Monday, September 03, 2007

Work often gives me the distance I need to put my life into perspective. I have been thinking about the whole Leatherman thing. I have been thinking about how I could have handled it - handled my reaction - better. A wise friend once told me to discipline with love, rather than anger. I really want to do this. Oh, I wish I would remember, when I am standing over my small child with my scolding finger up, just how much I love him. I can't imagine that my angry words and demeanor carry anything but a negative message and associated memory for him, or for that matter, me. Like the time I told him that I was so angry at him that I could just about spank him. We don't spank, I personally don't believe in it, but that's what I got for being naughty as a child. However, that's beside the point, because the point is that I don't even remember what he did that made me that angry! I only remember the threat and the effect it had on poor Ben. When I'm at work, like today, and I won't see him again probably until his first day of first grade on Wednesday - I think about how lucky I am: how much I love that boy. And I feel a profound sense of regret for my actions. I have no proof that Ben is actually even responsible for the disappearance of the Leatherman. We may very well find it right where we left it when we used it last. (When did I use it last?!) Or maybe Ben buried it in the dirt. If he did, will I remember to discipline with love? That, my friends, is the million dollar question. For me, anger is a habit that has become a way of life. I'm trying, I'm trying to let it go. There are some things that are helping, like exercising more, and cutting waaaaay back on my sugar intake. But sugar doesn't create angry feelings. It, like hormones, only elevates feelings that are already there. It is entirely up to me to come to terms with my anger, and eventually correct my behavior. Then, maybe Ben will learn to express himself in a loving way as well. Love: it really is all you need. Wednesday, September 5th: I wrote this post last Sunday when I should have been taking a nap before my all-nighter to London. I have a Word Document program on my PDA on which I can compse, then hot-synch with our computer and then cut/paste to blogger. But then I wouldn't have been able to post it until today. So instead, I re-typed it Monday at one of the common internet computers in the crew room at the layover hotel, trying my best to type with two fingers, spell check, and publish within my 15 minute time limit with people waiting in line to use it after me. I forgot to put the title up. Oh well.

8 comments:

Alpha DogMa said...

I kinda disagree. Anger, in right situations (ie outrage at injustices) is fine for you to model and for your son to learn. Venting anger in reasonable measures and scenarios is healthy. I've gone so far as to tell my boys, "I am angry. I love you even when I am angry." And they've flat out told me the reverse.

I also apologize when my anger gets the best of me. Maybe you could talk to Ben and tell him you are sorry for doubting him?

Also, did you know that Painted Maypole is also doing Monday Missions? Are you doing them in tandem?

Alpha DogMa said...

...okay, substitute "And they've flat out told me the reverse" for "And they've told me the same." Because THAT makes more sense? Maybe? Possibly?

Swistle said...

Well, love AND the Leatherman.

Mad Hatter said...

This post spoke to me. I am very quick to find myself in a rage. I agree with AD that anger can be a useful emotion but I fear that my anger is most-often selfishly motivated. I wish I knew the answer to this problem.

allrileyedup said...

I find I usually lose my temper at the wrong moments. Which is probably why it's good that I have a slow fuse. That's a good idea to tell Ben that you are sorry for doubting him. I've had to do that a few times.

Jennifer said...

I can so relate to this. I've been quick to anger lately -- not usual for me, when it comes to my kids -- and I'm not sure why. Anger can be very appropriate sometimes, but lately I think I've been jumping there without just cause. I'm trying to remember to breathe first...

Sara said...

sigh......I wish it were easier.

sigh again.....

theflyingmum said...

Whoo! Yes, the anger issue is a toughie. It is, as The Madd Hatter says, when my anger gets the best of me that is the issue. I do tell Ben that I love him even when I'm angry. I try to explain that my anger is about my feelings, not him. But lately I see him spiralling into a vortex of self-condemnation, and this has me realizing that I gotta make some changes.
As for the Monday Missions - a little research led me to the conclusion that Jennifer got confused as to who it was that volunteered to host. But hey! the more the merrier, I say! So, choose your corners, everyone.