Experiments with anger

First of all, I can finally cook eggs in my wok!  I’m not sure if it’s knowing the technique (let it sit for a bit and fry up and then you can touch it) or just getting it seasoned enough.  Either way, great!

Second of all, my bike front wheel and panniers were stolen the night before last.  You may know how I feel about bike thieves.  (you may also be saying “quit whining and park your bike somewhere else!”  I am doing that.  We’ll see if this new place fares any better.)  At any rate, they’re gone, and it’s about $180 in damage, plus a new $35 lock to allow me to park in the new place.  Ugh.

But, well, it made me very angry.  So I yelled and cursed and kicked some walls for about a minute.  But then I remembered reading Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, and how he describes anger working like a series of events that build the anger higher and higher, whereas if left alone it will cool down.  More importantly, it’s a lot easier to short-circuit this early, after one or two provocations, than to try to cool down once you’re in full-blown rage.  (yelling and cursing and “venting” act as more provocations.)

Sure enough, doing some laundry to kinda take my mind off it for a few minutes worked very well!  I could see the happy truth of the situation (I’m making enough money to cover bad stuff like this, it could be worse, etc) and my thoughts of “if I find that guy” changed from “beat the snot out of him” to “really try to understand why he’s stealing bike parts.”  (granted, it’s probably “he’s desperate for money and not in the mood for a reasonable conversation”, so this wouldn’t go very far.  But it’s nicer to imagine having a reasonable conversation than having a fight.  Also less likely for me to get killed.)

Also, I took a moment to feel the physical manifestation of anger and mentally describe them.  It’s like electricity through my veins!  It’s pretty intense, and really kind of fun, besides the feeling-angry part.

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