Moody? Me?

Raise your hand if you’re subject to mood swings.

There are two big problems with retirement: 1) Way too much time to think, and 2) Nobody wants to listen to your problems.

So many of today’s issues have to do with the emotional rollercoaster that seems to be a ride that just doesn’t end. Whether it’s COVID-19, politics and the divide it causes, information overload, appropriate behavior versus spontaneity, a lack of sleep, family issues, the weather; to name a few.

Learning how to cope with the ups and downs of our emotions is key to finding joy in the mundane and appreciating the sublime.

How I Keep Mood Swings in Check

  • The most important way for me to remain positive and upbeat, is to sleep. If I do not get at least seven hours, I’m a mess. It means going to bed before 10:00 p.m. and keeping my bed time consistent. For me, the worst culprit for sleep interruption is a thought loop. The same concern or scenario playing over and over, keeping me wide awake at 2:00 a.m. Getting out of bed and doing something, even if it’s a trip to the kitchen for a glass of water, is the only thing that will stop it.
  • Meditation is a big help to curtail moodiness. Even for as little as ten minutes — just sitting quietly or taking a walk in the park can be restorative.
  • Consider what is troubling you and face it head on. I was moody and sluggish last week; woke up stressed, struggled with a trip to the gym (fortunately due to guilt, the gym usually wins), and pissy with Paco (my dog). I was experiencing this without considering the cause. When I sat down and thought about it, I realized it was upcoming travel and my ambivalence about it due to new COVID-19 restrictions. I decided the trip was not worth the worry — imagine paying big bucks to sit in your hotel room and ordering Uber Eats because restaurants can only do takeout. I figured out that I could reschedule most of my plans in Germany and the Netherlands, without losing all of the money I had already laid out. After spending about an hour shuffling around air reservations and hotels/Airbnbs, I felt 100% better. I realize of course that this simple exercise does not work for all matters of the heart and mind.
  • Gratitude — I’m not sure when I learned this, but I know for certain is wasn’t in my home growing up; however, considering all the things that you have in your life to be grateful for, it is a great way to put things into perspective and cheer yourself up.
  • Treat myself to dinner out. Living alone is my choice and I enjoy the solitude; however, a nice dinner out with or without friends, is more often than not, a pleasurable experience.
  • Cut back on alcohol. I find that more than one cocktail or several glasses of wine will interrupt sleep and make me moody during the day. Instead of pouring a full glass of wine, I pour half and sip.

It’s Not Fair to Other People

I didn’t have to have someone else tell me that I was sometimes moody. I figured it out on my own. I was tipped off by a question that I am often asked: “Are you okay?”

My mom was bipolar. We never knew what sort of mood she’s be in; I hated it so much. No doubt that everybody has a bad day, but keeping people guessing about whether you’ll be smiling or biting their heads off, isn’t fair. For me, this is something I should be aware of and do something about. The receptionist at my gym seems to be the most in touch with my moods and she calls me on it. Considering I walk in by 7:00 a.m., it’s a good gauge for me — I can power up the positive energy or take it down a notch; nobody likes a person who is over the top cheerful. Haven’t you had this thought: “What kind of drugs is he on?”

Clinical Depression

I don’t know a whole lot about clinical depression and other illnesses/chemical imbalances that cause mood changes. I do know that there are prescription medications that can help. Some people have no choice but to take medication. Meds should be monitored by a professional on a regular basis. I know a few people whose lives were saved by meds.

I’m trying to keep chemicals out of my body; therefore, at least for now, I’m sticking with the more holistic approach (see above). My particular situation has more to do with unrealistic expectations and being way too hard on myself; neither is uncommon.

7 Causes of Mood Swings, A. Vogel

Four Tips to Ease Your Mood Swings, Centerstone

Quotes about Moodiness (31 quotes)


I am not including my travel schedule because it keeps changing. Rather than frustrate myself with modifications, I’d rather leave it up to the universe. I think the media is sensationalizing the Omicron variant; waiting it out is more prudent. The good news is that I got the Pfizer booster and I’m fairly well protected . . . I think.

