personal growth

Emotional Weather Barometers ~ Sadly No App For That

I love my weather app. Like, to a possibly unhealthy degree. I know it’s a little nutty to repeatedly check the current temperature on a little machine instead of just sticking my head outside and judging for myself. But there’s something so reassuring about always “knowing” the temp and humidity and the type of precipitation we are or are not experiencing at this very “updated two minutes ago” moment. And even though I know, rationally, that the forecast might change drastically between now and then, I really like knowing the predicted chance of rainfall next Tuesday. I don’t know why. I don’t claim to be normal.

The other day it occurred to me how awesome it would be if there was an app like the Weather Channel for my life. Some sort of mood gauge or progress barometer that highly trained specialists could read, analyzing insights I was likely to stumble upon, calculating my future emotions based on hormones and sleep and food and exercise. “By Thursday, you should be feeling substantially better – your current ennui is unjustified, a mere blip in your spiritual barometer…like a front it will pass and the birds will sing.” That. Would. Rock.

Or perhaps it would be able to warn me of emotions that haven’t surfaced, not-yet-visible storms on the horizon whose inevitability blows like a hurricane across the Atlantic ~ undoubtably coming but the trigger that equals landfall and the exact timing are still up in the air. The prediction would caution vigilance, emotional inventories – at least I’d know to stock up on sleep.

I guess this urge to know the future is why people read horoscopes and question oracles – two things I don’t do very often anymore. And the reason I’ve stopped is that I finally realized I have way more control over my emotions, now and in the future, than I will ever have over the weather. Not that anyone can exactly choose their feelings every second, but we can change our emotional direction and weaken the impact of negative emotion far more than we usually give ourselves credit for. But we must first accept responsibility for ourselves and the way we feel.

It seems easier to just predict how we will feel, as if our futures are inevitable. Sometimes I am like that: “I didn’t want X to happen but it did, ergo I will feel angry.” But it doesn’t have to work like that. When I stop resisting what “is” and realize how much is outside my control, my inner Doppler radar calms down a lot. There are fewer hurricanes. More sunny days. I realized that I can choose to be a birch that bends or a branch that breaks, and that when the sun hides her sunny face for too many days on end, I can be like the moonflower, blooming by moonlight in spite of herself.

So I guess I’m cool without the app. I have too many anyway (Machinarium, anyone? That game is so much more fun than silly personal growth any day.) Seriously, though. I don’t need a barometer, only the courage to accept life and what it brings, no matter the stormy weather.

Still. It would be super-cool if there was an app for that.