Every so often, as I have my massive, “every song I’ve genuinely enjoyed for the last two years” playlist shuffling through the 600+ tracks during my morning communte, a song will come on that will get me feeling energized and at least a little positive. On a rare occasion, that one song will be followed by several that all hit just right as I’m driving to work in the morning and I wind up striding into the office full of motivation to get to work on my goals. It’s a nice feeling, to be in a good mood for no reason other than positive, enjoyable music, and I do my best to take note of it every time it happens. Good moods are few and far between for me these days, so I try to appreciate them when they happen.
It can be incredibly tempting for me to take advantage of a good mood, to use it as a lever to get me working harder on a project I’m already doing or to start a new project as I try to find the right workload balance that I can maintain and that feels productive to me. After all, if I’m feeling fired up and ready to get to work, why not actually get some work done? Unfortunately, I’m still exhausted, sleep-deprived, and burned out. Pushing myself to work harder because I’m in a good mood is only going to ruin that good mood and leave me more tired and worn out than when I started. Typically, my producitivty also drops and I spend a period of time falling behind in my day-to-day routines.
These days, instead of pushing myself to get more done, I try to just enjoy being in a good mood. Things I enjoy are more enjoyable if I’m already in a good mood. Watching a beloved show or reading a favorite book can even extend the good mood, as can more music of the same type that got me in this good mood in the first place (or more of whatever caused the good mood). Sometimes, if I do things right and nothing incredibly frustrating or awful happens, I can get a good mood to last several days or even a week.
It might seem a little strange that I appear so fixated on simply being in a good mood, but they’re generally pretty rare for me. I’ve lived with depression and anxiety my entire life, so I’m used to aiming for “neutral” rather than “good” when it comes to my attempts to calibrate my own mood. I do my best to at least stay positive or looking towards the future, but there’s nothing like being in a good mood to make it easy to find hope when you need it. And there’s nothing like examining why you’re in a good mood to ruin one. Most of the time, you just are and that’s fine. Why figure it out? Why question why this specific combo of songs helped today when it didn’t help yesterday and almost certainly won’t help tomorrow? Just accept the good mood and enjoy it while it lasts.
I do my best to avoid this blog becoming a sphere of poetry, tabletop gaming, and negativity. I want to use it as a place where I can share all my thoughts, not just the sad, poetic, or gaming-centric ones, so despite having a million other things I could write about that would probably be more interesting or more engaging (as negative emotion and poetry frequently are), I decided to write about being in a good mood. After all, if I’m going to track and share all my sad reflections, shouldn’t I share the happy ones too?