Déjà vu All Over Again

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It’s two weeks into month seven of my Happiness Project. By this point, it should come as no surprise that I’m a) having trouble with my resolutions, and b) getting my second wind, gaining insights, and recommitting to my project.

While this should come as no surprise, every month is does.

Surprises aside, I have been having some trouble with my resolutions, but I’ve experienced some insights and I’m ready to recommit to my project.

I’ve been trying to figure out why it is I let all of my emotions build up and build up until the pressure becomes too great and they spew all over my husband (in the form of me screaming and yelling).

My newest hypothesis is that I live my life basically just trying to get through the day, shoving aside any of my own emotions because I don’t want to make time to deal with them. I was thinking about how in seismology, frequent small tremors help relieve pressure and prevent a major earthquake (this is probably poor geology here, but it doesn’t have to be accurate for the metaphor to work). Using this analogy, I’m thinking that if I can recognize my emotions as they come up and perhaps even express them, maybe I can avoid the Big One that could cause California to break off and become an island.

Now I’ve got Tori Amos’ “Little Earthquakes” running through my head.

Or maybe it’s more like the valve on a pressure cooker (I know about as much about these as I do about earthquakes). I need to let a little steam escape so I don’t end up with stewed tomatoes all over the ceiling.

Enough with the analogies.

Remember way back in August, one of my resolutions I scrapped was an Emotions Log? (Wayne’s World-type dissolve to the August kickoff post…) I want to go back to the idea of the Emotions Log but without the log part. I need to get out of my intellectual mind to recognize my emotions. I think it kind of defeats the purpose to leave the emotions again and go back into my intellectual mind in order to write them down. Who’s going to check that I’ve done my assignment, anyway? I’ll recognize my feelings and then I’ll sit with them and take a couple of deep breaths to allow them to spread throughout my body so they can dissipate rather than getting pressed together in a little ball.

I do a very similar thing for my kids when they’re having strong emotions. I help them name the emotion (or name it for them), then just sit with them until they can calm down. I try very hard not to make any judgments, positive or negative, about the emotions they’re experiencing. We just recognize them and let them run their course. When they calm down, we can decide whether we need to do anything in response to the emotions or just let them be. Maybe I can do the same thing for myself. At the very least, it will be good modeling for the kids, and it might help me to be more gentle with them and my husband, too.

This is probably going to be the big challenge of the more others-focussed months. It’s so easy for me to just fall back into ignoring myself in favor of giving to others. But of course, if I’m not meeting my own needs in at least the most basic way, I’m not going to have any reserves to offer anyone else.

How’s that for a pep talk?

7 comments

  1. Julie Jordan Scott · February 16, 2011

    I am here, too, looking for a blogging buddy. I don’t have a buddy yet – so please check out my blog and see what you think. Today’s post is… well, seems to be, oh so kindred! Please let me know!

    Like

    • CJ · February 16, 2011

      Julie –

      I’ve just glanced at your blog, but I plan on taking a deeper look this evening once the kids are in bed.

      Now that I’m getting replies about blogging buddies, I’m trying to get a better sense for what I would do as a blogging buddy, and what a blogging buddy would do for me. What are you thinking about/hoping for blogging buddies?

      I just want to make sure I can live up to what being a blogging buddy could entail before I commit.

      -CJ

      Like

  2. Anonymous Me · February 16, 2011

    Hi there,

    I came across your blogging buddy request over on the main post-a-day site. I am always down for another buddy! 🙂 Please scope out my site, and let me know what you think. I should also say that my blog is very, very informal. I use a lot of emoticons and clipart and what not. I offered to be a buddy to another blogger, and she had an issue with the amount of emoticons I use, so I like to put it out there up front. 😉

    Like

    • CJ · February 16, 2011

      Anonymous Me –

      Checked out your site. Your emoticon use doesn’t appear excessive to me. When I thought about getting a buddy, the criteria I had in mind were that the buddy blog be 1) one I enjoy reading and want to share, and 2) complementary to my own so we’d be likely to have overlapping (but not identical) audiences. Your blog seems fun, and I always like reading about other people’s travels. I’m not sure about the second part, but I’m also not totally clear on who exactly my audience is (outside of friends and family who I know read me for slightly different reasons than people I don’t know would).

      I see you have a couple of buddies already…what has being/having a buddy entailed for you so far?

      -CJ

      Like

      • Anonymous Me · February 17, 2011

        As they mentioned on the post-a-day site, the role of the blog buddy is to support, read, comment upon, and encourage your buddy’s blog and blogging efforts. It’s worked out really well so far for me. I get a lot of ideas for posts from reading my buddies’ blogs. Also, it creates a network of people to participate in joint posts/projects (a la the photography project I am participating in now). Also, by mentioned my blog buddies on my page and them mentioning me on theirs, we drive traffic to each others’ sites creating a larger audience. My original audience was my friends and family, so I know what you mean about readers. But, I really like having new readers as they offer a fresh perspective on whatever I am writing about.

        I hope that helps!

        ~ Me 😀

        Like

      • CJ · February 17, 2011

        OK, I think I’m starting to get a better sense of what a buddy does. I think I’ve been a little unclear on the social networking aspects of blogging. I’ve been blogging for years but this is my first public blog, and it’s taking me a while to catch up.

        I’m cool with buddying up with both you and Julie. I’ll put my “buddy” hat on and get to work!

        -CJ

        Like

      • Anonymous Me · February 17, 2011

        Sounds great!! I will add you to my blog buddies blogroll! 🙂

        Like

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