There is a meme that floats around which essentially says that you can be angry because there is more snow coming down or you can accept it, but either way there will still be snow coming down.
I paraphrase, but still, the point is this: there are things that are going to happen and you can get angry about them, which will do nothing to stop the snow, or you can ACCEPT that it is January in the northern hemisphere and you live where it snows and get on with your day. Either way, there will still be the same amount of snow coming down.
I was reminded about the interview with Tina Turner I heard a bunch of years ago, where the interviewer asked if Tina ever got angry now that she was a Buddhist.
"When I feel anger, I ask myself if I can use my anger and turn it into action that will solve what is making me angry. If I can, I take action. If I cannot, I let my anger go." (I paraphrase, it's been 20 years, but that's the gist.)
It was an interesting perspective, and one that I try to emulate.
That is not to say that I don't feel anger. I do. But now I stop and let myself feel the anger. Acknowledge that something has triggered that reaction. Ask myself, what can I do to try and bring a solution to the situation that is triggering that reaction.
Obviously some days it is easier than others. Some things are far too big for my little effort to resolve. Most times, I tend to write it out in order to find a way forward for myself and change my anger into something more productive.
Right now? It's tea towels. May seem bizarre, but a tea towel is useful and generating something that is useful and potentially 'beautiful' is much better than feeling impotent, upset and angry. Weaving lets me set those feeling aside so I can concentrate on other things.
There are so many things happening right now that trigger anger, exasperation, frustration, none of them I have any power to change on a global level, so I have to concentrate on a personal level. I understand the concept that being angry is not healthy in the long term. So I work on accepting that there are things I cannot change, and working on what I can.
Most days I feel the powerlessness deeply. Other days, like today as I watch more snow falling (up to 40 cm over 4 days, which isn't a lot in the grand scheme of things but makes things more difficult) I accept that yes, the snow is falling. No, I don't have to go out in it. I can, however, go to the loom and weave a tea towel instead of kicking the baseboards in frustration because it's another grey, dreary day, the roads are pretty crappy, accept I don't have to deal with it so there is no point in being upset over something that I have zero control over.
Which is kind of an important lesson for me in terms of other aspects of my life.
There are a number of things I am (still) dealing with - retirement and an aging, breaking down body, for example.
I could give up and feel depressed and angry because I am having to give up so many things. Or I can try to find other ways to accomplish things.
So I am struggling to find ways to carry on teaching. There are two emails from groups in my inbox but I need to work with them to give them something they want while also agreeing to doing something that I can actually deliver. And right now everything in my life is dependent upon me being able to deliver, six months from now.
So I either email them with a plan to move forward, or I say that I cannot because things change and right now the change is ever diminishing in terms of the things I can do.
This is not a comfortable position to be in. The tendency to depression is ever present and the grey dreary days aren't helping, nor is the fact that our furnace is still not working and we are having to use space heaters to keep warm. OTOH, we DO still have power so we CAN keep the house warm enough.
And so I gather up the tatters of my energy and brain power and get ready to go to the loom. If everything is going well there (which it has been, thank you loom goddess), there will be time to let thoughts about teaching simmer in the background. What can I do? What do I *want* to do? How can I manage to do that which I want to do?
But I need to get back to the two groups soon so that they can book with another instructor if I decide I cannot do it.
And if I decide I cannot do it, I must not get upset, depressed or angry. I must accept it. And concentrate on what I CAN do, not on what I CANNOT...a lesson I am still working on learning...
Right now, at this moment, I *want* to do the presentations, so I will be thinking carefully today on how I can make that happen. Because I still love to teach.