Today, during ‘quiet time’ (an hour of early afternoon where my son and I both retire to our rooms to work on personal projects such as reading, napping, or hiding under blankets), I added “I am an irritable motherfucker today” to my calendar, and then lay down on the bed with my eyes closed until it was time to get up.
Tracking my notable moods has been a fun spiral inwards toward equanimity. I first started paying attention because I realised I was sensitive to certain foodstuffs and needed to figure out which ones. Once that noise was cleared up, there were far fewer moods to track. I noticed my monthly cycle having a significant sway on my emotional tide, and it helped to be forewarned, so that was my next undertaking. And then there were certain people who seemed to have too much power over my emotions.
Mood tracking has become a subtler art now, but luckily it has begun to coincide with another conscious habit, and that is paying attention to the way I respond to my son. He’s very verbal now, he’s fully embodied and he’s loud as hell in all the best ways. Sometimes I catch myself reacting to that in a less than ideal manner, and when I do, I want to take full ownership of it. I want to figure out how best to explain to him that that reaction is on me, not him.
Occasionally, a pattern emerges in our interactions – a mood. And, sometimes, it’s even mine. So I take note, and I take responsibility. I’m not especially concerned about understanding or eradicating unfavourable moods – it’s more about acceptance at this point. Accepting myself in whatever emotional state I find myself, and trusting that others will accept me too, so long as I own it. That is an example I would like to set.