Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Zen Schmen

So, ajm wanted to hear more about my little happy-making-ness thing I'm trying. I wrote (and wrote) about what drove me to it and I'm basically just trying what I said: I'm trying to find wisdom in other people and just fill my brain with some of these alternate thoughts in hopes of changing some really not-useful thought patterns.

Anger is one area that I'm really working on. I've never felt like this was a huge thing for me, but in the last couple of years, I'm finding myself getting frustrated more often and to an occasional object-throwing extent. It is ugly and it's not what I want to model for my son (who already does more than the occasional object-throwing, regardless of emotional state). So I'm working on letting it go. On deliberately and consciously recognizing my anger/irritation/frustration and rejecting the impulse to coddle it and feed it with righteousness until it grows toxic. It is exactly as hard and tedious as it sounds, and it makes me feel stupid and petulant at times, but it is working. I'm reading that Thich Nhat Hanh book I checked out, and while I'm not totally sold (he keeps talking about "embracing" the anger, but, halfway through, I'm still a little lost as to how to do that, if you mean "embracing" in a way other than "smothering"), I am finding a few things that stick with me. He describes anger as a house fire and points out that, in that case, you don't chase down the person you think set the fire, you take care of your house. So you don't spend energy trying to argue with or punish the person who is making you mad; instead, you take care of yourself and your own anger. I can get behind that, although part of me also says, yes, but after I put out the fire, you can be damn sure I'm going after that bastard with the matches. I guess I'm still working on enlightenment.

I'm also trying to be very kind to myself in this process and not see it as something I'm doing "right" (or, more likely, "wrong"). I'm just trying to watch for moments where I am doing something different and trying something healthier and appreciate those moments. Great googly-moogly, but I get tired of the phrase "living in the moment." Only slightly less overused is "be present." But I don't have a better way to describe what I'm trying to do, unless it's the phrase a dear friend once used, "cowboy the fuck up." I'm trying to get over myself and get some perspective. I don't know that I'm happier so far, but I think more peaceful isn't exaggerating.

Also, we bought a new oven. So that helps.

Also, also? Yesterday I put three different colored tutus on Tankbaby's head and watched him waddle around the living room, two stout legs under a black, orange, and blue cloud of tulle. It was like watching some sort of Goth cheerleader Ewok. A drunk Goth cheerleader Ewok. It's no meditation practice, but it did make me guffaw unattractively.


  1. Well it sounds like you are on the right track! That self shit can be serious work - I know it too and am revisiting also. And Thich Nhat Hanh is one smart dude.

  2. Anger. Yes.
    Babies with tutus on their heads. Yes.
    Self kindness. Huh? Gotta look into that. Sounds intriguing.