Anger Management

Dear J-

You find yourself making excuses — and worse yet, having them sound increasingly plausible in your ears — when it comes down to effort and rigor, whether exercise or work. It’s time to go. Something needs to change before I drive myself nuts over these minor things that I should just be a good soldier about and nod yes’m, yes’m. This morning I can’t say whether it was with secret relief that I discovered the flat tire or not — I would have loved to ride my bike and will use that for an anger sink some days — but I had the chance to slow down instead of rushing all preparations this morning. The dog ate my homework. The tire was flat. That doesn’t sound too bad, right?

If you let them things can spiral out of hand in an instant: you agree to a few little things and if you fail to see the intentional (self-inflicted) humor in your situation then the joke really was on you. Fail to laugh and everyone else will be more than happy to laugh at you. If the only solution is to run away from that then I hope your shoes are laced up tight. Most days I’m running so late that I don’t have a chance to get my shoes tied before stepping out the door. I’ve become a lumbering slow target in ecent months, happy to let things slide and delighted to just be present.  What was that about letting it get the better of me? Where’s my goat? If you got my goat then I’m a gnu, but this isn’t news to anyone.

Sometimes it helps to get it out theere in some form or another. If I don’t want to be on the hook for everything then I didn’t need to volunteer for it. My pathetic need to be liked has made me happy to be on the receiving end of everything and frankly I’m just tired of it; it’s easier to say no now than have to try to explain all the things that didn’t get done later. If I spent enough time worrying about myself and less time wondering what other people think — after all I’m not psychic and I surely can’t plant thoughts in other people’s heads — I’m sure the change I need is within me and my means. Say it out loud enough and I might even convinve myself of it.

What I do need to remember is this: how do I want figgy and Calcifer to remember their childhoods? Is it even a possibility that I should be the remote, hard-to-please figure? Should it come down — shojuld it ever come down to having a young voice plead with me to just be happy? I’ll know that I’ve gone too far at that point, but what saves me from driving off the cliff? I need to learn to trust my conscience and help me ignore the swirling anger.

Mike

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