Manipulation

It’s that time of year again. That time of year that brings more emotional conflict than which kind of ice cream I want for dinner.

The time of year that makes me an unwilling curmudgeon in a season of love and peace.

It’s the Christmas Season. The season of love, of giving, of a baby being born in Bethlehem. The season of helping those less fortunate than you, the season of old traditions and new beginnings.

The TV shows. The TV commercials. Online postings. Social media. The hints, the innuendos, the facts. My poor old heart is having a harder and harder time sifting through the sentimental stuff. 

Perhaps it’s just my age showing. But I am inclined to think it is more the advertising industry taking advantage of my sentimental, over-emotional heart. 

And I don’t like it.

I’ve already seen TV commercials about kids making video books for grandpa about his life with their (obviously deceased) grandma. I’ve seen poor, starving dogs united with fosters and adoptees who will give them a better life. I’ve seen lonely people make friends and the solo star of Bethlehem sparkle above a cold Earth, all to the tune of slow, sad music.

I’m sure you know I’m the last person in the world to be anti-Christmas. Last to be anti-emotional. I love my kids and grandkids and my friends and family to the moon and back. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to make their lives better.

But I’m also tired of getting teary-eyed and having my emotions flicked every time I turn around.

In my own defense, I am a sentimental crybaby. I admit that. Always have been. Get all teared up listing to others share their crying jags on this movie or that movie. Crying when the dog dies, the mother dies, when the tree dies.

Advertisers know how to manipulate our emotional strings with visions of old people and young people and just the right music and sentiment, throwing in the product as almost a side-step maneuver.

And I resent being manipulated.

I know there is a percentage of the population that is cold hearted about Christmas and any other thing having to do with humanity. That’s their problem. We don’t need people like that in our lives anyway.

There are far more people who help others EVERY day — not just during jingle bell season. We don’t need to be told to do so at any particular time of year. We help all the time in all sorts of situations. 

A little encouragement to love each other never hurts, of course. But to sentimentalize every thought and passing we have is a little cruel to those of us who tear up at thoughts of our lost family members or days gone by or the days of Christmas past. 

I guess the best solution is to cut out TV and social media for the next 22 days. Which isn’t such a bad idea at all. In fact, I should shun the entertainment world for the next 22 months. I should also skip any puppy/baby/grandparents scenario with a Christmas tree in the background on Facebook.

But awww…. those cute little faces…… sniff……

Gettin’ Jiggy Wit My Emotions

Human beings are nothing but emotional barometers. Hot one day, cold the next. And I don’t just mean menopause.

I have always been an emotional person. An overly emotional person. I love till it hurts. I resent even though I shouldn’t. I am jealous over things that I have nothing to do with. I listen to my favorite music and am in heaven. Yet the next minute I drive home from work .shouting “Fuuuccckkkk aaaallll of yooooouuuu!!” out the window.

As I get older the emotions flash way up and way down. And I have to say I don’t care for it.

Yes, there are Meds. There is meditation and fresh air walks  and alcohol and chamomile tea and church. There are many ways to deal with that over-active amygdala. But that doesn’t stop the knee-jerk reactions to everything from too-salty food to pink sunsets. Everything bothers me. Everything thrills me. Thoughts and dreams and desires flood my brain at lightning speed, confusing me with their urgency. Hence, I want to edit, write, read, sew, watch movies, go for walks, throw the ball for the dogs, cook, sulk, scream, and yes, even clean.

One thing I know. I really am at the end of my working career. Instead of going out in a career choice blaze of glory, I’m going out as a fill-in-the-spreadsheet-blank kinda girl. The writing career I wanted will have to fill my days of retirement, for there’s nothing really left at my job. All that’s left of my waning career is the sad click of the keyboard as I fill in number after number after number.

See what I mean? That’s the out-of-control amygdala babbling away. For I really don’t mind my job. And my personal life is so full of family and grandbabies and oatmeal raisin cookies and evening walks that I’m not really that strung out.

