Ever have a down-in-the-dumps day? From time to time we all succumb to emotions brought about by the perceived fullness (or not) of our coffee mug, soda can or water bottle. Sometimes the glass just feels half empty.

Even if you experience life as an opportunistic optimist and see the glass as half full 99 percent of the time, the odds wedge you within the void of half-emptiness three or four days a year.

It starts in the morning. Inexplicably, you wake up in a funk and lie in your half-empty bed, thinking half-empty thoughts about a brimming to-do list. Tasks that sounded legitimate and essential last night now come across as lackluster and superfluous – an unnecessary drain on energy and time. Even getting out of bed is an act filled with ambitious optimism.

Our perception doesn't necessarily mirror reality. In real life, the sun might be shining. The sky could be blue (but you'd swear it's crimson or perhaps even scarlet). The house may be clean; the toilets flushed. Your life, in general, might be swimming in success, but to you it's all going down the drain – one pathetic drop at a time. Logic dictates you don't have any cause to indulge in a bad day, but logic knows nothing of the blahs. With – or without – reason, you may feel unappreciated and underachieving; overworked and overlooked.

Many of us have been there. It's a dog ate my homework, the cat puked on the carpet, I slipped on a banana peel and locked myself out of the car kind of day – even if you have no dog, cat, car and an overall aversion to bananas.

You cower under the covers – halfway between sleep and wakefulness – for as long as you dare before sliding (definitely not hopping) out of bed and slithering into the kitchen where your cavernous and empty coffee mug lies in wait like a triple-dog dare. Even when filled to the brim, your cup feels less than adequate. An essence of foreboding permeates the air. You dare not sip and enjoy for fear of whatever forces of doom are about to descend on the day. Your breath, eyelids and shoulders all hang heavy. You can almost hear the theme from 'Psycho' reverberating off the walls, and decide to delay your morning shower until…well, later.

Then you take a sip. A careful one, lest you burn your tongue and are forced to deal with an irritating burnt tongue sensation for the next 36 hours. The aroma of 100-percent Arabica beans hits your nostrils with a scent nothing less than enticing, and quicker than you can say, 'Rhett Butler,' your thoughts of 'Psycho' are practically gone with the wind.

The clouds lift a bit and in a smooth segue from Alfred Hitchcock to Margaret Mitchell, you decide you might as well brave the shower. The water is invigorating and after a second cup of java you find yourself ready to move cautiously forward with the rest of your morning.

Still, the cobwebs persist and it isn't likely you'll find the courage and stamina to hit every item on your to-do list – especially rock climbing, sky diving or cleaning out the kitchen junk drawer – but that's okay, because, as someone once said: tomorrow is another day. Besides, there are a couple of things you've been meaning to get to for ages. Like coming up with a creative idea for a dress for the annual office party and sewing curtains for the dining room – or maybe even both.

(Please note: a simple case of the blahs differs greatly from a diagnosed case of depression. The author notes the latter is not impacted by coffee or any type of classic movie and should be treated by a mental health professional, not a syndicated columnist.)

Follow Slices of Life on Facebook at Slices of Life. Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of 'The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication' Email her at pertmn@qwest.net; or visit her website at http://marketing-by-design.home.mchsi.com/.

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