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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Change of Mood

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a mood can change.

Skamper was happy with The Heights until, this morning, he got a windchime caught on his big fluffy tail and scared himself silly. I have no idea how big a setback this is, but his mood toward catwalks has definitely soured.

I woke happy and ready to dig out my vehicle, only to find a thin layer of snow needing my attention. I checked the state worker website for office closures, found none and moved my schedule up 30 minutes to allow time to get to work and beat the rush.

Apparently, while I was showering and cooking breakfast with the TV off, the state announced the office would delay opening until 10. I didn't know that. I happily cleared off and warmed up the van and got on the road by 7:15 as planned. I arrived at work at 7:25 and found out I didn't have to be here for another 2 hours and 45 minutes. Guess where my mood went?

In George MacDonald's The Lost Princess (or the retitled reprint The Wise Woman), Princess Rosamund's biggest fault is her slavery to her moods. She is a brat because the moment she becomes unhappy, everyone else must be unhappy, too, until she is made happy again. This is the flaw the Wise Woman must repair.

The fact is, nothing has changed. My careful plans went exactly as I wanted. I got to work, I beat the rush, and all is well. I left my house in order and the decision to go home for lunch is no different now than it would have been.

However, perceived circumstances changed. With different information, I believe I would have acted differently. The fact that I didn't and can't now causes anger and frustration. Those emotions are only heightened by the importance I personally place on my time, and this feels as though my time has been stolen by my job.

I wish I'd checked the website again later in the morning. I wish I'd read the ticker tape at the bottom of the TV (not that it would have helped since it was off by the time that notification started running). I wish I'd listened to a local radio station. Lots of opportunity for regret.

Have I learned? Yes. Before I pull the van out of the driveway from now on, I'll check the website. I'll look at the ticker tape. I'll call a blasted local radio station. I won't be caught again.

My life is my responsibility. The only person I should be mad at is me. Believe me, I am. (Although, I harbor a bit of snark toward the idea that an hour is adequate time to adjust travel plans in inclement weather. If you have far to travel, you'd be a fool not to be on the road early. I don't have far to travel, but anger is rarely rational)

I'm hoping this post cools me off and changes my mood, because, like Rosamund, I ain't happy and I'm inclined to show it. However, also like Rosamund, I'm learning to control myself regardless of mood. It's part of growing up.

Be well, dear readers.

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