Tuesday, July 15, 2014

You Know You're in a Bad Mood When ...

... Your "Happy Place" Suddenly Turns Depressing or Terrifying

Do you have a "happy place?" If you're having trouble sleeping, or trying to fend off anxiety in the dentist's chair, or upset about how a meeting went --- do you envision a certain place to calm yourself down, lower your heart rate, and remind you that life isn't always rough? I do. In fact, I have several, because I'm a woman of many moods and not every happy place can serve every mood.

Right now, my mood is dreary enough that none of my happy places are functioning as they should.

Here are brief descriptions of the places which usually bring me such peace and joy, followed by their current malfunctions under the influence of my grumpiness. Delightful!

Happy Place #1: Ivar's Acres of Clams in Seattle - whenever life isn't treating me well here in the Nevada desert, I can go to my happy place at a window table at Ivar's. I'm sitting eating a bowl of clam chowder and looking out past the boats at Puget Sound. It's dreamy. Even saying "Puget Sound" makes me happy! Imagine gazing at it! And after I eat my chowder, I will walk home in the light rain to my cottage (also with a view of the Sound) and work on my novel, which has been paid for in advance by my generous and admiring publisher.

Today's Problem: The chowder is cold, my server is grouchy - almost irate - because his girlfriend just dumped him, and a dreadful oil tanker accident has rendered the water in the Sound black and murky.

Happy Place #2: A golden meadow from a hike in my childhood memory - It is so gorgeous it will make your eyes sing opera. Sunlight floats over the green grasses and wildflowers and the entire scene is framed by Aspen trees with their noble and pretty white trunks.

Today's Problem: I just got bitten by a rare spider that was crouching in the green grass seemingly waiting to get a taste of me. Its poison is starting to make me dizzy and I just overheard someone say "no help for miles." I'm as good as dead.

Happy Place #3: Barnes & Noble Bookstore at The Grove in Los Angeles - all three stories of it! In this happy place, I have hours and hours to spend meandering and searching through the books. Whenever I find a book I want to read or look at, a giant pillow appears at my feet and I can sit and relax and peruse to my heart's content.

Today's Problem: I'm reading a best-selling book written by my ninth-grade boyfriend, who, when I knew him, couldn't have written one coherent paragraph. Gradually, I realize the store is dark and monsters and velociraptors have been set loose on all three floors. And they've caught my scent.

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