I'm Not In A Sour Mood

May 05, 2008

I was not one of the 1008 Americans to receive a call from CNN Opinion Research Corporation Poll, asking whether I’m in a sour mood over the state of the country, so I did not get to weigh in on the subject.

I wish I had been called, because I would have greatly differed with the whopping 70% of my grumpy countrymen. And, should the unsuspecting pollster have stayed on the line long enough, I would have had this to say:

Who lets their mood be determined by such a thing? If I based my mood on something as ambiguous as the state of the country, I might never rise from my covers in the morning. What kind of emotional measuring stick is that?

Here’s the deal: Life has problems. If I focus on problems, I am anxious, which the dictionary defines as full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried and afraid. Spending any time whatsoever being greatly worried and afraid is a colossal waste of precious time and it produces nothing good. It does produce, I suppose, a very sour mood. A sour mood isn’t going to change gas prices or the situation in Iraq.

Life has solutions. If I focus on solutions, I see a bigger picture. I am calm, which, clearly defined, means freedom from agitation and fear; composed, serene, at peace.

Moods are funny things. They’re not like skin color or the size of your feet, that you can’t change. For most human beings, your mood is a choice. A mood isn’t brought on by anything, really, but your reaction to a thing. Whining, worrying and waiting for someone else to fix your problems keeps problems alive and even creates more!

My trips into town are more scripted these days; jaunts to St Louis for shopping have dwindled to…nothing. We eat out less than we did a year ago. We are living on a budget. I understand that times are tougher right now. But those things can’t determine my mood.

So my two cents to the sour-feeling 70% is that you change your focus. Life is short but each day is a gift that shouldn’t be squandered in a bad mood.

Dwell on uplifting things. Concentrate on solutions. Eradicate fear with faith. Get your mind off yourself and on someone else. Create solutions to attack problems. Enjoy life’s serendipity. And when CNN calls and asks you how you feel about the state of the country, give them no fodder for their pessimistic piece. Simply say, “I feel GREAT! Life is GREAT!” And if a loud click isn’t the next thing you hear, tell ‘em why…

The CNN poll can be found at: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/05/02/poll.americans/index.html
However, since the time CNN originally posted the poll, they have edited the words “SOUR MOOD” out of the title…seems more people than just Toni were frustrated about CNN’s terminology.