Yesterday was one of those days. It seemed like everything that could go wrong did. In fact, the challenges I faced weren’t that unusual or difficult. The difference was I wasn’t feeling very strong, so all the little molehills seemed like mountains, one after the other, marching from here to the horizon. It reminded me of a college friend’s message to the world taped in yellow, as I recall, on the back of her red VW bug. I can’t cope! it read.
Of course, we all have those days. Once I read that everyone experiences cycles related to our mental, emotional, and spiritual well being. The three cycles can vary widely, so you might be having a good day intellectually but a rotten day emotionally. Yesterday was like that for me. Feelings of frustration, sadness, and despair conspired to drag me down. Toward the end of the day I forced myself to gather what little inspiration I could tap into and head to a committee meeting that I really didn’t want to attend.
But I went—and you know what? I’m glad I did. I needed to get out of my blue mood, to be with new people and think about other things than my own petty worries. Lindsay Gibson wrote about this very thing not long ago. She said when a friend is feeling depressed, take her somewhere, get her away from the self-imposed cocoon she has woven around herself.
This advice can apply to us individually as well. When our spirits are down—as they often tend to be in winter with these shorter days, try to think of something different to do. Go to a museum or listen to a concert or see a play. Have lunch with a friend or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Plan a potluck dinner with your neighbors or try a yoga class. The truth is every time we expand our minds by learning something new or sharing our thoughts and feelings with others, it helps us grow. And growing makes us strong.
Now this is not the column I set out to write, but I think I can segue into the intended topic. As some of you know, TW launched a new website in November with lots of bells and whistles, including forums where you can post your thoughts and ideas, an interactive calendar where you can add your organization’s events, and, as we find the time to add content, an ever-expanding collection of articles, columns, and resource guides to help make your life more satisfying.
The process of planning, implementing, and troubleshooting a new website can be long and involved, as those of you know who have been there and done that. It’s sort of like having a baby, though. Once it’s born you just want to brag about it all the time. So let me share a little about our new website in the hopes that we will become an indispensible part of your day.
I wrote to someone recently that the web is the new backyard fence that we talk across, sharing our ideas, our triumphs, and our challenges. Yesterday, a good chat with someone across the fence was just what I needed. Now with TW’s interactive forum, I can post a question like, “How do you get yourself out of a bad mood?” Checking back later, I would hopefully find some good advice from TW readers, whose combined wisdom can easily solve all of the world’s problems. We just need to put our heads together—and look out!
So I’d like to know: What do you do to get out of a bad mood? Look for my post on TW’s website (tidewaterwomen.com) under Forum. First, you need to register, which takes less than a minute, and then you can share your comments with the TW community. I’ll plan to post a new question or a problem every week, so please check in often and share your two cents’ worth. Feel free to post your own questions about life’s challenges, too.
If you’re like me, there’s a learning curve involved in all this, but in the end it all boils down to keeping in touch. Granted, face time is always best, but as our lives grow busier—is it possible?—communicating in these new ways helps us learn from each other and grow. And I don’t know about you, but I believe that the more we learn, the more we grow as individuals and as a society. So maybe that would be a good resolution for the new year: to expand our horizons, take a class, learn a language, make a career move. Or become a member of TW’s online community and share your wisdom with others. Together we can create powerful energy to make this world a better place.
I hope you and your families enjoy a safe holiday season!
Peggy Sijswerda is editor & publisher of Tidewater Women.