Temper, Temper

Somewhere between the 10th successive phone call and discussions on my upcoming vacation, I lost my temper.

It is not a reaction that I am proud of. It is not a reaction that I indulge in with any regularity. I may rant, I might complain, but I seldom lose my temper.

Now, I am hitting fingers to keys after touching pen to paper, trying to sort out how I am feeling. Losing control is not a sexy trait to fall into. And I lost control.

Understanding why I lost my temper has been at the front of my thoughts. Why? It seemed an enigma, only teasing at me, awaiting for the next opportunity to call upon my emotions to travel into the negative state once again. I feel as though I have been edging towards that reaction for some time. Even in my stats on writing, I can see the trends of stress building on top of me.

Last night, while I took my son to the playground, I sat down with my notebook to parse out some thoughts I have been struggling with. Those thoughts dealt with my inability to stick with these plans that I make for myself. Patreon and my publishing schedule were the main topics. It was sparked as I read about the planning fallacy, one’s inability to ascribe an accurate time to a task.

My own struggles with the above fallacy have added a lot to my stress level. I was supposed to be readying my 3rd release for this year. Instead, I am not even close to having the 2nd done. I am also 12 days behind on my Patreon release (fortune has it that I only have but 1 subscriber at the time I am writing this, way early in any stage of audience growth, so I am breaking on one subscriber). Whether or not I need to decide to continue pressing forward with that is a topic for another writing session. It is the stress it has added onto the pile I am interested in now.

Let me switch to my upcoming vacation.

I should be thrilled. My family and I are going to Disney and Universal in Orlando for a week in the coming month. It is our first vacation of this kind. I’ve taken vacations in the past, but they qualify as stay-cations or even trips back to Philadelphia to see family. We have not ever booked a week-long stay at a hotel replete with activities at a vacation destination such as Disney.

Inherent in going to any place like those two theme parks, is the acknowledgement that there will be crowds. People will be flooded into that place, even with it being a slower season. This skips up my anxiety some. I’ve written about being anti-social and having a lot of social anxiety before. Without realizing it, I’ve been spending a lot of mental energy attempting to overcome the idea of going purposefully into a situation that I would normally avoid with all my energy.

This energy drain has been coming from other areas too: poor diet (as I have fallen completely off the health train, wanting instead to focus my ever-narrowing time window on writing), poor sleep (I have apnea), busy work schedule, lack of quality down time, as well as the very stress of trying to do more in less time with regards to my publishing life.

Research into living a healthier, more productive life has become a norm for me. I’ve been reading a lot about how to make lists, budget time… get more done in less time to have more time to relax. Days like yesterday, it seems often that the opposite is true. I get more done, sure. I have less time to relax in the end.

Even more than that added into yesterday’s meltdown. Fortune was that it was short-lived in the sense that my outburst didn’t carry on beyond my tantrum. Only a small inanimate object felt the wrath of my temporary loss of control.

Good did come out of it, as can happen when one is open to seeking understanding rather than only lashing out. I understand that I’ve been dancing close to that line between being calm or being an enraged lunatic. An inherent dissatisfaction with myself has been lurking beneath these attempts at becoming more functional, more productive, and a more satisfied individual. Though I have been trying my hand at being a stoic in my everyday interactions, the little demon of my self-doubt has been clawing at me, beckoning to take over.

Writing about it is helping. Acknowledging to everyone that I did lose my temper was also helpful. It follows the idea of honesty, to which I have been striving to maintain. It’s also been serving as a form of therapy.

While I am not at all proud of how I acted, it had been a good experience to learn from. And maybe it will mean that this will have been one of the last times I let it happen.

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