I’m going to stay local for a few days next week and spend some time on the Algarve coast. Looking out on the ocean and long walks at the beach, keep me grounded.

Alvor, Portugal at dusk

You Thought You Might Be Crazy

I believe that at some point in every person’s life, they believe they might be going mad.

Which one are you?

For the purpose of this blog, I am not using the word “crazy” in the true meaning of mental illness; therefore, please do not be offended. You will see where I am going with this; political incorrectness unintentional, I promise.

Synonyms for my kind of crazy: wacky, off-beat, quirky, loopy, nutty, strange, mad, unhinged, eccentric, and passionate (favorite).

A friend of mine said this yesterday: “Poor people are crazy and wealthy people are eccentric.” I couldn’t get her to quantify wealth.

There are many advantages to getting older, but I think the number one positive is that you no longer care what most people think. To a certain extent you will probably always care, but I think that might apply more to the people in your life that you love and respect. The rest can just fuck off.

Therefore, when your mind wanders to dark places: Am I going mad? Did I just do something crazy? Are these insane thoughts? Do people think I’m crazy? Maybe I’m sane and everyone else is crazy (a sign that you’re not totally sane)? Everything seems distorted.

The Times I Think I Might Be Losing My Mind

  • When I see someone doing something that makes me angry and I think about how I might disfigure them.
  • When I’m waiting on line in a bank and I’m daydreaming about how I might get away with robbery.
  • When I think I might pack a bag and become a Monk in Tibet.
  • When I wonder about an alternative universe and the role I play in it.
  • When I imagine suddenly being wealthy and giving most of it away.
  • When I believe a certain person might be sincere.
  • When the words come faster than the keys can accommodate.
  • When I read my horoscope or give it any credibility.
  • When I rely solely on the mainstream media for news.
  • When Paco gives me a “you’re crazy” look.

You might have chuckled when you read some of these; I imagine because it may have resonated with you. Our brain is a complex organ, capable of so much more than we know. So when your thoughts are a bit extraordinary or when your mind goes rouge, it’s a pretty normal thing. It’s no wonder we keep our thoughts in check; acting on only the more reasonable stuff swirling around our brains. I like thinking that we’re all a little crazy.


Most of us are at our most creative when we’re centimeters away from insanity. It’s the out-of-the-box thinking that makes our ideas interesting. There are times when I’m thinking about a new piece of furniture or rug for my apartment and I allow myself to consider colors or designs that do not as a rule, go together — crazy right? When I have done this kind of non-traditional thinking, I usually end up with something interesting and worthwhile. However, I have to almost force myself to draw outside the lines. Societal norms, customs, rules, and our neighbors — all keeping us in check. Fairly innocent stuff, we worry far too much about.

Let Go

If you think about how we define “normal” or sane, you have to admit it would be pretty boring to be just like everyone else and do exactly what is expected of you. Yesterday, instead of walking to the locker room at my gym, I danced the whole way there. I got quizzical looks, some laughs, and even people looking away — don’t want to notice that lunatic. I have to say it was a very minor digression from my normal behavior, but it was fun to see how people reacted. I’m sure several of the people I see every morning just passed it off as me being me and I’m okay with that.

My Point

Instead of working so hard to stay in your assigned box/space, why not just allow yourself the freedom to be who you are? Think freely, be a little crazy, and have some fun. Keep others around you guessing. Most of us cannot and will not veer too far from the straight and narrow, centuries of socialization wouldn’t allow it.


I think São Miguel Island might actually be happening on Wednesday. I’m getting the government-paid-for COVID test here in Faro on Monday and then I’m hopefully getting away for a week. The weather is supposed to be rainy and cool, but I’m actually okay with that. We get an abundance of sunshine in the Algarve; therefore, I’ve come to love rain and welcome it. It’s all about perspective. Anyway, it’s never good when we allow weather to determine our mood.


Am I Crazy If I Think I’m Crazy? Quara

Am I Crazy? Mental Health America

This song from Company has been in my head for weeks, hence the blog topic

Question of the Week:

What were you thinking when you thought you might be losing your mind?