I don’t have rage so much as anxiety. This year has been stressful for myself and my family. It has taxed the limits of my time and made me less emotionally and physically available. For the halfway point in my adventures, I thought I’d take time to clean the slate. Work off some of that shoulder tension and get back to the beginning.
It was cathartic to grab a bat and remember that week one I held a bat too in the batting cages. This time, I was destroying more than a pitch, I was getting out my anger on a printer.
There is not one person I know, who doesn’t hold some residual anger for a printer they have come across in their lives. Mine is our laser printer at my childhood home, and it was the final policy project of our university career. There were my degree and a scholarship on the line for myself and three of my friends. Our team pulled four days of all-nighters until we were happy and ready to print. I sent the rest of the girls to class, so it didn’t look like we were doing anything last minute, then I pressed print at the last minute. Nothing happened. Print.print.print.print. Over one hundred pages in the queue a dozen or more times while the printer’s lights just laughed at me. If I had had a crowbar that day, I would have wielded it! My now husband then boyfriend saved the day, and I thanked him by winning the scholarship over him. It comes up often at dinner parties even still.
It wasn’t that printer I thought of while I smashed the crap out of that defenceless machine, it was my own challenge to myself. Why did I have to put this lofty goal out there? I could have kept it to myself, still done a bunch of stuff, maybe even twenty things and called it a successful year. But I put this crazy objective into the universe, and now I have to live my truth and get it done. It is harder than I thought. The organising, the doing, the writing, the film editing all take time. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great job, but it is stressful, and I have no one to blame but myself. So the printer got the brunt of my stress because it was there. Sharing the experience with friends makes it more fun and less angsty.
And that is what I learned. Jobs are hard. Even ones you design yourself to suit your own personal agenda. Sometimes they make you stressed, or maybe all the time, but you have to put the fun back in to keep the anger at bay. It is easy to get angry at your life and your situation. Why do I have to work so hard? Shouldn’t I be spending more time with my family? Is it really worth it? These are all terrific questions to keep your stress level high. The questions you should be asking is, “How can I make my work more fun for me?”
That all-nighter weekend was hard, but I can tell you there were considerable sleep-deprived giggles in there just when we needed them the most. Having a laugh every day with someone else keeps us human. I think that is sometimes the hardest part about being a stay-at-home mother. You work so hard to form this human that sometimes you forget to laugh. You forget to smile when you answer the door in your jammies at 4pm and don’t care. You forget to chuckle when you catch yourself watching Dora the Explorer by yourself. Worse, you feel anger at yourself for not enjoying those precious moments when a laugh was in order. And when you do laugh, at the baby giggle, the baby fart, you laugh alone. Sure, there is another person there, and they may even laugh with you, but they don’t know what they are laughing at and if you are worn down from lack of sleep those laughs turn into cries more often than not. Or, was that only me?
I think this is a commentary on my life. Having my friends and family around makes me less in need of a rage room. Just when I want to bash the shit out of something, my friends start the music, and we dance.
My Turning 50 Like a Boss Tip: Turn that anger into laughter to really calm the beast.
Check out the video: Smashing Darling