I awoke in a bad mood today, and on the ride to work I looked at the mood with some diligence. I realized that a bad mood, at least for me, comes about when I begin to resist the world, to push back against it. My posture today is one of stiff-arming the world, or at least the people in it.
For tracking purposes, I keep pretty detailed logs of my daily work activities, and upon review this morning, I found that yesterday I received 67 E-mails (not counting those filtered out as spam), of which 37 required E-mail responses from me. I took 14 phone calls in person, called five people back to fulfill obligations from the previous day, and made notes to return calls for four messages that arrived when I was out of the office. Two authors called me to ask why I hadn't responded to their proposals for dreadful books.
There were four staff meetings of various types yesterday; my calendar for the week lists 19 total meetings for the week.
Sixteen different people sought me out informally yesterday, to answer questions, sign checks, make various decision major and minor. Three people felt the need to tattle on coworkers for a various transgressions. Some days, my job seems to be more about making decisions for other people rather than accomplishing anything real. This is one of those days when I'm reminded of Jean Paul Sartre, who I think may have been the one who remarked that "hell is other people."
No particular mystery to this bad mood. Spring is nearly here, and I am badly in need of a day of solitude in the garden.