There’s a beautiful line in High Fidelity:
“Did I listen to pop music because I was depressed? Or was I depressed because I listened to pop music?”
To dumbify it a little bit, it becomes:
Does the music we listen to set the mood or does our mood dictate the music we pick?
And to generalize it a bit further, it becomes:
Does our mood dictate our circumstances, or do our circumstances dictate our mood?
I like to think that mood dictates circumstances: that we can choose to think and feel a certain way and thus to take control over how things affect us and how we move through the world. That seems to be mostly true, most of the time.
But it’s not entirely true. Sometimes you can’t put a smile on your face no matter how much you tune up your facial muscles. Sometimes you can’t force yourself to tough it out when you’re totally tapped out.
These thoughts fought for dominance this morning as I pressed the snooze alarm instead of getting out of bed to go on my regular 3-mile run. Days when I run are better days. I’m clearer, calmer, better able to deal with whatever comes. Days I don’t? Less so. So to choose not to run — when I’m awake on time, especially, and just feel like sleeping in — is to choose against the rest of my day.
I know this. And yet I snoozed. Because while I recognize that not running is a mistake, I also know that forcing the effort when you’re tired and beaten down beyond reason and it’s only three weeks into the school year is a mistake.
Was I unjustly and wrongly lazy? Or was I righteously claiming a few precious minutes of recuperation?
Did I let myself snooze because I was too tired to run? Or was I too tired to run because I let myself snooze?