There are days when even an optimist has to force a smile. In my mind, I fantasize about being in my lab; I’m mixing various chemicals to find the perfect solution that will dissipate a black cloud. You know the one! It settles over you when you least expect it and stays around for days on end. You may not notice its arrival for a day or two because, hey, everyone has a bad day. Maybe even three bad days in a row. Not until you notice a steady stream of very unfortunate events happening do you realize it’s the dreaded Black Cloud Syndrome settling in on your turf. It might go something like this:
Day 4: My mind starts to retrace the prior week, the prior month trying to find the reason the dreaded BC has settled over my life. What slip-up or oversight brought this on, I wonder? I look suspiciously at my friends, my co-workers and wonder if I need to keep my distance. Perhaps this is their problem and I’m affected simply by association. Yeah, maybe that’s it. Nonetheless, the sides of my mouth get just a little tighter and making nice or smiling becomes a bit less spontaneous. My boss is also acting strange and grumpy, and I feel nervous about everything I do, or don’t do, wondering “Is it just another bad day … or what?”
Day 5: Unexpectedly, something major happens around the house. It might be a tree that falls during a bad spring storm. Or perhaps a water leak unnoticed which finally catches my attention in the form of a $200 water bill. Eventually I make it past the shock into the cranky stage and begin to make plans for corrective action. But somehow the mouth area keeps going back to the "O" shape, and I shake my head a bit from side to side, repeatedly. Backtracking even further, I instinctively review the prior quarter of my life looking for that deed-of-deeds that caused some bad karma to arrive.
Day 6: I’m already a bit distracted handling events from Days 1 -5, and finally I finish up my work day (power outage brought down all the servers) and head for home. Only to find the car won’t start, and I’m stuck at the office. Just as I’m searching for the AAA card to call for help, I realize it wasn’t renewed. Bummer! Back in to search for help I go. I arrive home two hours late, hungry and tired but doing my best to help the kids with homework and general preparations for tomorrow. In the back of mind I keep thinking “I need answers, I need solutions, Oh I need Google!” A quick search assures me there are ways to get rid of a Black Cloud. One site suggests it's stress…sounds familiar. Another site suggests it’s my imagination, yeah right. Still another tells me to paint or do something creative. Good idea: I vow to make time for that this weekend! The last site I read suggests a chant or mantra. I’m thinking more along the lines of a cold beer, a hot bath, and a lot of prayers.
On my next post, I’ll report on bizarre events that happened through Day 10 of the Black Cloud Syndrome along with the remedy I finally found that worked for me. If any of you have experienced this malady recently, I’d love to hear about your experiences! Black Cloud Syndrome is to Life as Finals are to the Graduate: Inevitable.