E is for

April 5, 2014


E is for…


emotional.  Or rather eee-MOH-tional.

I could call it needy or sappy except that we’re only on “e” and “n” and “s” are a long way off, and I need to talk about this today.

I am an emotional person.  I know I drive my more analytical, rational friends nuts with my sometimes roller coaster waves.  One such rational friend says I lead with my heart.

My sister and I joke about our family “sap” gene that (many of) our aunts, cousins, grandparents, and parents seem to share…and yes, it’s on both sides of the family.  The sap gene extends to such things as a decent performance of the national anthem, for example, or a touching scene in just about any movie.  I am very susceptible to music and the moods songs can induce.

I have cried at least five times today.  No, I’m not exactly depressed.  I’m just having a serious attack of the lonelies.  And I believe it is an attack, internal “demons” I didn’t know I was going to have to face.  Yesterday was fine; the day before was also like this.  Eh.

And I am doing everything in my charm against loneliness and isolation (music, Facebook-fiending), and I’ve even added keeping busy (chores—cleaning, folding laundry, feeding chickens) and reading Scripture (reading about mercy and truth, and the heavens and clouds—fitting for today).  I’ve talked out loud to myself, and more extensively to God throughout the day.

Has it been an emotional day?  Hell, yeah.

Has it been a productive day?  Nope.

Has it been a stick day because of the lack of productivity?  Off and on, yes.

Has it been a bad day?  Not particularly—a hard day, but…I’m alive and the day was beautiful (see?)

Ranch view

and I will appreciate people and their presence and conversation so much more after today.

See, I’m a fan of solitude.  I’m an introvert, so I really do need my time apart.  But…I want it by choice, not by force.  I’ve learned this today, and it’s good to learn things about yourself.  So, not, not a bad day, quite.

What do I speak into the negative space I’m trying to dispel?  What’s the positive offset for emotional excess?  Perhaps…

Equilibrium—another word for balance.  I don’t have any illusions that perfect balance can ever be maintained as long as I am a human…and a human with my particular genetic makeup and proclivities.  But I can quest for that equilibrium just the same.  I will continue to practice my “charm,” add tools to my coping kit, and practice compassion when the sword dulls too much to slay the dragon.

(But if any of y’all has an equilibrium-achieving strategy that works for you, I’d be more than thrilled to have you share it.  My coping bag always has room for more tools.)

12 thoughts on “E is for

  1. You sound like me, an extroverted introvert. In other words, we possess social skills, but prefer solitude. After a day spent teaching—and so much of what I do is not only “herding cats,” (middle schoolers) but teaching one-to-one in Math and English—by day’s end I have had enough.

    The discouragement I face has a lot to do with being overwhelmed with tasks. You know, that hunted feeling. And then I come in the door and see the kitchen. Dishes from everyone else greet me. Ick. And yet I know that once the kitchen is tidied up, I will feel so much better. Lighter, freer.

    So here’s my coping mechanism: I set the timer for 15 minutes and attack the discouraging task —starting laundry, sweeping the floor, even writing my 500 words. Then I go outside and do nothing. Or curl up with a book. Or, ha, watch mindless TV

    • Laura, I totally AM an extroverted introvert! You pegged the identification. I think a lot of us teachers are, actually. Another description you pegged precisely–“that hunted feeling.” I’m going to call your strategy the Laura Hile Fifteen Minute Attack. And I’m going to try it today. Thesis–you’re going down! Exercise–you are, too!

      Seriously, thank you, Laura. I appreciate this.

      • It’s sad. I actually set the timer in the kitchen. It’s like a miracle how the depressed, overwhelmed feeling vanishes once the kitchen counters are clear and clean. 🙂

        Because for me, the hardest part is getting started.

  2. I’m a total sap. You don’t have to pretend around me. What are we living for in not to experience our emotions? Ok, I should mention I’m half Irish and half Italian and that = opera, hand wringing and strong emotions. Come cry with me any day.

    • Thank you, Tonia. I’m pretty sure I’ve already cried on your shoulder a few times…for which patient shoulder I am exceedingly grateful. (Hope it’s dried. 🙂

  3. Equilibrium is something that comes through time and I happen to feel that emotions are a part of equilibrium, not a factor against it. The “sap” gene is a stick word we have been taught to use to put down our emotions. What I am learning about mindfulness is to accept what is in each moment for what it is so that we can grow through each moment into what we are becoming.

    • Accepting each moment, being present now. I agree, Linda. I’m learning that…slowly…very slowly. I’m certainly feeling each emotion as it comes…and then trying to speak more positive truth to it.

      • It has taken me most of my life to get to the place of more mindfulness and peace that I am beginning to see in my life, half of that time was sliding to the bottom and the other half has been climbing back up to peace with life. I would say you are doing great.

  4. Love the idea of extrovert introvert – sums me up perfectly. Love people but have to get away from them too in order to feel refreshed and ready to be with them again.

Overheard at a kiln: "The main teaching of all religions is, don't be a dick." You heard the man--comment away, but...you know...

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