In response to my most recent request to Ask Roger Anything, fillyjonk writes: Green says “I hope I don’t have a lot more weeks like this” after having several people in his life die and wow, I have had WAY too many weeks “like this” these past couple years. (ANOTHER friend at church lost her husband on Saturday). I’ve stared into the abyss altogether too much these past few years but find I have few answers
While I’m unclear whether it is an actual question or an observation, the narrative is compelling enough to try – emphasis on TRY – to answer it. The short answer is that I don’t know. Sometimes, I feel that I don’t know anything. But I keep throwing things against the wall, hoping some of them stick.
Releasing the rage
For one, I yell at the television when certain people are saying… the polite term is BS. This is a relatively recent phenomenon, dating perhaps from 2015. Lindsay Graham, for instance, is far more frustrating to me than people who are always awful, like Marjorie Taylor Greene or Josh Hawley. After expelling the anger, I feel better. No harm is done. Furniture and people are intact.
Recently, I mentioned to Arthur that a Dear Abby letter actually enraged me, much to my surprise. Basically, a family member thought another in his tribe was grieving for too long. She had “overstayed her time on the pity potty.” Abby for her part disagreed with the letter writer. Having allowed myself to be angry, it dissipated.
For far too long, I had tended to try to suppress my anger as “not nice” until I would blow a gasket. One needs to release the steam from the radiator.
Boy, I miss playing racquetball. That was a really good release of tension, hitting a bouncy thing with a fancy stick. I’m reminded that when I got really perturbed, I would find a stick, maybe a tree branch that had fallen, and strike it against a telephone pole or another item unlikely to be damaged. Therapeutic.
On a Vlogbrothers post titled Motivation in Hard Times, John Green noted that he used to operate out of anger and resentment. And for a while, that worked for him. He showed up his old writing teacher who said he wasn’t good enough to be in his class. Ha! He had books published and then turned into movies. But ultimately, and he is a tad embarrassed by it, he says it comes down to love.
In February, Dua Lipa interviewed Stephen Colbert on his show. She asked him about his faith. He said it’s “‘connected to the idea of love and sacrifice being somehow related and giving yourself to other people.'”
Surely, love is the optimal route. Yet you also need to find a term that’s become almost a cliche, self-care, whatever that is. It might be playing with stuffed animals or listening to music or reading comic books or getting a massage. Writing helps me somewhat. It’s naturally different for everyone.
I wish you well.