What is there to be angry about anyway?

It’s a big question. “What am I angry about?”

For over a week, I walked around with this big question nagging at the back of my brain. I did my best to ignore it.

I tried to pretend that it was a different question. I focused on writing down my thoughts in my yelling journal every time my anger spilled over and became observable. I started including all the times I was yelling with my actions and thoughts – not just the times I yelled where other people could hear it.

But honestly, this is a different kind of question.

What are you angry about?

What is the baseline of anger?

What is the “static noise” level of anger that I don’t notice until I goes away?

As I take a shower, fold laundry, sit in carline, buy new socks at Target… what angry feelings are so normal for me that they no longer even register as anger?

what are you angry about header

Yeah.

That kind of question.

What is there to be angry about anyway?

Remember? I’m NOT an angry woman.

But I don’t exactly feel joy filled all the time either. Bit by bit, something is stealing away my joy. As I ignored the big question, I began to suspect that it was all those low level angries. I began to suspect that there were little angries that felt so normal that I no longer even thought of them as anger.

I made a list.

When I sat down, I figured it would be a short list of stuff – maybe enough to fill an index card. In spite of that, I sat down with a full blank sheet of paper and set the timer for three minutes.

When I turned the sheet over I was only about 30 seconds in.

Ouch.

I needed a second sheet of paper.

There was not a single “big” thing on that list. There weren’t even any little things that surprised me. To be honest, none of it surprised my husband either.

But seeing all it in one place made an impression. Wow.

It turns out that the big question I’d been ignoring for a week was exactly the one I needed to answer. 

I have a challenge for you.

dare to ask what are you angry about

Grab a sheet of paper or two and set the timer for three minutes.

Commit to sit there and write down whatever thoughts come your way on the subject. Don’t stop before the timer is up.

It’s ok to sit there and stare at the timer for a minute. It that makes you angry, write it down.

Just make a list.

If you don’t think you’re angry about anything, think about what has you irritated.  Think about what provokes you or makes you resentful.  Think about your laundry room, the trash in the backseat of your car, or the sticky shelf in the refrigerator.

You don’t have to do anything with it today.  I’ll be writing about mine for the next several days and I want you to be able to follow along.

You don’t have to show anyone.

You can throw it away in a few days.

I want you to hold onto it until tomorrow. If your list is anything like mine then it has some powerful lessons to show you.

This is where we start to find peace in unlikely places.

Right here. In the list of little angries.

my list of little angries

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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Comments

  1. I’m scared to see what I’d put on that paper!! I’m so angry of so many things. I am honestly filled with anger. 🙁 The main reason for my anger comes from a little whining soon to be two year old that I prayed and begged and pleaded God for! For as much as she frustrates the living tar out of me, she is still my heart. When she’s not fussing (which is seldom!!), I love the hugs and cuddles she gives me. Her smile (when we get to see it) is enough to brighten up an entire room and then some!! I just wish I could turn off her whining and turn off the boys and their noise sometime throughout the day.

    I keep reminding myself that one day it won’t be like this!! The kids will soon be old enough to send outside without worry about them killing themselves or each other. Soon Zeva will be talking and at least then I can give her what she’s requesting a lot easier (if it’s a reasonable request.)

    One day my husband won’t be working these crazy long days. One day I’ll be able to have a good day from the time I wake up until I go to bed. At least, I can hope all that happens.

    Now you know why your series means so much to me??

    • Crystal,
      It took me over a week to have the courage to write my list. I totally get it. I will tell you that what I put on paper was not nearly as scary as what I was afraid it would be. I thought I’d have stuff on there like “I secretly wish I could go back to work.” and “I’m angry that I’m a mom and I hate my life.” (Neither of those are true). Instead, my list was filled with small things. Dust bunnies, mismatched socks, a litter box that constantly needs scooping.

      Just finding that out took a load off my shoulders. It felt better.

      I remember that pre-talking phase with both my kids. It’s so frustrating when they clearly want something and can’t express themselves clearly enough to get it. The endless stream of whining and small temper tantrums really does wear you down. I wish I was closer so I could give you an hour or two of peace. I won’t tell you that these days with Zeva are brief. You already know that. I won’t tell you that your days with your 10 year old are even briefer – you know that too.

      Everything you’ve shared about your kids is amazing. You’re doing a great job as their mom. I don’t begin to understand how you juggle the roles of blogger, homeschooler, mother, wife, and now Entrepreneur. I can understand being stretched so thin that you feel like you’re about to snap. I can understand the stress. Right down to a husband who works insane hours.

      From the bottom of my heart – Give yourself some Grace. Cut yourself some slack. Let something slide. Play hookie from the housework. We’ll get through this anger thing together. God didn’t intend for any of us to walk around feeling like we’re about to explode. His plan includes lots of peace and love.

      Praying for you today. Praying that God helps you to find that five minutes of peace you need. Praying that God calms the storm in your heart. Praying that you find rest.

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