Sorry!! (Day 51 of Lose the Temper)
Whoa! I haven’t blogged since Valentines Day! Sorry, and now we are on Day 51? Is my math right? Well, I have really dug into the novel I am writing and I knew the blog would suffer — but the project does not!! I still have not totally lost my temper. But I have gotten mad. I spoke to a shrink (not genius shrink, another shrink) and told him I was doing this and his first reaction was, “Why would you do that to yourself??” It took a minute to explain that I wasn’t not getting mad, I was just not throwing things and screaming hateful bile at anyone. “Oh, oh, okay.” he said, “Yeah, good idea.”
So the getting mad. Well, the way I have only gotten mad and not lost my temper lately (I’ve advanced a smidge from just counting to ten) is to harken back to when I was getting divorced. I had this, “I’d rather light a candle than curse the darkness” thing going on that my father layed on me and when I applied it, it worked.
I am a bit controlling, as we know, and sometimes I think that my way is the (only) right way. However, when you are in a “family in a different shape” i.e., a divorced family, there are SO MANY more moving parts that it is very hard to control, and there is NEVER only one right way.
Last weekend, my ex-husband had the boys. When he leaves it is a very hard transition naturally, and I thought that it would go easier for the boys if they were outside A LOT before it happened. So that is what I instructed him to do. “Please take the boys out before you have to leave. I think it will be better.”
The first whiff there was that you can’t tell the other parent what to do on their weekend. No bueno.
So of course when we come back and the weekend ends, the three of them are playing the board game “Sorry!” I feel my blood start to boil. How come they are not panting from just running around outside in the pretty winter day for the last three hours!?! Were they watching TV? No. Were they playing Wii? No. Do I ever play Sorry! with them or even know how to play? No. But because it wasn’t what was in my plan for how things should be, I internally (and a tiny bit externally) flipped out — second whiff.
The transition from father to mother and back again is one of the worst transitions I know of. I can’t figure it out how to make it better for them. Anyone who has – give a shout. But getting mad doesn’t help.
I ended up taking the kids outside and throwing around a football. (I know, please.) And while I was doing that I started feeling myself cool down. I stopped composing the angry email in my head. I started having a ball playing ball. Maybe it was me who needed a little fresh air. And I thought: Notice that this is fun. Don’t be mad. He was doing his best. Don’t micromanage. Don’t think you know everything. Light a candle instead of curse the darkness.
We continued having a nice time until the sun went down. And then I went inside, plugged the kids into the Wii and wrote an apology email to my ex, thanking him for playing a board game and saying Sorry! for getting mad.
You just have to work though it. Some people do it by going outside, some do it by playing Sorry! Who’s to say what is right.