Monday, Monday & Anger

We’re still decluttering and talking about how to both know what’s going on with everything in the household. Ever since we got married, we kept our finances separate. We both had debts that took a while to pay down. By then, the kids needed legitimate help once in a while, and we just kept things separate.

Since we’re both in our 70s now, we decided it’s a good idea to fill each other in on our separate debts, regular payments, etc. This revelation shocked some folks, but it works for us. It’s worked for nearly 25 years, no need to change it now. Soon, we’ll both be on point to take something out of our retirement accounts annually. I love we have always been able to trust each other with everything. Assets, money, retirement, fidelity, relationships with opposite-sex friends, the whole nine yards. It is a gift that keeps giving.

I feel as if I’m behind with the Artist’s Way this week. I’m creating like crazy on the quilt for grandson Cody, and we’re getting a lot of little things completed along the way. We thought the Christmas tree would be in the box by dinner time today, but no, that didn’t happen. We’ve decided we’re pleased with the results of our extra attention we’re paying to our home now. It’s making our surroundings more comfortable and productive.

I’m glad our dad always insisted we learn to pay attention to what goes on around us. Pay attention to people, traffic, other people walking, whatever is going on. We grew up in a world and neighborhood where all the neighbors knew each other, where it was safe to ride our bikes to the library or the park.

My kids pay attention like I did as a kid. While driving them to school one day many years ago, one of them talked about the beautiful sunrise we could see daily; complete with a couple clouds, orange and crimson streaks, for effect. It was after my dad died. Nick said, “This reminds me of when Grandpa had us watch Bob Ross paint on television.” Yes. He certainly paid attention. I want to paint scenes like that. I will. Just follow along, it will happen.

I need to devote more time to the lessons in the Artist’s Way. This week is about anger. This is a tough feeling for me. Like most women my age, they taught us to not show anger. Nice girls and women do not get angry. Control your temper, ladies. This was not true in our home. Our mom was frequently angry. I did not know why, I just felt responsible. This was what she experienced growing up. Yelling is how she cleared the air. I would quietly go to my room and hide out until I had to come out. Walking on eggshells is not a way to live. I was such a nervous kid, always afraid I did something wrong. I shrunk up and tried to be invisible. Anger should not be the only emotion kids witness.

The proper way to deal with anger is to use it for good. If you are a person who blows up and yells at everything, you need to learn why you do this and learn what you need to do to handle the feelings causing this before you cause harm to others in your family, especially children. Mom still goes through her “rant and rave” sessions. And it still makes me feel like I did something wrong. It’s different from “venting,” it’s damaging to relationships, your personal life, spaces, and other people.

What Cameron says about anger is huge. Anger is fuel, it’s a map, it is to be listened to. Anger is a map. To show you where you need to go next; it shows what you need to change boundary-wise. It points the way, not just a finger. If Mom, stressed and angry, should have used the anger to see what the problem was and how she could correct it. She didn’t know any better.

Problem was, the dysfunction took over, just as she witnessed as a child; yelling and shouting was the learned response. It is one of the worst ways to handle the situation. But they didn’t know any better. It would have been a healthier response to think about the stress, overwhelm, and problem. Handle it constructively.

During this time era, people kept secrets. Secrets about everything. Domestic violence. Infidelity. Mental Health issues. Special needs children. Children who had learning disabilities. And stresses/problems of stay at home moms. No one admitted to any problems.

I didn’t have a blueprint for what to do when your kids grew up. I’ve had a hard time when they’ve all left, which is what I raised them to do. Even with the Babe in my life, I missed those kids so bad. I still do, but differently. I’ve never insisted they come on holidays when others may need their presence too. They all know they’re welcome anytime. But where did that leave me? All we can do is carve out a niche for us and furnish it with what we need.

All of this is uncharted territory. Find what you get angry about and figure out how to stop it. There was a time in my life that I, too, yelled at my kids. My mom was angry, and I didn’t want that to happen to me. My unhappy first marriage caused my anger. I filed for divorce and stopped the destructive behavior. I became very calm and happy. It was amazing. I didn’t end up an angry woman. Grateful.

I will take this unit to heart. Recovering a sense of power is important. I am aware of my power and I want to use it to the max. We’ll see how the week goes. We’re supposed to get some snow this week. I’m happy. It is winter, after all. If you’re angry, analyze where it comes from. And how to re-direct it. You may get some answers you didn’t bargain for. Have a happy Monday, and we’ll see you tomorrow.

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