Do you ever have days when, despite your best efforts, you just can’t seem to will yourself into a great mood? As an extroverted person based in a home office, this year has been especially challenging – and with it, there’s been a few “down days”. Blame it on the economy, general society malaise, or getting older, but it seems that 2009 will do in history as a less-than-optimistic year. For me, “down days” come without obvious predication – nothing in particular precipitates their arrival, they just appear – and I’d like to share my experience…
You probably already know that down days aren’t selective upon whose shoulders they descend. (Note that I am not talking about depression or the “change your attitude, change your life” concepts, but rather duldrum days that simply happen). Similar to how a lone cloud appears on an otherwise blue-sky day, the general malaise of a down day can spring up as quickly as a midafternoon July storm in Florida. The good news is that down days are typically a “flash-in-the-pan” occurrence that can vaporize just as quickly as they emerge.
Growing up, it was normal to have the occasional down day. Low biorhythms, hormonal swings, a slow day, or whatever we called them – down days were part of the natural rhythm of life. Somehow along the way, I lost sight of this. Perhaps it was a result of my now ex-husband who never ever ever admitted to having a down day (and I guess that was his “normal”). Now that I am out and about making a lot of new friends, I’m finding occasional down days are just part of life. Even my incredibly upbeat, positive, and optimistic friends confess to an occasional down day, and it’s a relief!
One way I use to overcome the effects of a down day include letting it be, laying low, talking to friends, walking my dog, and getting out of the house. There’s nothing like comradery and positive encounters with strangers to lift one’s spirits and bolster sagging self-esteem. At these times, the power of a smile, shared laughter, or the exchange of kind words is unsurpassed. And somehow, someway, a down day is just a little bit less so… and when the next day dawns as an “up” day I remember that someone in my life is probably having their own down day.
Have a great week!
Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or visit http://www.caroldekkers.com for details.
Read Carol Dekkers’ other blog (Musings about Software Development) at http://musingsaboutsoftwaredevelopment.wordpress.com.
——Copyright 2009 Carol Dekkers – All Rights Reserved ———————