Lauren Martin is a writer and the founder of Words of Women, an online and physical community dedicated to the growth and development of women. She focuses on entertaining and supportive content which is spread across Instagram and Facebook and through her newsletter to some 300,000 followers.
Martin begins with a list of "Things that (*Used to) Put Me in a Mood":
A comment from my mother
A bad photo
Strangers telling me I look like Claire Danes
Long days at the office
Loud groups in small restaurants
Unreturned text messages
We can certainly identify with many of those situations, circumstances, and people that can trigger bad moods when we are angry, sad, grumpy, and afraid or feeling nasty or obnoxious. But often it our emotions and expectations that create dark clouds within us.
Before we proceed any further in our praises of Lauren Martin, we must have to tell you that this fresh self-care resource introduces its messages with the best all-around quotations of any book in 2020! She begins the opening chapter, "What Are Moods?" with a quote by Sylvia Plath:
"It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents: joyous positive and despairing negative — whichever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it."
It sucks when bad moods dominate or flood our lives.
In a chapter titled "Where Do Moods Come From?" she quotes from a letter by the inimitable Zelda Fitzgerald to F. Scott Fitzgerald:
"I'm so sorry for all the times I've been mean and hateful — for all the miserable minutes I've caused you when we could have been so happy."
Zelda is inching her way to what Martin calls observing the pain while living it.
Now let's hear from the very popular writer, Rebecca Solnit:
"Worry is a way to pretend that you have knowledge or control what you don’t."
Time to set aside any propensities we might have for trying to control things. It doesn't help.
Still stressed out? Listen to Georgia O'Keeffe:
"I've always been absolutely terrified every single moment of my life and I've never let it stop me from doing a single thing I wanted to do."
Can I have some of what she's having?
And here's Martin herself on disliking yourself:
"Every woman walks around with a loaded gun of all the things she'd change about herself."
And that's just a small sampling of the wisdom in the first fifth of this book. Further along there are quotations aplenty in chapters on work, friends, family, the body, and unforeseen circumstances.
Here's an edifying quote for the road from Flannery O'Connor:
"If you do the same thing every day at the same time for the same length of time, you'll save yourself from many a sink. Routine is a condition for survival."