I was not in a great mood as I walked into Walmart to pick up a few produce items for the evenings fried rice. As I went thru the “exit” door on a bee line for the carts, I noticed a lady grabbing her bags out of her cart. Since it was not entangled with all of the other carts, I gave her a proposal…
“Since you have it warmed up, can I grab your cart?”, I asked. Her reply was barely a reply. It was some sort of titter or noise uttered from locked lips. Apparently, she was embarrassed by the unsolicited attention. Despite her discomfort, stretching my mood toward the more civil end of the spectrum was achieved–a warmed up cart began the warming of my mood.
As my mood continued to move to the right, I had the opportunity to go to the deli counter. As I waited for the lady in front of me to have her choices of meat and cheese sliced–she wanted everything pretty thin–I must have continued to make the shift into a happier place. Once my turn came up, I gave the attendant my meat and cheese choices. I clearly stated, “Don’t hurry too much. I prefer you keep your epidermis.” The lady behind me laughed–she must not like the epidermis either.
Lastly, as I was walking out into the parking lot, a lady was preparing to use the pedestrian crossing to the entrance. She seemed hesitant. I gave her a smile and volunteered to use my cart to block traffic so her crossing would be less fraught with indecision. Without hesitation, she refused it and stood planted while waiting for a satisfactory path to open up.
I have found my mood is quickly improved when I start looking out rather than dwelling within. It is easy to be drowning in self pity when you are floating in a current you are trying to control. When you take your eyes off yourself and look around a little at others, it is much easier to leave your rotten mood behind. Forgetting a bad mood is more about putting it in perspective than it is solving the problem that put you there. Interacting with others almost always makes it easier to smile than dwelling on what is wrong. While Walmart is not always the first place I look for a smile, it is a far better place than looking into a mirror.