I woke up this morning in a foul mood.
Scratch that. I woke up this morning in a fine mood, and then I rolled over and checked my email. A critical email from an editor promptly put me in a bad mood (reason number 836 why I shouldn’t be checking my email in bed.)
As I lay in bed waiting for the sun to finish rising, one email spiraled into a parade of my favorite self doubts and insecurities marching across my mind. Before the first child could ask for breakfast, I had decided I sucked at my job, hated my life, and would never have the time or breathing room I needed to make things right again.
I should mention here that I have been traveling full time with my husband and two kids for the past ten months. We’ve never gone hungry and the only work I’ve had to do for the past year has involved writing, which I adore. Also, I may be flying to the Caribbean in a couple weeks for a quick trip to check out a luxury resort - for work. In other words, I love my life and my job and I have more breathing room than most people can even fantasize about. But early mornings are no place for logic, clearly.
At any rate, by the time I opened the laptop to begin work, it seemed my temperament for the day was firmly set to ‘not good’.
I stared at the screen, willing myself to be productive. I opened another browser window to check Facebook. Note to self: stay off Facebook when you’re in a bad mood. I quickly learned the same can be said about Twitter. I flipped back to my email and my calendar before opening up my to-do list and task manager apps. I floundered. I flailed. I complained out loud about having to pick up free tickets from the local tourism board later in the afternoon.
I snapped at my husband to get up and make me some coffee. Because he is a saint, he got up and made me tea with a smile on his face. He winked at me as he handed me the cup. “Want me to go pick up those tickets for you today?”
It’s hard to be annoyed at the world when an adorable man with bed head is winking at you and refusing to take your sniping seriously.
With my crabby shell cracked a bit, I took a deep breath and consciously counted my blessings. I read a few posts from my favorite writers, finding myself inspired rather than jealous or intimidated. I mentally reviewed the very short list of what had to be done for the day and made plans for fitting in the additional things I simply wanted to do. I opened a new window and began to work.
I realized this morning that my mood has a profound effect on my work. When I used to work in the office, I relied on my commute or my coworkers to help me switch into work mode no matter what was going on in my head. (Truth be told, my mood was rarely a secret even when I worked in a more traditional office setting, which is probably why I’m not well suited for a traditional work life.) I simply can’t do good things when I’m in a bad place mentally or emotionally.
I kind of hate that my professional accomplishments are so easily influenced by how I’m feeling on any given day; I wonder if that’s a result of my sex, my individual personality, or the type of work I do. Hate it or not, it’s a reality I have to accept.
I think that means I can start filing coffee and the occasional massage as a necessary business expense… right?