afterward, I feel content and meditative. After a run the other day, I lay down to do sit-ups and just stared happily at the ceiling for a minute or two. That's what I mean by content.

Practicing violin also leaves me feeling great.

I've started to separate my emotions from my identity. If I drink coffee and feel great, I know it's a caffeine boost. If I eat lunch and feel sluggish, it's a post-prandial slump. When I sleep well, I feel better than when I sleep badly. If I feel lazy, it's not because I'm lazy by nature; it's probably because I need a pick-me-up of some kind. I blame myself less for bad moods. I think they are really due mostly to environmental circumstances.

Also, I now try harder to reverse bad moods. I used to think they were just sent by fate and that nothing could be done about them. If I felt miserable, it was because everything was awful and I wouldn't feel better again until I'd solved all my problems. Now I realize that sometimes, bad moods are nothing more than a need for a nap or a cup of coffee. They aren't due to my fatal character flaws and my fate. On that note, I've realized how Tylenol and Midol really can make me feel better, both physically and mentally, at times when I feel crummy. I used to think that feeling sick was also one of those things that you just had to ride out and that nothing could change. I had the "I feel too sick to get up and take Tylenol" attitude. Now I realize that taking something really can help. It's worth the effort to try to feel better, and there's no shame in using food and drink to that end.

Now that I realize that bad moods can be reversed, I have changed my approach to difficulties. If I am in a bad mood trying to do something, it will be hard and frustrating and not go very well. If I'm in a good mood, it will go much more smoothly. Rather than plow through a task in a bad mood, I now try to take the time to reverse my mood, then continue with my day. Works much better.