Friday, June 13, 2008

If it's your biorhythms?

A reader recently sent me a link to a Web site that, like many others like it, offers free daily biorhythm readings. You type in your birthday and the calculator will tell you, in addition to how many days old you are (how depressing is that), what your physical, intellectual and overall state are at the moment.

Background on biorhythms from Wikipedia: "The theory of biorhythms claims that one's life is affected by rhythmic biological cycles, and seeks to make predictions regarding these cycles and the personal ease of carrying out tasks related to the cycles. Some proponents think that biorhythms may be potentially related to bioelectricity and its interactions in the body."

When I got the e-mail and clicked over to the site, I found out that not only was I 10,776 days old (and to think, no one sent a card), but my overall condition was so precarious that if at all possible I should lie down in seclusion for the entire day. Seriously, that was the recommendation. My creative energy was "gone" and my brain was "in stand-by mode." Coincidentally, that was the beginning of the bad mood, and as each following day got worse, I checked back to see whether my biorhythms were supporting my experiences. They were.

Of course, biorhythms are considered by the establishment to be a pseudo-science. And no matter how many people tell me (OK, so far only one) that doctors sometimes schedule their surgeries around their bad biorhythm days, I'm not convinced (and certainly not seeing that doctor). But the idea that there could be a reason for otherwise inexplicable lapses in mental and physical soundness that cost us days of production and happiness is a pretty tempting one. Because if not for something like biorhythms, it's just our own weakness.

Which leads me to the other, more proactive approach to dealing with a slump, (thus the unappealing one), which is to try to turn it around with exercise, mind control or good old-fashioned gumption. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's true that sometimes if you nip it in the bud, a bad mood can be averted with a morning jog or a forced smile. But other times, a stretch of dark days just dig in for a while and there isn't that much you can do about it, other than to try your best to be nice to your friends, family and co-workers (or if not nice, not outright nasty).

Of course, if a slump is more than just a slump (perhaps these stretches are frequent or last longer than usual), professional help is a good idea. But if it's your biorhythms? Heck, it's just not your fault. Tell people to stay out of your way and, if possible, take a lot of naps.


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