But these days I find myself alot more reactionary. I “hate” a lot more people, places, and things. Something I never did in my youth. I also “love” a lot more things than I did when I was 20 or 30. Not only the obvious things like children and husbands and friends and homemade spaghetti, but smooth jazz and classical music, taking pictures, my art blog, Game of Thrones, corn fields, and even…dare I say it…country music.

I wish my highs could stay longer than my lows. That my outlook on myself and the world would lighten up. I hate myself for wasting precious emotions and energy on things I can do nothing about. After all, my future is shorter than my past. And that very thought saddens me.

See what I mean?

Life is all about finding balance. About letting the good into your life. And when the bad comes along, oh well. That’s life. Not holding onto to jealousies and grudges and bad memories. There’s nothing you can do to change anything in the past, and the future is uncertain. So just get jiggy wit it. All of it.

I just wish I wasn’t so moody about getting jiggy……..

 

 

 

#AppreciateYourCreativeFriendsWeek! Part 2

A number of you may know (and follow) my second creative friend. David Kanigan creates his blog Live and Learn with thoughts, quotes, research, and philosophy. I mean he’s amazing. I have no idea how he finds the quotes he does. All are thinkers and feelers. He is light and he is deep. I can see his feelings and thoughts through the pictures and stories he shares.

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Lightly Child, Lightly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The love a parent feels for a child is strange…

It’s like trying to describe sand between your toes or snowflakes on your tongue to someone who’s lived their whole life in a dark room.

It sends the soul flying.

~ Fredrick Backman, from Beartown: A Novel (Atria Books; Tra edition, April 25, 2017)

Notes:

  • Photo: Kristy G. Photography (via Newthom)
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Lightly Child, Lightly.

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Ethereal and fun, I look forward to his writings every day. You will too.

Check out David at https://davidkanigan.com/.

Winter Crabs

Im-CrabbyI have a question for all of you, young and old, hot and cold, here, there, and everywhere.

But first, my turn.

I often think the older I get the crabbier I get. I find I have less tolerance, less worldliness, than I did years ago.  This lioness of emotions seems to rear its head during the cold, dark, snowy days of winter.

Does anyone out there find themselves turning into sulking, bulking creatures this time of the year?

I feel bad about this. I really do. I have a job that I can tolerate for another 7 or 8 years, great co-workers, and a short commute to and from work. I have a family that’s fun and loving, I’ve got great friends that ride the roller coaster of life with me all the time, and right now I have a chocolate chip cookie and glass of milk to keep me happy. I’m cancer free (as far as I know), I walked away from a rollover, and my sick cat has turned the corner and is getting better.

Yet still I walk outside and hate the weather, hate the freeze and the snow and the gray. And I find myself saying the “hate” work more often than not. I personally believe hate is a strong word and should be reserved for truly evil people and things, but it seems to slip out on a frequent basis these days. I have little energy to do the things I love, and have insomnia to the max. I feel fat and dumpy and don’t want to deal with either.

This isn’t me — is it?

I am a lover of life, lover of friends and chocolate and watching movies with my grandbaby.  Yet a lot of the time I feel I’m wandering aimlessly through the cold, not caring if I’m entertained or not. What a contrast of emotions. Which, in turn, messes me up even more.

I really think the older I get the more the weather affects me. I don’t remember feeling this cranky when I was younger. Maybe I was, yet I was too busy with kids and soccer games to pay attention to it. I mean well — I am still nice to people, and I do find my way to the computer now and then.  I know this mindset isn’t set in stone, but I do feel it’s stuck in a snowbank somewhere.

So let me know — are you affected by the depths of winter? Are you a Dr. Jeckyll waiting to turn into a Mr. Hyde? Or are you a fluffy snowflake having a wonderful time turning into a diamond?

I’d love to hear your side of the weather. And, if not, you can always growl…