Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Finding Joy [Part Five] / Bathtime with Felicity!

Topic of the Day (from Shelley Sealle's article on Finding Joy, as usual):

 Learn to deal with anger and conflict better. When conflicts with others arise, our outlook may become narrow until we’re focused only on the problem, leading to a self-absorption that can not only make the problem seem much more intense, but limits our ability to see the other person’s viewpoint or have compassion toward their suffering. Research shows that venting anger in a way out of proportion to the circumstance that created it physiologically arouses us and makes us even more prone to rage. A cooling-off period, which can give distance and perspective, helps address the problem without such high emotions.

This is sticky. I have never been an angry person, but since the baby, I have certainly been angrier, feeling even rageful at times (which, when I confessed this on a post on babycenter.,com, another mom suggested I might have postpartum depression, which lead me to seek counseling. Isn't the internet fun?)

While my emotions have stabilized quite a bit in the past two months, I'm definitely pricklier than I used to be, and sometimes have a difficult time not getting upset when my mind is telling me that it's no big deal, and I can almost always try to understand what prompted Ian to do something or say something (or not do or say). But sometimes, instead of speaking up when I'm annoyed or upset about something causes me to fester about it. Of course this never lasts long; I'm terrible at hiding when I'm upset, and Ian is really good at making me talk. So there you go.

The "cooling-off" period mentioned above really doesn't work for me, I usually get even more upset. Maybe that's for a real fight with shouting and what not. Ian and I have yet to engage in one of those; our disagreements tend to be more discussion-orientated, and if one of us gets upset, we are usually careful to repair really quickly and try to approach the matter in a different way. This is what $200 of premarital counseling on how to argue will get you (we figured it was a useful topic to go over with someone in advance). Or just read Fighting for your Marriage by Howard J. Markman, Scott M. Stanley, and Susan L. Blumberg and save yourself $185.01 - great book!

 On a cheerier note, Ian gave Felicity a (much-needed) bath this evening, and I took pictures. Because that's what moms do. And then they post them on Facebook, email them to relatives, save them as sceen-savers, and post them on their blogs. (I am guilty of the first, and now the last).

The light in the bathroom made everything look red, but you can see why I get absolutely nothing done during the day!