Emotional Work Uncategorized

Day 942 and Goodbyes

My childhood was full of goodbyes. I moved every two years for most of my young life. I was not a military brat or a diplomat’s child, just a millennial surviving the instability of her Boomer parents. It is a common experience I’ve learned.

My parents did their very best to walk different paths than their own parents. Like any child, I watched them closely and adjusted my own feelings accordingly.

Now as an adult I see how I work to walk on different paths than my own parents. Families are always adjusting to the wisdom of our past as we chart our future.

And so I think about how comfortable I am with saying goodbyes and I weigh it against the generations that came before. And I think that all we can do is try to balance the equation of our own life.

Chronicle Emotional Work

Day 941 and Unreasonable

Today marks our one year anniversary of moving to Montana. I noted yesterday just how much we achieved in just 365 days.

I’ve tended to think in terms of time in terms of days over the past three years because no other metric seemed sensible. Too much changes every day even as too little seems to be different.

I do believe that what gets measured gets managed. So it makes sense that someone like me who writes every single day thinks that days are the manageable metric. Not that being manageable means anything is under control. Merely that I have some metric to measure back into to make life seem more reasonable.

I am however all too human. We are feeling animals with the capacity to reason. It’s important that it’s not the other way around. Much as I like to reason my way through life I’ve learned to remember feelings matter. This has made me both much more open and also much more careful about how I treat myself.

I suppose this makes me unreasonable simply by definition. Humans are unreasonable because we do not operate through reason entirely I’d encourage even my most autistic friends to remember that this means you are unreasonable too.

Narratives are the comfort we seek as our apophenia runs rampant. Spotting the one thing that is not like the others is how we survive. We seek sense in the chaos. It’s an unreasonable thing to do when we know we’ve not yet managed to measure even a fraction of our reality. One day I hope I come to terms with that.

Emotional Work Internet Culture Preparedness

Day 938 and Steady Till

I’ve been enjoying a bit of accelerationism in my own life. I’ve been pruning attention and refocusing myself and was rewarded with a lot of change. All of which feels good to me. I’m relieved to be happy now that I have steadier days.

It feels quite intense out there on social media. We are repeating big narratives and I encourage everyone to read up on past media fervors. I know my own nervous system can find it stressful to stay on top of every current event. I’m doing a free hour long cultivating calm session with Jonny Miller on August 10th at 11am MTN. I’d love for anyone interested in working with reactivity to join us.

I see how primed I am to reenact. found myself going through my usual storm preparedness routine. I don’t like facing a crisis without adequate resources so I’ve been known to restock inventory and clean house when the weather forecast looks bad

But I have the choice to have a steady till and my own hand will guide me on the course. If that requires nervous system work or grocery shopping. Or both. Or something entirely. Please do what you need to keep yourself steady in the storm.

Emotional Work

Day 936 and Take The Beating

I got my ass kicked yesterday. I made a decision that I knew would be disliked. I knew how unpopular the decision would make and that I would have to suffer the consequences. I did not bend on my decision despite knowing how much I would suffer for it. It was right for me. But damn it always sucks to take a beating.

I have taken my college cafeteria’s name as a law of the universe. TANSTAAFL. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. I know it’s a bit unfashionable to be a Hayek libertarian these days but I do think we have to accommodate some basic physics in life. Actions have reactions.

I had to take my beating. I made people hurt. And it’s entirely possible that we have different expectations and realities. As soon as I give my firm position on my reality and energy I can expect a response.

I think it’s genuinely healthy to feel like you have the capacity to endure criticism. Sometimes you can’t make people happy. Sometimes you’ve done something wrong. Sometimes it’s just that you couldn’t find an accommodation between what you gave the situation and what it gave you.

Life has a budget. There is a balance to the energy of the world. I suppose sometimes you just have to take your licks.

Emotional Work

Day 935 and Rebranding

Changing someone’s opinion is hard. Twitter is being rebranded to X so the topic is newsworthy. I was on rebranding efforts at Pepsi (the infamous one) Tropicana (that didn’t go well) and Ann Taylor (which won us a lot of awards & made money) so I have lived through the challengers of remaking a corporate identity.

That sounds so much more professional than what is actually happening . A lot of people have bought in on something that is no longer the thing they loved. A change was necessary but not everyone so ready. Something that had meaning is being remade into a new set of meanings and it will provoke a backlash.

People all adopt new ideas at different paces. And hold outs and middle of the road types can be equally challenging. Any change can be greeted fairly with skepticism. Trust is hard to gain and easily lost.

Even when circumstances on the ground demand it, people fucking hate change. It’s scary. I get it. I find a lot of the world right now to be scary. Failure rates can be high. But if we don’t change we don’t get different outcomes.

Chronic Disease Emotional Work

Day 931 and Open Calendar

I am about to sunset a long-standing weekly appointment that has been on my calendar for literally years. And I was surprised to discover how much getting back that time made me happy.

The block on my calendar was for something I very much loved doing and valued highly, so the sheer joy was unexpected. But as it turns out I loathe having a consistent obligation on my time.

