What’s Your Mood?

“I often felt blue when my children were younger and my husband and I were beginning our careers. Hormones could have also played a role in my emotional roller-coaster rides. I thought then too that a kick to our household finances and help from a maid service would fix my mood.

Fortunately, I have never had to be hospitalized for the “down” feeling, but I sympathize with those who have. There is no shame in admitting the problem or seeking help. Nowadays, when I fall into a negative mood, I galvanize myself into action and go into a housecleaning or cooking spree. Sometimes, I take a long walk or catch lunch with friends.”

Excerpt from My Checkered Life: A Marriage Memoir, Chapter 18, Night of Crisis


Mood Rings, Remember These?

Simply put, mood rings indicate the body’s reaction to one’s physical or emotional state. The gem stones in these rings have been touted to reflect various emotional states, over which the wearer could supposedly rejoice or despair.


In 1975, New York inventors Maris Ambats and Josh Reynolds produced the first mood ring. These rings changed color in response to temperature, potentially reflecting the body temperature change associated with the wearer’s emotions. The rings were an instant sensation, despite the high price tag. A silver-colored (plated, not sterling silver) ring retailed for $45, although a gold ring  was available for $250.

Whether or not the rings were accurate, people were enchanted by the colors produced by the thermochromic liquid crystals. The composition of mood rings has changed since the 1970s, but mood rings (and necklaces and bracelets) are still made today.

This chart summarizes the colors with corresponding moods

Mood Color Chart in 4 Languages



Exhaustion: Another Bugaboo

I say sometimes, “I’m exhausted!” meaning I’m tired, or worn out.

Later, my husband might make a gentle correction in semantics which I notice (maybe on another day), “Well, I’m not totally exhausted, but I am tired.”

“The Exhausting History of Fatigue” The New Yorker, April 10, 2023


One Fix: Take a nap!



Other Ways to Cope

“Walking Meme,” The New Yorker, March 25, 2023


Guest essayist Andrew McCarthy touts the benefits of walking in his op-ed piece, “Whatever the Problem, It’s Probably Solved by Walking (The New York Times, March 25, 2023)

Walking is the worst-kept secret I know. Its rewards hide under every step.

Perhaps because we take walking so much for granted, many of us often ignore its ample gifts. In truth, I doubt I would walk often or very far if its sole [!] benefit was physical, despite the abundant proof of its value in that regard. There’s something else at play in walking that interests me more. And with the arrival of spring, attention must be paid.

McCarthy goes on to quote Hippocrates, Kierkegaard, Wordsworth. Others, like Bill Bryson, and J. K. Rowling, walk to summon creativity. Writer friend Laurie Buchanan often shares photos on Facebook under her title “Walking my Muse.”


 Youngest grandson taking a casual walk


How ‘bout coping with some humor?

“Leftovers,” The New Yorker, December 15, 2022



“Costco,” The New Yorker, December 15, 2022


"Coats and Jackets" The New Yorker, December 15, 2022

Spring hat and coat – Marian on tricycle      Photo restoration, CDB



Other Ways to Cope

Yep, walking usually helps. And humor often does the trick. But. . .

Doing for others is also a helpful tonic. Sending a greeting card or chatting with a friend takes the focus off myself. However, sometimes it is healthy to “ride” the mood and let myself feel sad for a while and not anesthetize myself with drugs. Some researchers have speculated that one reason for the current opioid epidemic is that those addicted do not wish to feel pain of any kind, either physical or psychic.

Feelings of depression, for me, often rise like a wave. I think of it as an emotion to work through, not to deny or dismiss. One way to cope: Take moments to breathe deeply as you watch for the wave to peak, notice the wave subsiding gradually and eventually come to an end. Allow, perhaps, for a neutral feeling, which may evolve over time into a small spark of positivity.

Except for clinical depression, the “down” feeling is usually a temporal condition, temporary. For me, belief in the Resurrection, both spiritual and physical, can provide eternal hope.

Excerpt from My Checkered Life: A Marriage Memoir, Chapter 18, Night of Crisis


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Meditation, a guide to begin my day

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.        ~ Psalm 55:22     King James Version

When anxiety was great within me,
Your consolation brought me joy.        ~ Psalm 94:19   New International Version

He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!      ~ Isaiah 26:3  The Living Bible

But those who listen to me will live in safety.
They will be at ease and have no fear of being harmed.”         ~ Proverbs 1:33      International Reader’s Version



Have you ever had a mood ring?

Any other tips for coping with stress, exhaustion, or other emotional unease?