It’s funny, in a confusing way, how changing one letter, s or m, can make so much difference in a meaning of emotion…I’ve been journaling, a lot, for the last month…I have been “accused,” I write accused because it’s usually mentioned in a negative way, for most of my adult life, of “thinking too much” but I suppose the alternative is thinking too little, and that can’t possibly be good!!! & in my “diary” writing I became so aware yesterday morning of how frequently I flip-flop between “sad” and “mad” in my writing and interchange the words as if they are the same meaning…it got me thinking, do they mean the same thing to me?
If for example I was challenged to describe myself in six words or less, neither sad nor mad would be in the list, yet I find when I reread some of the thoughts I’ve put to paper, there is a trend towards both…I don’t like it…I know that *what you think, you become* so I guess I’m concerned that focusing on both of those emotions, as separate sensations or as the same type of discontent, is pushing me to a state of being that I’ve no interest in experiencing on a regular basis…I don’t want to be either. I don’t like to think that I am. The words sad and mad don’t produce the same “feelings” inside of me, or I suppose they shouldn’t, so I have to wonder why I exchange them and so often & have, like I do in both my thoughts and my journaling.
19 years ago, the man I was dating pointed out to me that if I only wrote in my journal when I was upset or angry or confused or concerned, that I was creating a “false history.” That while my feelings may be pure and my words may be true at the time I write them, that by only noting my upset, and not my joys or even things as simple as the kind of weather, it is not an accurate diary. In the olden days people used diaries as a way to record history…the weather, the farming, the things that went on in the community…they weren’t only filled with angry scribbles when Dorcas was so upset because she found Samuel in the barn with Silas, or Rebecca being angry with Josiah for not helping her with the children. I knew then and know now that he was right, that to write a real diary has to be a daily or weekly ritual that is filled with facts, not just emotions, otherwise it’s really just an ego stroke for yourself.
I was very sad, or maybe mad, on the first day of summer, for a reason that need not be shared, but it was partly my own fault, great expectations for what was to be, instead of great gratitude for what was, and I realized while I was feverishly writing, the thoughts and the words just kept coming back to the same idea…like a skipping record…saying the same thing over and over and over, just using different words, and within a few days I thought, “geez! I’m even annoying myself at this point!” So I stopped the thoughts and stopped the writing and moved on. Then again on July 21st another meaningful day in my mind, yet another self-fulfilling prophecy or maybe just a delusion, making myself both sad and mad by my own thoughts…what a waste of energy!!! Truthfully I’d been struggling with these thoughts since the beginning of February, again droning on and on like a broken record in my brain…I don’t like them and I don’t like how they make me feel, and I try, I really do, to stop thinking them…but they just kept creeping back into my brain!!! Frankly they infuriate me and make me feel weak and make me feel insecure and those are two adjectives I loathe, not just about myself but really about anybody! So for the last several days I have been thinking about, *what if this were my last week or month or year in this life? What if tomorrow I really do get run over by a pie wagon? What if I really do buy the farm or kick the proverbial bucket in August?* What a wasted many months, or days, or hours, being either sad or mad.
Yesterday, late in the afternoon, no music playing all those hours I worked; just the slapping of the bay on the bulkhead, the squawking of the seagulls, the clanging of sails on the masts and booms of the boats in the lagoon, the laughter of adults having a very fun day a few houses down from where I was working, the splashing of bodies in the water, the roar of jet skis off in the distance…a beautiful sunny day with a pleasant breeze and mild temperature and not very humid at all…back and forth I worked, staining a house, board after board after board…soffit, then fascia, then siding…and I just let my mind wander…the work kind of happens on its own, and when you are doing a job like painting a house your thoughts just sort of flow like stain…and I thought, how about “GL” instead of S or M?? Am I not ultimately mostly “GLAD?” Am I not thankful for the work I have that allows me to live in my dream house? Am I not grateful for the good health and well-being of those I care about? Am I not pleased that last July I met a new boy and my whole world became brighter? Do I not still feel overwhelmed when I think about the first time he smiled at me? Do I not feel such happiness when I think about some of our first dates, first kisses, or the first time he told me he loved me? I don’t need S & M with my ‘ad’…neither suits me nor brings me joy…I’ll take ‘Gl,’ glad for all that I have and all that is good, and put the pen away.