What AM I in the mood for? Hmmmm.
The above picture is a box of “mood rings”. These rings prove, above all else, that people will buy any crap. Mood rings started in the fad crazy 70’s and originally sold for up to $250. However as with all great fads, the king of 70’s mass market fads, K-Tel wound up selling its own cheaper version.
The mood ring worked on the theory that it could reflect changes in body temperature and those changes were in response to your mood. Scientific miracles like this were always scoffed at and relegated to the “what were we thinking” dust bin, like trolls and pet rocks.
If these worked, mine would have been really confused this week. To start, mood is a pretty way of saying “emotions”. While the Bee Gees sang about them and Smokey Robinson seconded them, they are moods. When you have them, you are moody. You can be in a sentimental mood, in a sullen mood, in an elated mood. However, when you show your emotions, you are “angry”, “ sad”. “upset”, “happy” and the ever popular “pissed off”.
Yep, moods are much fancier than plain old emotions.
I get moods a lot anymore. I can go through many of them in just a day. And I am not alone. Everyone gets them. They can manifest themselves as quick change artists, with mood swings caused by being told “all lines are busy, please listen to music on hold” or seeing a long line when you want to grab a quick breakfast at Wawa.
Adding in my lung disease, my moods take themselves seriously. They not only host themselves in me but they also delight in confusing those around me. The worst part is that no matter how you explain them, moods are yours and yours alone, and the reasons for them may not be easily explained or shared.
Back to me, my favorite subject.
The moods or emotions that I am going through are not that different from what I manifested when I was healthy and working. However, the triggers have changes, as have the anxieties behind them. Much of my moods come from what I now can or cannot hope to do with my new progressive limitations.
Envy becomes one of my buddy moods. Envy not of a particular situation but of the thought that similar opportunities may never be available to me again. When I was in the video business, I made numerous trips to various industry conferences where I got to network with a lot of great retailers and learn from them. My association with the VSDA/EMA, the industry trade groups also allowed me to meet movers, shakers, and stars of all types. (My greatest day was when I met both Jeff Bridges and Robert Duvall on the same day at the VSDA Convention in LV).
I got that same feeling while watching HARDBALL WITH CHRIS MATTHEWS yesterday. They were set up just outside of the Cruise Terminal in Miami and it was on a Monday. As they were broadcasting, a Royal Caribbean liner left port. I had cruised out of there in 2007 with about 100 other video retailers for a 4 day conference that also allowed me my first view of Mexico. It was also my first chance to test my weight loss and stamina from my gastric bypass that year. I was able to climb all over the ruins at Tulum Mexico like a kid, something I had not been able to do for years. Color my mood “giddy”
I don’t get those opportunities anymore since I no longer have that “connection”. I thought of that as I followed the exploits of some people that I met last year through our mutual love of the TNT series FALLING SKIES. SciFi and TV Bloggers all, they made a quick trip to Vancouver BC to visit the set and meet one of the most talented and most accessible cast ever on TV. They saw secrets that they cannot yet reveal and got to have the kind of shared experiences that I used to treasure.
While this could manifest itself in an emotion called “envy”, it actually had made me feel “pride” in that the opportunities still exist for people who I really appreciate as well as for people who have my work ethic, which is to do what you love and do it well. Yep, I am proud to say I know them and that I appreciate their work.
Of course, the melancholy mood cannot completely go away. It comes up when I realize that it has been over three years since I’ve had a vacation or traveled any farther than Harrisburg. It has been three years since I’ve gotten together with video retailers to share and learn. It’s been three years since I’ve been on a plane.
In short, it has been almost three years since I’ve felt relevant like in those melancholy days. However, it has given rise to a new mood best described as “determined”. Determined is a two headed monster, since it involved both taming and finding out more about my interstitial lung disease, as well as determined to find a new relevance.
While I keep plugging away at those moods, my emotions will get the best of me, mainly frustration and wistfulness , with a healthy helping of crankiness (a hybrid mood if there ever was one). That will trigger corresponding emotions in those I surround myself with and those I hope to surround myself with.
As I go forward, color my mood ring “hopeful”.