My little angry

This morning I was angry. Robert had double booked me with something else. It isn’t as if I have never done this. Countless times I have had to reschedule, but for some unbeknown reason, this morning I felt really angry. I felt sidelined, rejected and suddenly it was all I could think about as I was on route to meet him. Now at this stage in my anger, I am generally unable to look at the person until I have calmed down. Am really not sure why, maybe I might shout, or more likely I have to confront the feelings head on. And in absolute fairness, I would rather they just go away, just dissipate into the ether. When I saw him I told him I was angry, he accepted my angry, then after ten minutes of a hard run (we were at the gym) I felt much better and service as normal resumed. The most resounding positive that I can take from this was that my sprint at the end was a half minute longer and faster than it has been. Anger is curiously quite motivating!

Several thoughts occurred to after this experience. Firstly, Robert is one of only a very small handful of people that I can admit to being angry with. After I voiced my angry, I do feel a lot better, it is empowering. But I seldom ever do this. People have let me down in so many different ways and I instantly forgive them. At least on the surface. I make excuses for them, work out the motivations for their (appalling) behaviours, but I don’t confront. Inside I seethe and just get a little bit quieter on the outside. Generally, if someone causes me too much pain, I simply distance myself, as no one of a healthy and sane mind actively wants to cause themselves harm. But what would likely be even healthier for me? Actually resolving the issues that others create in me.

The other thing that I have learnt, quite some time ago, that I am not, in fact, the centre of the universe. As a child, everything is about us, every slight is deeply personal, every joy was sent to us gift wrapped. I know that many of the issues that make me angry have utterly nothing to do with the person creating the issues. Everyone has their own stuff. Rarely (I hope) would anyone wake up with the sole intention of causing someone else harm, but I am not naive in this either. We are all getting through as best we can, and sometimes, that does seem to involve making other peoples lives difficult. Everyone has triggers on the things that make them most angry. What will incense one person will not even be noticed by the next.

I love that I have a friendship with someone who I trust enough to share my angry. I feel good that my increasing self-confidence has allowed me to express how I feel, however dark that is. It is also good that Robert did not become defensive, instead, he listened.

And my last thoughts on this for now. Gym time is sacred Robert, mess with it not! (but if you do, we are still all good!)

Map Point. Where do I feel safe enough to express how I feel?

Love what you do

I had the most wonderful privilege of going on a supremely relaxing holiday with my Mum and daughter. There was glorious food, incredible surroundings and impeccable service. But this is not my focus, it was the contrast of coming home and visiting the supermarket that struck a chord.

I had completed my post holiday essentials shop in my local supermarket, cereal, milk, chocolate spread and some apples (these are key items in my existence) and went to the self-scan machine. I always inwardly berate myself whenever I use these machines, as more often than not there is a problem. My items don’t scan, discounts don’t come off, the weight of the items is deeply problematic, and sweet Moses you need to get your produce into the bag fast before the machine questions your commitment to bagging said item. However today I had a new problem, I had remembered to bring my reusable shopping bags and they were too heavy. The machine advised that my heavy bags necessitated the assistance of a member of staff. I called over said man of green, to which he barked at me that I could ‘Just click the ‘add bag’ button’ before he stalked off to contend with a product weight issue (I assume, based on the most likely contender). My lasting feelings about this encounter was this man really did not like his job.

Having just experienced the glorious highs epic customer service compared to this equally epic low several thoughts occurred to me.

  1. If you don’t enjoy something, find something else.
  2. The people in my local farm shop are always chirpy.
  3. The self-scanning machines are taking jobs. And customer sanity.
  4. Maybe supermarkets breed unhappy people.
  5. Maintaining happiness and motivation must be really hard for big organisations.
  6. People who represent a company are in the precarious position of being human.
  7. If people’s only motivation to work is money, can that ever be enough?

When I have been in jobs that I haven’t enjoyed, I have rarely stayed long. A job that doesn’t sustain you in some way is not something that should be a long term commitment. My most favourite jobs (other than what I do now) were highly physical jobs. They came with the perk of diabolical pay, but I came home covered in mud and physically tired and that felt good. And working in an office, looking after a filing system. This was good money for a job where my primary focus was to track down missing files. I have never particularly linked how much I am paid for a job to my happiness. If I enjoy something, then to a large degree, the money feels immaterial. This is likely because for a long time I wasn’t happy, so if something provides happy, it is precisely where I want to be!

