Before I go, I have something to say

The Moody Blues

Almost every morning, I do something really silly. I click on this website,, and see what my bio-rhythms are for the day. Now, I’m an intelligent person and I know this is just for sport, about as accurate as a daily horoscope for telling me who I am or what’s going to happen today.

But as soon as my friend Jennifer told me about it, I was hooked. It tells you, with great confidence, how you’re doing emotionally, intellectually, and physically, and then comes up with a “general well-being” score and a “tendency” – whether things are getting better or sliding downhill fast.

Some days, it’s hysterically off the mark. I’ll drag myself out of bed nursing a migraine and find out, “You are in very good physical shape. Instead of wasting it, go for a jog or a walk.” It’s especially entertaining when the snow is two feet deep with a wind chill of minus 40. You bet! I’m going for a jog or a walk! Just as soon as I can find my boots and a handful of aspirin!

Other days, though, it’s creepily accurate, as if somebody’s been peeking through the blinds as I make my way around the house getting ready for work. That may be the day my intellectual score says, “Thinking logical? No problem! Just finish the pending tasks in time so you don’t have to do them when things are worse.”

I haven’t decided if these predictions of doom are motivating, or demoralizing. But the emotional gauges are the funniest. Some days, I’m told, “You’re nervous or unsure, or feeling an inner emptiness – that’s just the way it is right now.” This can be more than a little unnerving when I’m actually feeling pretty good about life. I’m empty? I’ll think. Okay, maybe I am . . . just a little . . . or maybe it’s coming this afternoon . . . after that meeting . . . .

The best (okay, worst) is when it says, “You want to hide away in the furthest corner. If you can arrange it, do it, because you’re going to have a bad day.” How dare you? I want to scream. I’m having a GOOD day, dammit!!

The thing is, I do tend to be a little moody. Aren’t we all? (YOU ARE, AREN”T YOU?) My mood can swing like a Hy-Vee bag snagged in a maple tree in the middle of a thunderstorm, depending on what happens from moment to moment. I might wake up feeling crappy (technical term) because I slept funny on my pillow or I had that dream again where there’s a test for a class I didn’t even know I was enrolled in (do we NEVER outgrow those dreams?). But then I’ll open the paper and it’s the day the good columnists are there, i.e., not that woman whose life mission seems to be to prove that our president is really a Muslim, not that there would be anything wrong with that.

But then I get in my car to go to work and I can’t see to turn left onto University because there’s too many cars parked on the street and I have to take my life into my hands just to go earn a buck. But then – this really happened last week – I get almost to the parking lot and there’s this magnificent mallard duck sitting on the grass, seeming to say, “You got a problem? Make way for ducklings!” and the car behind me waits a really long time and I realize it must be a parent showing the duck to a child, and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

But then, I get to the parking lot and my favorite spot is taken, and even though I know that 1) no one should ever have a favorite spot, and 2) we’re all supposed to park as far from the entrance as possible so we can become effortlessly more healthy, I’m ticked off. So I haul my stuff inside, feeling like a bag lady and getting really annoyed because someone is walking right behind me and I wish she would just pass, in her loud high heeled boots, and why do women wear high heeled boots anyway?

But then I get inside, and my bones start to warm up, and someone I like a lot walks by and says a really genuine “Good morning,” and I think, Boy, I really like working here, and I put the key in the lock of my library, and I think, It is so cool that I have my own key to my own library where I get to help people find important information.

And then I see all the stuff I left on my desk yesterday, and how full my schedule is, and I realize I can’t find time to fit in my little snack, the one that makes me feel human and keeps me sane until noon, and I’m, um, what did my bio-chart say? Wanting to climb into a corner? How about under my desk?

And so it goes. It’s barely 8 a.m. and I’ve already zigzagged through sixteen moods. I know not everyone is like this. My husband, for instance, is the epitome of calm. I like to think I’ve adopted some smidgen of his mien, but I doubt it. My son is also much calmer and cooler than his sister and me. He must have been born that way, because he was raised in the same nutso family as she was. In fact, I remember one day when he was a mere babe in arms, and his father was about to use a nail gun on some home repair in the living room. (Don’t ask) My then-husband cautioned, “You better hold him tight.” I did, but when the noise erupted, what did this tender baby do? He laughed and laughed. And so did I.

Maybe that’s the answer. If you can’t be less moody, surround yourself with those who let life’s irritations slide off their backs like, well, a mallard duck. I read some corny advice once that said, “Be with people who make you well.” I can only hope people aren’t avoiding me because I’m so bio-rhythmically intense. People like us are fun! Really! I’ll show you as soon as I come out from under my desk.

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