Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Anger Managment and Catching a Break

I've been thinking a lot about anger and how I really want to have better control of my temper. I'm also a firm believer that if you put a lot of thought into something and set your mind to it, you can change your behavior and how you respond to things. I know this because I've done it, even with things that are like triggers that you wouldn't think I could ever address, and I've always accomplished it the same way-by taking a step back and thinking about it.

Keep in mind, it doesn't happen overnight, and in certain instances, it may never change. But it's always worth a try if you don't like the way things are. In fact, it's your duty.

Yesterday was a rough day. It really put me to the test, and in many ways, I failed. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself, but sometimes you've got to be in order to exact change. It went something like this.

We've been getting amazing amounts of snow, which would normally please me to no end except for two extenuating circumstances: we were having car problems and our roof was getting dangerously compromised (my opinion only) by the amount of snow. These were both situations that had to be deal with, and of course I didn't want to deal with them. Sometimes you have to be forced into being a real man.

To top it all off, I'd managed to break two pairs of glasses in less than a week, complicating things a bit, and we'd run into car problems, which always make me depressed. In the face of it all, there was daily life to deal with, and even though life throws you a series of curveballs, you can't avoid coming up to bat. That's life, and in the end, how it should be.

Two nights ago when we were in the thick of this massive blizzard, I tried to move our car so that there would be more space to plow and proceeded to get stuck. I wasn't so worried about that, but what got me bummed was that the windshield wipers didn't work. It's not a huge thing, but big enough to make the car undriveable in weather like this. Besides, electrical problems are always a bear to deal with. A little research revealed that our car actually has a circuit breaker on the wipers to prevent motor burnout in times of ice and snow. Fair enough, but it was only supposed to last five minutes and then go back on, and it wasn't going back on. I made an appointment at Bob's.

I tried to resolve the problem by checking the fuses and doing all that fun stuff, but nothing worked. Kurt stopped by to plow and I asked him about the roof. Should I or should I not clear all that snow? He said it could probably hold, roofs are designed to handle a lot of weight, but rain was forecast for Wednesday, and that meant all that snow, all 3 feet of it, was going to turn to ice, and then it might be a problem. I could either take a chance and not deal with it, or deal with it.

I decided to deal with, and it would require that I get up on the roof. Total bummer. But, on the bright note, this was forcing me to confront my fears and be a real man, and that's what life is all about, isn't it? I got out my 28 foot extension ladder, which I might add is a total bear to deal with, and climbed up. I was actually spared from having to stand up on the roof and just stayed put on the ladder, though getting on the roof is in my future, I'm sure of it. I managed to clear the snow by raking it off the side, but it was slow going. I could only do a little bit at a time, and in stages. I would start on one swatch, rake with the short rake to clear a path, then climb down the ladder, get extend the rake, and rake the far reaches, all the while fearing the heights. It was a little brutal, and took me upwards of 6-7 hours. I got nothing else done.

On top of it all, it was cold, and my gloves and hat were frozen solid, but I persevered and cleared about 95% of the stuff. I'm hoping to finish it off today.

As the sun started to set, I also had to fill the wood box because cold temps were coming. Getting wood meant that I was also going to have to shovel a path to the wood, since I'd spent all day on the roof. I was tired, irritable, and cold, so I was not in a good frame of mind. I cleared a path, loaded the wheel barrow, and about halfway to the door, managed to spill all the wood. Once it starts leaning, it's all over, and man was I mad. Furious, and I cussed and threw wood at the ground. Fortunately, the kids were inside playing so they missed my tirade, but I was ashamed of myself, nonetheless. I mean, really, what's the big deal.

I finished what I was doing, resolved to work harder on my anger, and decided that pizza was in our future. They have a great deal at Ramunto's on Mondays, so drove the truck over, got the pie, and were pleasantly surprised to find mom home early.

AND, she said the wipers were now working. How cool is that? Now we don't have to drive it to Bob's in the rain, which was making me anxious and bumming me out. We had pizza, hung out, and now it's today.

Just wanted to mention that the kids were absolutely fabulous yesterday, playing by themselves and entertaining themselves. It makes parenting all that much easier.

I've been trying to write but not finding the time, but overall I feel good. Until the next time, thanks for reading.


The Book Chook said...

Hey Fred, it's hot here on the other side of the world and I envy your snow!

Glad to hear it's not just me getting no writing done. I seem to spend hours on writing-related stuff, blogging and reviewing, but not creating books.

Let's make a pact for the new year - half an hour a day more than 2008. What do you say?

Susan Stephenson aka the Book Chook

phredude said...

Hi Susan,

Thanks for your thoughts, and for being a comrade in arms. I grew up in S. California, so snow is still a novelty for me, but man does it add an extra layer of work to the load. Mind you, I'm not complaining, I love the stuff, it's just that sometimes it's nice to get a break.

As for the writing, I'm with you all the way. Half an hour more in 2008 will triple my output.

Hope you're well and keep on writing.