Whenever someone asks my husband how he is, he often replies, “I’m doing, I’m doing.” By his tone of voice, I know that means, “I’m doing okay.” When someone asks me how I am, I usually say, “Fine.”
Neither of us is very specific.
Today a friend asked me how I was, and I immediately thought of something I’d read years ago. Although it was in some psych literature, it wasn’t scientific—but interesting. According to the writer, there are four basic emotions: glad, sad, mad, and scared.
There are layers of feelings within each of the four categories. I was feeling fine today, relatively upbeat and “glad.” Then I heard a friend laugh. And laugh again. And again. Before long, I found myself laughing along even though I was in another room. A person who’s sad could have the blues or be clinically depressed. A scared person could be a little anxious or downright terrified.
Back to the question from my friend. It prompted me to think of how those four emotions apply to me today. Tomorrow might be a totally different story. A lot can happen between now and then.
I’m glad to be part of a network of family and friends, one of them a two-year-old granddaughter who likes to have her toenails painted a bright pink color. She makes me laugh. Another granddaughter has a bearded lizard whom she loves so much that she brought him to Camden with her this weekend. I found his mealworms in the refrigerator this morning. Ksjf98emks (I just learned that’s a keysmash, a term used to express strong emotion). I’m glad that my children are all well and responsible and sane and kind. I’m glad to have had about a dozen high school friends over for lunch today. We had not one, but two, delicious desserts, and some people sampled both.
I’m sad for all the suffering in the world and for the hungry children. Even the Palmetto State has its share…and then some. Some sources say one in five children in South Carolina has hunger issues. I wish I knew for certain what these children were doing for lunch now that school’s out for the summer. And don’t even get me started on the refugees.
I’m mad at man’s inhumanity to man. I’m heartsick/helpless/angry about Otto Warmbier and his senseless death. What can be done to combat such evil? Anything?
I’m scared of the boogey man, of uncertainty, of the world my grandchildren will inherit. I shudder when I imagine Warmbier’s reaction to the news that he’s being forced to stay in North Korea while his friends are flying home. I’m upset (good all-purpose word) when I allow myself to think of his parents and the horror and pure unadulterated fear they undoubtedly experienced month after month.
Looking at the above list, I can say truthfully say, “I’m fine.” Sure, I feel sad and mad and scared, but it looks like glad heads the list for the evening. I could easily get on a soapbox and expound on social injustice, prejudice, judgmental attitudes, and a host of other issues. But not tonight. Tonight I’m counting my blessings and pondering what I can do to make more things right.
What about you? How are you?