And then there’s the subject of worth. Maybe my lack of connection to finances is down to ascribing a monetary value to my time, to me. It feels uncomfortable at some level having to decide my worth. That I have worth. But it is curiously empowering when I do. Recently for a job that I have been doing for around three years, the company suddenly decided that they only wanted to pay half of what I had been charging. I said no. I didn’t get excited or cry (shock or anger generally provokes tears.. then people think I am sad, and feel sorry for me. I am not sad, I am a ball of magmas rage, in liquid format!), I simply explained my worth. If someone wants my time, wants the skills and experience that I have, then that comes at a price. Knowing what I will and won’t accept in employment feels like a huge thing for my self-esteem. I have inherent worth and getting paid well to do something I love is a muchly beautiful thing.

Map Point. What is my inherent worth?

 

My boxed best friend

Today my apathy turned to anger. I found myself walking through my local supermarket, boiling with unrequited rage. One question burned within me. How have I let my diet get so utterly terrible?

I have the possible excuse of having been poorly over the past few weeks. My skin is not looking happy, my clothes are not feeling happy, I am low on energy and am nowhere near as sharp as I usually am (which is usually pretty sharp!). Prior to all of this, my diet was mostly awesome (with occasional takeaways). Most days I would easily get through a goodly weight of the green and colourful stuff but over the last few weeks, my sugar intake is bordering on something that would likely make my dentist cry (or really happy with the amount of work I would generate). And this, in short, is not good.

Even before I got poorly, my diet was taking something of a tumble (there might even be a link here..). And over the past few days, I have identified precisely what motivated the tumble. I am utterly bored with the food that I am consuming. Although the meals were good, I am eating the same things over and over. So rather than trying the new and exciting and being creative, the cereal box and me are now best friends.

I used to experiment more with food, particularly savoury dishes. I would scratch cook all sorts of things and looked for inspiration from cookery books and restaurant menus. I enjoyed cooking. I have been trying to work out when my culinary expertise became a predictable endeavour and I don’t think that I can, but I think I know what prompted the realisation.

For a long time, I think I have just accepted this as my normal. Sometime in my life things just become so ordinary that I no longer took notice of them. And then when one thing changes, everything else starts to change too. This year has been about the new. I spent a long time writing a proposal for an MA that I have now been accepted onto (so much happy!). I have not done anything particularly academically challenging for a really long time, and to finally know that this is about to change, feels completely beautiful. So now, the diet needs to be just as shiny too!

Map Point. What would I like to make extraordinary in my life?

 

Inner peace

Anger. Out of all the emotions, this is one that I really struggle to express. I have got to be at the utter end of my tether before this one is ever likely to emerge, so far in my life, I have done this maybe five times. But clearly I am not a ball of rage rivalling the Hulk (though I have much mad love for the man of green), but the anger that I do feel has to go somewhere, and when I consider this, I can see massive areas of myself that I need to work on.

My lack of anger really only became apparent to me as a teenager, when I was small, I remember having full blown tantrums. As a teenager, this anger turned inwards and became anxiety and depression. I think at the time I knew I wasn’t feeling down, I was just not able to express the anger I felt. And during the gloriousness of being a teenager, there were very few things that didn’t inspire rage. I just never learnt to adequately convey my needs or boundaries. Maybe.

As a teenager, many of the arguments in my house were based around

1) The back of my bedroom chair was apparently not a place for dirty laundry.

2) Collecting cups in my room and waiting ’til things grow is not acceptable. Apparently.

3) Both Nirvana (Bleach) and Kate Bush (Anything) will sufficiently wind up the parental when played early in the morning. Actually at any time, but most specifically in the morning.

4) Touching the water immersion heating button. Utterly essential for a good afternoon spent reading in a continually hot bath. Utter hell if I forgot to turn it off after and the parental found it still on.

5) Fighting, or even pretending to fight, with my brother. We still do this. We still get shouted at. It is deliciously funny.

I have noticed how arguments develop with people over time, and rarely is what I am angry about anything to do with the words coming out of my mouth. I realised recently after feeling quite cross with someone, that what I was really expressing was not anger, but frustration, and this came from a place of love. And when this person is cross with me, it comes from the same place, a desire to help someone to achieve what they seem to be saying they want. If either of us could figure this out before the getting angry part, then that would be awesome.

I guess the reality is that no one can change anyone but themselves. It is easier to project onto others, to find fault with them, than it is to address the issues that we are clearly experiencing on a personal level. The problems of others only bother us if we can see the same issue in ourselves.

Map Point. How can I resolve what I am angry about?