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June 03, 2005

Maturity « Stuff Important to Me »

One of the coolest things about age is you get wiser and more mature. At least, I have.

Like the other day when I was absolutely nothing. And so, without bottling it in, I managed to avoid blowing up at anyone, went home and did some things that help me recover emotionally, and the foul mood...dissipated. Without harming anyone.

You do have a choice about expressing your anger. It was about 4 years ago that I realized I didn't have to have road rage, and that yelling and pounding my fist actually made me angrier...that there was a split second that I felt a flash of anger that I could give in to it and express it, or let it pass. Note: this is different than the anger/rage I felt a few days ago; a slow, burning anger is different than a momentary flash, and requires different techniques, which I have just learned. To the benefit of not only me, but everyone.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not really an angry person. I don't fly into rages very often even at the worst of times. But I've reached a new level of calm and outward peace, I think.

The other development (that prompted this post), came this morning.
I've realized that I'm a little more...exuberant than the normal person even in normal times. But now I'm newly-free of a horrible, demoralizing, discouraging relationship that I describe as an emotional wasteland, and I'm newly-transferred out of the worst job I've ever had in my life (yes, worse than McDonald's fry cook) into perhaps the best. It's not that the jobs are objectively good or bad, it's just that my last assignment didn't fit me at all, and conflicts with my boss as to what an officer should be and do. And this one plays to my strengths.

So I have reason to be cheerful and optimistic about life.

But yesterday afternoon was a pretty bad day, quite stressful. We got a last-minute tasking and I ended up staying an extra hour doing thankless work, most of which got cut at the last minute, anyway. Leaving late put me square in the worst of rush hour, and I nearly showed up late to pick up my son. I still don't know what I'm going to do with my son while I'm at work next week (he's out of school and summer camp doesn't start until the Monday after next). The problems just continued right up to this morning, and I showed up late today, and can't find some important paperwork.

And yet, as I walked in to work, I put a grin on my face and a spring in my step. And I realized: I may have good reasons to be in a good mood, but I could still choose to be in a bad mood based on the last 24 hours...and many people do. not. And coming in hard on the heels of that thought was the notion that even when I don't have reasons to be happy, content, at peace, or in a good mood, I can still choose to be in a good mood. Sure, I've known that already...but it's like I just discovered a little button in my psyche/heart and pushed it, and found that it gave me conscious choice over my mood. I'm going to use it, and I'm going to use it to keep my mood positive, so that I can have a positive effect on those around me.

Posted by Nathan at 12:18 PM | Comments (2)

Funny you should mention The Button, Nate. I have had to push it within myself a few times recently, too. Not easy, but benefits of doing so far out weighed the consequences should I not have.

Posted by: Rae at June 3, 2005 03:37 PM

Supposedly, Anakin Skywalker was seduced to the dark side by the idea of power over others. To me, it is far more heady and exciting to have more power over myself.

If I can harness my moods and subject them to my will on a consistent basis, it will most certainly help me to help others.

Posted by: Nathan at June 3, 2005 05:06 PM