a peek inside the fishbowl

10 Feb, 2015

Is your mood in your way?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

Sunset near Dominion Station, Westboro

I’ve written about my fitness goals here before and many of you already know that I made a promise to myself to do at least 20 minutes of walking on the treadmill every day.

I have an appointment with myself every morning, and amazingly, I am able to keep it. This appointment includes:

  • A GREAT cup of coffee.
  • 30-minutes with my Litebook.
  • A healthy breakfast (it’s the same thing every morning so it’s a total no-brainer).
  • Treadmill time.

Well, everything was going fine up this morning until the last thing on my list. For some reason it was a real struggle to get on that treadmill and do those 20 minutes. As I slogged along I thought about why it was so hard – today of all days. After all, I’ve been doing this for over a year. I’m not sick. I had a decent night’s sleep. I ate breakfast. So what the hell is my problem?

It was my mood. I wasn’t in the mood to do this very simple task, and my mood became a huge barrier to getting it done. When I really think about it, the idea of “mood” as an obstacle is not something new. I’m frequently not “in the mood” to cook dinner or go grocery shopping, but I’m able to do those things because other people rely on me to do them. And if I don’t do them my family might starve. Or at the very least, I’d have to put up with their complaints, and I don’t want that.

Here’s the thing, moods aren’t real. Not really. It’s not like I’m a marathon runner who is suddenly faced with an impossibly high wall across her path. Mood is not a wall, it is a curtain. A sheer curtain at that. It may appear to be in my way, and it might even be blocking my view of the path, but it’s not impassable. I have the power to push it aside and move forward.

So there I was, stewing about all of this while watching the time tick slowly by on the treadmill when this article by Leo Babauta appeared in my feed: What You Can Say Instead of “I Don’t Feel Like It.” It was exactly what I needed and it solidified a lot of ideas that have been floating in my head of late. Maybe it will help you today too?

3 Responses to "Is your mood in your way?"

1 | binkee

February 10th, 2015 at 1:37 pm


This is so good. And so is the referenced article with the super list of counter-excuses. I have printed the list and will use it – often. Thanks so much !

2 | andrea tomkins

February 11th, 2015 at 10:55 am


You are welcome binkee!

3 | G

February 12th, 2015 at 7:35 pm


Love the article. Thank you for sharing!

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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