I'm emotionally downtrodden today.
There's an opening that is bound to hook in the readers, huh?
Even better, that's really kind of it. Downtrodden. Emotionally. That is my current state. Maddie and Riley tried my patience all afternoon yesterday and all day today, and I'm feeling not so great about how I handled it, but I think my reactions were more an indicator of my mood than their behavior was the cause of my current condition.
When I get short-tempered with the kids, I tend to get all Al-Anon on it and check for the HALTs: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. It's usually one of those four things. I always hope it's
Hungry or Tired because those feelings are actually quite easy to identify (although also easy to overlook) and relatively easy to fix. Yeah, sure, fixing Tired is an ongoing battle, but hey, there's always coffee. Hooray for the coffee!
Angry and Lonely are much harder to address. I'm not angry much anymore, really. Angry for me is lately most often caused by Hungry or Tired. Or is it Lonely? Is any of it Lonely? Is all of it Lonely?
Stupid Lonely. I seem to only recognize Lonely after the fact, sometimes years after the fact. Why was I an emotional wreck in the Peace Corps? I was totally fucking lonely all the time! Gold medal to the Peace Corps for being my ultimate example two nights in a row. A feeling of loneliness was one of the main things that drove me explore Al-Anon in the first place when living in Boston. I just felt off, incomplete, unfulfilled. Lonely. I guess.
And that's how I feel now, again. But it seems much less lonely in this moment. In this moment, it just feels transitional, liminal. Will I look back two years from now and picture myself on this summer evening, enjoying the late light, typing away in my pajamas, and think, "Damn fool woman, you sure were lonely back then."
If I am lonely, what to do? It's not like the kind of lonely that I experienced in Peace Corps or in Boston or perhaps now can be solved by inviting a friend over. I have lots of friends and I love them and they help me out in so many ways. If this is Lonely, this is a deeper Lonely, more of a kind of dissatisfaction and general malaise. There's no fixing this with a granola bar or a nap. There might not be any fixing it at all. In fact, I think I'm writing the same post now that I wrote last night, I'm just calling what I'm feeling something else, in which case it's just something to ride out and to be aware of and to control by seeking out what makes me feel at peace.
I think I'll cover all my bases by eating some ice cream and going to bed early, though. Can't hurt to try the quick fix.