Are we get more, or less, able to deal with heightened emotions as we get older?
I got worry stomach aches (I called them tummy bubbles) a fair bit as a kid. I was an intense teen. In my adulthood I have had an episode of pretty extreme anxiety and depression, and some pretty up and down times aside from that.
I think for the most part I’m better at dealing with ups and downs as I age. I’ve gotten better at processing those heightened times, making sense out of them, and understanding THIS TOO SHALL PASS – both the ‘my cheeks are sore’ good and the painfully bad. I’ve found having a kid is a really good way of drumming that lesson into you hard. What gets more difficult is that we have responsibilities now that we didn’t as teens. I can’t just take the day off. Several nights of poor sleep + PMT + a grumpy toddler, and I surprise myself how quickly I feel burnt-out. Luckily, I’ve become an expert in finding a gap long enough for a bath or a walk and making that time count as processing time, and then surprise myself at how quickly I can feel functional again. But the last two and a bit years (especially the first year) have felt like that roller coaster metaphor from Parenthood.
This feels like a good time to tell you about my podcast project. I’m interviewing parents about what they’ve learnt from their parenting experiences. The good, the bad and the ugly. But with a real skew towards the bad and the ugly because they’re way more interesting and people talk about them less. I have always wanted to do a radio doco, so this gives me an excuse to talk about stuff I like to talk about anyway and get to ask more probing questions than usual. I have my second interview tonight.