A few days ago I started feeling a little sad. Given that sadness is one of the classic six emotions — happiness, surprise, fear, disgust, and anger being the other five — that all human beings feel, I was quick to give myself permission to feel sad. I am a human being after all, and emotions are valid in every person.
Feeling sad is one thing and I fully surrendered to the emotion, but getting through it is another thing.
On one particular day, I specifically didn’t plan any big outings with the kids. We stayed home and we took it easy, not in a rush or a hurry to do anything.
Late in the afternoon when Vivian asked me, “Mommy do you want to color?”
I said, “Well sure I do.”
Normally, I am not big on coloring, but given I was kind of floundering in different emotions, I couldn’t think of any reason why I shouldn’t sit down and color. Plus, I had just read an article on rock-star Kelle Hampton’s blog where she disclosed that she wanted to start drawing more. She’s way talented in the creative world, and I’d like to think I am, too, which is part of the reason why I like her blog.
If she can draw, I can draw. Just maybe not quite at her level.
Ok, nowhere even remotely near it, but I picked up some crayons and colored pencils anyway and I arbitrarily drew a replica of the empty juice box that had been sitting on the kitchen table since lunch-time.
And you know what?
It felt good to draw with my little girl. She thought I was Picasso.
Then later that night I received a text from my brother’s girlfriend about something funny that happened to the two of them that day. Basically, they left for work at different times in the morning and didn’t see what the other one was wearing. At lunchtime they met up at a restaurant to eat and discovered they were both wearing the exact same color polo shirt and dress pants.
Now you have to know my brother. This kind of thing is mortifying for him.
According to her, he was well beyond embarrassed and took another route back to work than her so that no one outside the restaurant, where he already felt uncomfortable, would see them. He no doubt spent the rest of the day under the radar of any living soul who might have seen his “twin” that day.
She, on the other hand, owned the situation and proceeded to tell everyone she worked with, as well as me.
I LOVE this.
Which is why I am proceeding to put it on the Internet. Because that’s what little sisters are for.
When I was growing up, I lived to tease my brother. Clearly I still do. The more attention I can draw to this hilarious situation, the better.
And you know what?
It feels good to rib my brother at his expense (ha!), especially because by now he must be laughing about it and will love me anyway.
Before I went to bed that same night, I went in to check on Lance. To my surprise he rolled over, still awake. In my mind, I immediately wondered if he was upset about something or had sensed my unease during the day and couldn’t sleep as a result.
Do you know what he said to me?
He said, “Hey Mommy, do you want to feel how deep my armpit is?”
Relieved and totally at a loss over the absurdity of his question, I said the same thing I said to Vivian earlier in the day:
“Well sure I do.”
And you know what?
It felt good to discover that his armpit really is deep.
Then he wanted to feel mine. Mine is deep, too.
Alright go ahead now. Take a moment. Feel your own armpit. Deep isn’t it?
That night, I went to bed happier than I had felt all day because of those three happenings. I’ve learned over time, that sometimes when I am feeling sad it’s best to purposefully let other people set the tone; to indulge in interactions with others. Life is all about keeping the proper perspective. To me, that means looking for the light on dark days.
Even so, my husband and I are currently dealing with loss. That is all I am able to write at this time, and I know it is vague, but it is something that will unfold over time as we grieve and make meaning of the situation.
And really, that’s what my Banter has always been all about — figuring out and writing about the happy, the sad, the surprise, the fear, the disgust, and the anger as I share meaningful stories.
These classic six emotions play underlying roles in us all. In life, they are unavoidable. The neat thing about emotions is that various forms of self-expression are a result of those feelings. For me, it is through writing. It makes me happy to unravel all the other emotions I feel, especially some of the negative ones, and craft positive stories that makes sense to me. Sharing them makes me feel good.
I hope anyone reading this has found or will eventually find the right coping mechanisms to use in times of sadness. It is okay to be sad, but it’s important to find the happy in the midst of fear, disgust, and anger.
You might just surprise yourself by what you discover.