Reflections…………………………Out of Sorts


Is there something wrong mama?” “No, I am just out of sorts.”

Out of sorts, is this stress…maybe, is it depression,…could be, is it hormonal… possibly. We are taught in Psychology  our current mental state is the sum total of the emotional effects of your life experiences. You could rightly ask, “what does that mean?”

When you are out of sorts, it feels like something is tugging on your psyche. Your mind is going in one direction, but is pulled in another direction. Have you been out of sorts? If so, your mind is telling you that there are unfinished businesses, worries. I hasten to add, out of sorts is not the same as the blahs. We all get the blahs, that down and out feeling with no explanation. So how do you address these two common human behaviors.

Tucked away in one of my filing cabinets I have stored in a manila folder; letters, comments, honors and items of interest that make me feel good. They have no meaning to anyone but me. When I am out of sorts or have the blahs I frequently visit this folder and have a quiet time reflecting. Inside this folder is an envelope with comments for whom I do not have the author. I had written the comments on the back of the envelope many years ago. Therefore, I can determine I was somewhere at a gathering and took notes from the speaker.  Shortly after taking the notes, I started the process which the speaker alluded and have continued to this day. It has had a profound affect upon my psyche and my general well-being. This is how my notes read:

Begin each day by finding something beautiful to notice. It doesn’t have to be something you see; it could be a smell, perhaps the cooking in the kitchen, it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches a leaf as it falls to the ground. Please look for these things, and cherish them. For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the “stuff” of life. The little things we are put on earth to enjoy. The things we often take for granted.

I have recommended the action in this paragraph to numerous individuals and it has received more positive feedback than any other counseling I have done.

This frame of mind takes some time and effort to accommodate. Be patient you will have to gradually begin the mental process. You will begin to notice beauty all through your day. I find myself seeing what I call “patches of God light” throughout the day. It is not uncommon for me to stop and bring these events to the attention of someone else. For beginners, take notice of something special you see on your lunch break today. Shed any mental baggage you may have and be sure you are not carrying grudges or an unforgiving spirit. With these suggestions and an eye for the beauty that surrounds you, in a matter of two or less weeks you will find the blahs and the ‘out of sorts’ will disappear.

Mama you have a smile on your face.” “I know, I got some things settled.”


Retired in 2008 after 40+ years in education/psychology as researcher, teacher, administrator and college professor.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Reflections…………………………Out of Sorts

  1. srbottch says:

    Great advice, Gary. By the way, I’m trying to write a story with a theme that you touch upon a little bit in this piece. You’ll recognize it if I ever get it done properly. Take care. Steve


  2. Joy Motter says:

    Dr. Coker!!! Yet again, the words you share in this post are truly a “patch of God-Light” to me!! The season I spent in your care. . . and at your table. . .with the aroma of Mrs. June’s cooking filling the room. . .had a profound and permanent impact on my life. . . for the good!! Thank you!!!!

Leave a Reply