One of the most important things that I’ve learned about myself is how to deal with the Good, the Bad, and the Meh. I’ve learned to recognize when I’m in certain modes, or at some point in some kind of cycle.

Preference cycles are what I call the behavioral patterns that I fall into that don’t affect my social or emotional states, and are generally neutral to my modes. Preference cycles generally don’t have a reason behind them, either, and it’s usually pointless to try to discern one. These are things like eating cereal. Sometimes, I’ll eat a bowl of cereal every morning for weeks on end. Then, suddenly, I just don’t. Maybe I’ll switch to eating an egg, or granola, or oatmeal, or fruit, or maybe even going without breakfast.

As insignificant as this sounds, it’s nice to be aware when I’m currently in an off-stage of the cereal cycle. It’s a minute mental relief to not have to think “I should eat some ceral, but I really don’t want to” for days on end. If I’m in an off-stage, I just don’t eat it. This applies to all kinds of things, like eating lunch, drinking coffee, listening to music versus NPR in the car, etc. Recognizing where your preferences lie, and when they change, makes those tiny pointless mental self-debates disappear, and it drops some stress.

The same goes, on a larger scale, for your modes. I don’t want to reiterate it all here, because Buster Benson wrote an awesome article about them. Really, go read this. If you don’t come back to my post, that’s ok, but read that one. Reading that article really put words to a lot of the feelings and thoughts I have about these larger-scale-cycle-stages, or modes.

The biggest benefit I’ve gained from all of this is a greater ability to deal with and appreciate the Good, the Bad, and the Meh. When I’m in a rut, I can recognize it, and hopefully (not always, it’s hard!) react to the bad day or week as well as possible. On the flip side, I can also recognize when I’ve had a really good day or week, or month, or year, and value it more than I might have.

Seriously, go READ THIS.