Cry, baby, cry

Crying is a sweet catharsis. I envy people who can blubber at the drop of a hat. I think I’ve gone through so much sh*t that my threshold has become unreasonably high. My tear ducts aren’t seared shut, don’t get me wrong, but stimulus has to be something like my sister saying I’m the reason she’ll kill herself (bonkers story I won’t horrify you with, so take a deep breath and relax!). So when do you enjoy a good cry?

I miss the tearful safety release valve for the more mundane stuff, like a day when all the stupid little things go wrong. One wail fest could trump my urge to drown in chocolate or lock myself in the bedroom for a Game of Thrones marathon.

cryingPeople complain about lack of restraint in children. I know because I’m one of them! But now I suspect their unabashed screaming may be a healthier coping mechanism than the responses many of us have. So the next time your boss is a complete dick, your lover offends you spectacularly, or you’re feeling a bit wound up, just cry, baby, cry! It might not prevent obesity, depression, or point you to the solution, but…

it certainly beats just sitting there like a dry-eyed tool, flooded with unexpressed emotion. Or, come hang out with me on WordPress, and we’ll write the emotions we otherwise struggle to express.

the gift of a migraine

Writing about perspective gymnastics yesterday, I had no idea that a migraine today would help my challenge of the week to focus on what’s going right in my life. Thanks, serendipity! There’s nothing like intense pain to help you appreciate the little things.

sunglassesI now revere the simple act of going about my day without the urge to use a wine opener for self-trephination. And how fabulous am I, writing with sunglasses on? (yes, I know I can dim my computer screen, but I like to make pain more chic). As well as greater light sensitivity, my heightened sense of smell is kind of like a superhero power.

I can smell flowers through the window, and know you only applied one coat of antiperspirant this morning. So instead of whingeing about the explosions inside my skull, I’m appreciating the gift of a migraine.

perspective gymnastics

Do you talk mostly about what floats your boat, or about what’s going tits up in your life?  

I tend to share ‘the good’ as a tirade preface or quick afterthought. Not in polite conversation of course, where topics remain surficial and pleasant. I rant only with good friends and family. Do you do this too?

I wonder if it’s because we expect good things to happen, so we’re most keen to report on the deviations: falling ill, working with difficult people, deadlines missed, efforts unappreciated. Maybe we’re grumpy selfish prats, or maybe we rely on the perspectives of others to help us process the bad stuff. Either way…

UpsideDownBoat_KenTrimpePhotography

Red Boat Upside Down, Ken Trimpe Photography

a recent article on HuffPo claims that focusing on what’s right in our lives may be more transformative than simply focusing on what needs changing. I’m marinating my brain in that thought. There’s scant information on why this should be true. But I’m already haphazardly committed to mindfulness practice (10 min meditation daily, on the days I remember to do it!), so why not try? For the rest of this week, I’m going to spend more time thinking about what’s going well in my life. Fancy trying it with me?

Someone complains about getting too few lines in the script? —> How awesome that I’m paid to write scripts!

Now you try one…

Sounds a bit daft, but it’s just for a week, so what the hell. And maybe these mental gymnastics will give me a better perspective on life.

A boat that goes tits up and still floats!

how honest is your writing?

LetsBeHonest

I’m curious to know how much of what’s written here on WordPress is raw truth, stylized truth, or imagined truth. Where do you draw the line when you write? I suspect we tell ourselves that readers simply wouldn’t be interested in hearing about how we’re sitting under bed covers at 3pm in the afternoon, un-showered and un-imaginative. But is it really censorship for their sake, or for ours?

Writing the raw truth exposes us to ridicule. Perhaps even the act of writing it warrants enough shame to hit the delete button.

I find myself visualizing the noble reader, scanning through blogs to find unvarnished life narratives. And then as I’m skimming through Freshly Pressed, I find myself drawn to the personal stories with reality edges sanded smooth. Ha! To what extent they’re stylized or imagined, I can’t tell. But maybe we’re all hunched in an ugly pose looking for pretty lenses through which we can kindly view ourselves.

the force of family

Funny how the fact of being related creates a deep vulnerability. It doesn’t seem to matter whether family members like one another or not. Just the experience of living together makes you love each other. And as you grow up and grow apart, that bond remains. So when something bad happens, even when they actively court misery, you suffer right along with them.

family

And when they’re swollen with joy, you delight in the bright moments too. It feels like having a part of your life, a part of your brain, completely uncontrolled and at the mercy of their folly. Such is the force of family, I guess. We’re along for the ride no matter how hard we try to maintain perspective or distance.

Realizing this, I take my own happiness more seriously. Because, as it turns out, it’s their happiness too.