Monday, January 2, 2012

Thoughts for Monday

As we gallivant into the new year, I'm going to forgo our usual Monday Laugh - though this post will not be entirely without humor - because I think that, on this first Monday of 2012, having laughed all weekend and still enjoying the holiday, it might be helpful to get a bit meta before we turn to face our resolutions head-on.

I've been having some trouble at the office recently, and I'm working on a new attitude to help me deal with my frustrations.  To be honest, my mother has been trying to teach me this for years, but it's only in the last few months that the truth of the idea has really sunk in.  It's not only relevant for work, but also for relationships - familial, romantic, and otherwise - and can be applied to small daily interactions as well as major life-altering difficulties.

I'm certainly still working on fully embracing it, and I doubt very much that any mere mortal is able to truly embody its mantra all the time, but I've found a way to interpret it that seems to help me manage the issues that I find myself confronted with (or confronting).  When mindful, my attitude is that I can't control how people act; what I can control is how I respond to their actions.  No, it doesn't necessarily address the root of the problems - although it can - but it ensures that I feel more secure because the decision to react (or not) is mine and mine alone.

Jon and I have been engaging in the annual couples' ritual of bickering at Christmastime.  We've covered everything under the sun from present-buying to card-writing to gift-wrapping and back again. When I recently discovered a language called Láadan, developed in the mid-1980s by Suzette Haden Elgin to give women a lexicon expressly suited to expressing the female point of view, I had to laugh, because the concept of women needing a different language to get their point across seems so appropriate.

My favorite part of Láadan is how many words it has for anger; each one, of course, carries a slightly different meaning.

bala: anger with reason with someone to blame, and something can be done about it
bama: anger with reason with no one to blame, and nothing can be done about it
bana: anger with reason with no one to blame, 
and nothing can be done about it
bara: anger with reason with someone to blame, and nothing can be done about it
bina: anger with no reason with no one to blame, 
and something can be done about it

How funny is that?  Love it - now, to get Jon on board with the nuances...

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