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January 28, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

For much of last year, I was very moody and angry and generally not very nice to be around. While I officially made no New Year’s resolutions this year, I subconsciously adopted one and I’ve been following it ever since, and that’s to stop being so moody and angry all the time.

After all, taking charge of your emotions and not being in a persistent bad mood is a very Grownup thing to do, and I am working on Becoming A Grownup, so yeah! Let’s do that!

But how did I decide to achieve that? First of all, I knew I needed to try and catch myself being all moody-face whenever it happened and try and turn the situation around, whether it’s trying to find a sympathetic angle if someone’s annoyed me, or trying to turn the situation into something funny. Essentially this means being less serious and less selfish. But I went one step further.

Two major sources of my irritability was feeling tired and feeling stressed, so I’ve set out to make sure I rest whenever I need to. If I need to get extra sleep, I arrange it either by going to bed earlier or I take a quick nap to recharge, depending on the situation.

In addition, I’ve been less strict on my to-do list. I’ve been guilty of getting angry with myself for not getting things done, so I’ve decided to be a bit more lenient. Sometimes I simply don’t get stuff done because another task took over my time or I felt tired and needed a break. I figure as long as important stuff is done, some stuff can be left behind, and if some stuff is left behind, I should take a closer look at why instead of getting stressed with myself for not achieving it.

And it’s been going pretty well so far. I’ve been more relaxed and less tired, and I’m getting pretty good at recognising when I’m getting short-tempered and reeling it back in before it gets too bad.

Now, this isn’t to say that being angry is an inherently bad thing. There are plenty of times when it’s right to get pissed off and start raging at the world around, but this isn’t the majority of the time. In fact, this should really be isolated incidents when things are genuinely crappy. And generally, my life isn’t that crappy, so there’s no need to be angry. Chilling out more is a sensible option.

So let’s look at some examples. One source of irritation that usually comes up for me is my car, which is a used ancient heap of a vehicle that likes to break in ways professional mechanics can’t figure out. No really, I once had to call a mechanic out due to my drive belt breaking, and he had no idea why my car had shredded the drive belt to ribbons. My car does that. It’s an angry little car that likes to throw tantrums. Kind of annoying, yes?

Well, I’m learning to find it amusing. Lately the indicator light has been throwing epileptic fits and apparently the entire electrics system broke while I was in the US. My reaction to this is to just treat my car as if it’s some kind of temperamental child that doesn’t like the cold and likes to complain. I make fun of it. I’ll probably buy a blanket for it soon at this rate. As such, I’ve not been particularly angry at it lately.

But then again, I say that now, and next the entire gearbox will fall out or something, completely undoing this opinion.

Meanwhile, in my day job (which shall not be named), I’ve been learning to not be stressed out by it. It’s difficult because my job has plenty of things to be stressed about, but if it’s out of my control, I don’t worry about it. Plus I’m getting into the habit of getting home on particularly bad days and just relaxing with something fun.

We’ll see how long this lasts, but I’m determined to make it work out. I’m determined to make my default mood one of cheerfulness and optimism, and not be a moody, moany person who can’t find joy in anything. After all, I like finding joy in things! It’s nice!

So that is my main mission right now. Be cheerful, stay an appropriate level of relaxed and generally be awesome.

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