This isn’t to say that I don’t like being responsible, reliable, or on time. But rather I like knowing if something comes up that I have some flexibility. And I don’t like to disappoint people by needing flexibility.

My suspicion is that this represents some lingering guilt I have about having a chronic disease. While I rationally know that I did nothing to deserve being sick, I do carry a self limiting belief that being sick is a weakness.

I’ve always prided myself on being a “mind over matter” person. I’ve shown up to countless events, meetings, pitches, and other obligations while in pain. I’ve been known to repeat “Michael Jordan, Game 5” as a mantra to remind myself that I can perform in even the worst physical circumstance.

Michael Jordan famously played and won with the flu. And the logic in my mind was surely I can do the same when something is on the line. So I always have. If someone expects me to show up and perform I do it even if I am struggling.

But as my season of no has begun I think it’s time I stop romanticizing my capacity to work when sick. I love having my time back on my calendar and I love the flexibility that I have to work whenever and wherever I want.

Maybe some people would chose to work less under these conditions. For me though, having more flexibility in when I show up means I’ll find even more time to put into my work. Because I love showing up for me. And sometimes it’s easier for me to show up when it’s not a damn calendar block.

Emotional Work

Day 926 and Hang Over

I don’t drink alcohol so this title is a little silly but I feel like I’m hungover. Maybe it’s having felt like I lived through several containment breaches in an unclear semiotics war.

Maybe it’s some of the grief and loss from a death on midsummer. Maybe it’s worry about my husband’s upcoming oral surgery. Maybe it’s the general sense of uncertainty and fear of future shock.

I am tired and achy and my cognitive processing is absolutely shot. I’ve been battling a migraine all day and even two doses of Imitrax don’t seem to dampen the intensity.

I want to put some of the intensity of the last month behind me but I often feel as if I write that exact sentence and nothing ever gets less intense. It’s always some new piece of human crisis. I went as many of those out of my life as possible so I come out the other side feeling more human.

Emotional Work

Day 924 and Backlog

It’s such a challenge to keep up with reality. Modern conditions have well overmatched human biology.

I’ve tried to keep my own physical biology from being overruled by competing inputs and attention competitions but it’s a losing battle. Sometimes the best you can do is ride the wave and be sure you know when to get up on your board.

I have a little bit of a backlog of inputs to work through. I should probably use the next few summer weeks to pull back and push through it. I’ve got a lot of sense making to do. A lot of inputs to be distilled.

I’ll do what I can to put things up as I see them and have a thought but I’m feeling the need to be a little more guarded. Can’t be out in world and accessible all the time.

Emotional Work

Day 923 and Spicy

Lots of reasons to be optimistic in America that our wheezing economy has been goaded into forgetting that money shouldn’t be free. Again. We imploded the banks and a number of international allied economies but we achieved a soft landing for some Americans. I don’t even know how I feel about that sentence.

It just really feels like shit is going off the rails all over the place but you can’t quite make sense of all the things coming at you because it’s coming at you so damn fast. And everyone is being dramatic about it. As if we didn’t have all kinds of fair warning that the ride was going to be bumpy.

I recently had someone not handle a professional (but somewhat personal) transaction as anything the way I’d hoped. It wasn’t s big deal. I recalibrated something in my life in the face of grief and some personal realignments. Everyone is fine. Everyone has their own shit going on and it’s never about you.

But it does seem like a lot is going on for everyone and whatever the fuck else is exploding that hurts your life and your people. A lot of people are very reactive and it’s all being shown in real time on Twitter.

And yes it’s making me feel like yup however this next world war 3 thing it is going to go is overlaying on your personal life. It’s reminded me that I need to protect myself as I’ve got a job to do no matter how spicy the market gets.

Emotional Work

Day 921 and Unseen

I don’t really have the stomach for writing today. I realized recently that I’ve been accommodating several people I love so far past the boundaries of what I consider physically and emotionally tolerable, that I had some medical issues over the weekend as my body broke down by literally having thin skin. Ironic.

I am often afraid to tell people when I’m not feeling seen. I discuss, and reiterate, and point out, and I try to expand my bounds of tolerance to be more open, but I didn’t feel seen as a child by my own father and I see how it repeats as an adult.

I guess it’s not a shock that I snapped after letting my boundaries go. I’ve felt invaded for sometime (months even) and tried to reassure everyone I’d do my best.

But I realized in the process of minimizing over and over again how exhausting it was to be with everyone as much as they wanted, that because I’d never put my foot down they just didn’t see how much damage it was doing to me.

I am so hurt right now. I feel betrayed. I worked so hard at making a situation work that I missed that no one noticed it wasn’t working for me. And now that I’ve brought it up too late, it seems like I’ve doomed myself to being entirely unseen in the situation for good.

Having let all this out I do feel better. That I’ve done what I needed to make myself feel seen and safe before it was too late for me to recover. I’ll draw firmer boundaries and I’ll be more gentle with myself. I don’t have to live by anyone else’s schedules and demands except the ones I choose.