rock towerBesides canoeing the hidden lakes of the Upper Peninsula and my Kindle crack habit, mood management is my primary avocation.

It takes less time than it used to and I’m figuring out why. I’ve learned that I don’t need to let every bad feeling flower. I don’t need to give it a name. I don’t need to stop everything I’m doing, go bring up an extra chair from the basement so it can sit at the table like an equal with my trusted companions: optimism, confidence and sense of well-being.

A bad feeling shouldn’t get the attention it hasn’t earned.

I could feel it lurking yesterday morning. The tiny tumor of incapacity, self-pity. The litany warming up: I am exhausted from my increasing deafness. I am too much trouble to talk to. I might stop caring what people are saying. I am living in my own head too much. I will live the rest of my life as a spectator. Why is the sound of my own voice so off today? I always had a good voice. Now it’s so tinny. Why am I so tinny?

So, as I often do when I’m troubled, I decided to blog about it. But the day got away from me. First I had to have breakfast with my son, then I had to go with my husband to buy his new truck, then I had to rush downtown to a meeting with city officials to plan a visioning session for the homeless system, then I had to go to a ballgame with my husband, then I had to trade texts with my daughter, then I had to laugh so loud the people in the seats in front of us turned around and started laughing, too, even though they didn’t know what about. Why is she so loud, they might have wondered. Because she can’t hear herself. That’s why. Pity.

Later at home I got out my laptop to write that post. That’s nuts, I thought. Why give it a name? Why let it be a bigger thing than it is? Why memorialize my self-pity yet another time?

It can be kept small like a pebble in your pocket, I told myself. You can still reach in and turn it over with your fingers, hold it in your hand like the miserable gift it is and maybe, if you’re lucky, it’ll find its way to the hole in your pocket. You can let it just fall. Pay it no never mind.

You can do that, I said to myself. It’s your pebble after all. Do with it what you will.