As an Arian, I am predisposed to anger. However, I have worked hard over the years to control the tendency, because it is mentally and physically wearing and somewhat pointless. I’ve actively practised becoming more tolerant and less critical of others, adopting a ‘live and let live’ attitude, and recognising that everybody has a point of view and it doesn’t have to match mine to be valid. Yes, I sometimes fail, because it’s hard to fight your inherent personality traits, but I keep trying.
I like to begin my day generally with a leisurely hypothyroid-friendly breakfast of orange juice with salt, toast and butter, and a cup of coffee, while digitally reading the news, anticipating that this will promote a gentle awakening and preparation for a productive and happy day.
But it doesn’t, and it was a remark I made in a recent blog post that made me realise why. I wrote how bad news attracts more attention than good news, which explained my particular choice of breakfast reading matter, which is what makes me angry.
I suspect that anybody who reads it will recognise what I am talking about. I’ll just say that almost everything it publishes makes me angry, and that is not because of the glaring errors, grammatical and factual. It highlights every negative word with LARGE BOLD LETTERS that leap out of the page and MAKE ME ANGRY. It is a daily source and blend of everything that is depressing and fatuous, from corruption, racial hatred and social injustice, contrasting with the glorification of people who have achieved fame and wealth for having outsize buttocks or spending their lives having cosmetic surgery, to how the shape of your fingernails defines your personality (or similar inanity).
Now, remember that I am tolerant and respect the right of those big-buttocked and cosmetically-altered people to their modi vivendi if it makes them happy, as well as the publication’s right to publish any articles they choose. But after spending my allocated 15 minutes reading this stuff do I ever experience that gentle awakening into a productive and happy day?
No. Never. I AM ALWAYS ANGRY. Most of all I am angry with myself, that day after day I have been clicking for my fill of bad news, like picking at a scab to prevent a wound from healing, and wasting my time on something that actively puts me into a negative frame of mind. That is as stupid as stupid gets.
Today, it has stopped. I have not clicked. It isn’t a resolution, it’s solemn oath that henceforth, instead of clicking on that source of anger, I will allocate my 15 minutes to the Guardian Crossword (Quick on weekdays, Speedy on Sundays. No way could I hope to accomplish a Cryptic, Quiptic or Prize in such a short time – if ever.) While that can occasionally lead to mild frustration, more often than not it’s cause for celebration when a seemingly impossible clue suddenly becomes obvious because you’ve managed to fill in one letter that reveals the solution. Not only does it give the little grey cells a mild jolt into action, it MAKES ME HAPPY!
Dominique Godbout/Flickr Creative Commons
What helps you to get your day off to a good start?