RSS Feed

Tag Archives: inner child

In Transition


If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, perhaps you remember my inner infant–that part of me that gets anxious for apparently no reason but has no words to tell me what she’s upset about. I am still like a new parent who is getting to know their child for the first time. It is a very slow, painstaking process. But I came to a realization last week that has been helpful in being more compassionate towards this anxious baby, who I will call Amygdala for scientific reasons that are too technical to get into, but if you’re interested, you can check out this article.

Every morning when I’m getting ready to leave for work, Amygdala gets anxious and I have to say my standard mantra to her: It’s OK. Everything’s going to be OK. You’re fine. Everything’s going to be fine. And when I’m frustrated, I add although I have no idea what you’re anxious about!  Which is not very compassionate, and therefore not very effective in soothing her.

For some reason, last week I realized that Amygdala gets anxious when I am in transition–from sleep to wakefulness, getting dressed, getting into the car, getting out of the car, leaving work, going to play tennis. I imagined what it would be like for a baby during these times, and I could see why Amygdala would be anxious.

For example, when I am spending the night in a different place for the first time, I will often wake up and have a split second where I don’t recognize my surroundings and not remember where I am. Then I’ll be like, oh yeah. I’m at districts. But babies don’t have very good memories, because their brains aren’t fully formed. So for them, every time they wake up, they probably don’t recognize their room. Or they could have been moved to a different room while they were sleeping. And they’re probably like, where the hell am I?! (If it were a baby that cursed, that is.) What am I doing here? Where is that person who is supposed to be taking care of me?!

Or like how when my niece was younger she never wanted to go to dance class, even though she loves dancing and always enjoys it once she’s there. I never understood why kids do that, since I’m not a parent. But I do know what it feels like to be all content doing whatever you’re doing and then having to get up, change clothes, drive somewhere, and see people, even if it’s to do something I love, like play tennis. It’s hard to overcome the inertia of doing nothing. So I can see why that might be upsetting.

But since I’ve realized this, I’ve figured out something more compassionate to say. Whenever Amygdala cries because I am in transition, I tell her that it’s OK, she’s just anxious because we’re doing something different, but once we get there, everything will be fine. And it usually is.

So maybe I’m becoming a better parent after all.


I found this while I was looking for quotes on transitions. My inner infant has no idea what it means but she thinks it’s funny.

Inner Children and Rock Stars

Tomorrow is our annual Halloween party. Which has more recently been referred to as our annual Decade Karaoke Party since some people claim they do not like Halloween costume parties.

In a previous post, I jokingly referred to myself as a karaoke pusher, but some people have accused me of being too pushy in general. I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. When I want something, I’m relentless about getting it. It’s hard for me to take no for an answer. I will guilt trip people, wear them down, and resort to psychological tactics that are empirically proven to be effective in manipulating behavior.

I confess, my relentless pursuit of what I want has contributed to problems in my relationships. In fact, I am no longer in relationships with some of my accusers, and I’m sure that my pushiness contributed at least in part to the demise of those relationships. I am trying to be less pushy, but the truth is, I really believe that I am pushing people to do something that is good for them and that they want deep down.

In the 10 years that I have been hosting karaoke parties, everyone who has claimed to hate karaoke really did have an inner rock star. Sometimes it took more time and alcohol to coax that part out of them, but it was definitely in there.

I am even more certain that everyone has an inner child, because it is impossible to be an adult without passing through childhood at some point. And what child doesn’t like dressing up in costumes? None that I know of. And again, in my experience, when I have forced people to dress up for Halloween, they always enjoyed it in the end.

And in my defense, I may be pushy, but I am also patient. I don’t care if it takes them years before they fully participate in the festivities. I’m fine with them sitting there at the party pretending not to like karaoke and costumes for as long as they want. Because that is how confident I am that I will be right in the end. I mean, they keep coming to the parties, so they can’t hate it that much.

Although I have to admit, I have also been accused of always thinking I’m right. Which is also true, but I really am right most of the time, so I think those people are just sore losers.

Here are some pictures from past Halloween parties. Two of the people in the bottom picture claim that they don’t like karaoke, but you probably can’t pick them out, because they are all having a good time. More evidence that I am right about everything I just said.


The Ebola Rule


I just spent $1000 on a new water heater. Yay! Not.

Yesterday I slept in because I was exhausted. By the time I willed myself to get up and take a shower, there was no hot water. Which was puzzling, because I live by myself and I’m pretty sure I didn’t use any hot water in my sleep. So I had to take a cold shower–which is probably not a big deal to all of you rugged, outdoor types who do stuff like bathe in rivers, but it is to me.

In order to put a stop to the part of me that was whining about how I’m being punished for sleeping in by having to take a cold shower, I reminded myself that it’s not like I have the ebola virus. I know Richard Carlson’s immensely popular self-help book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff claims that it’s all small stuff, but that’s not true. Ebola is a big deal. But in his defense, I don’t think he knew about ebola back then.

By the time I got home last night, I was hoping that the hot water problem miraculously resolved itself, but it did not. So I looked at my water heater and saw that it was leaking, which was probably not a good thing. But since I know nothing about water heaters, I called my ex, my neighbor, and my brother just to make sure, and woke up at least one of them in the process. Which I kind of feel bad about, but who goes to bed at 9:30? My ex, that’s who.

So then I was hoping that it was going to be some simple solution like flip this switch or turn this knob and it will all be OK. But no. I had to get a new hot water heater, plus a few other adjustments that are required by law. Something about having the gas line at least 18 inches from the pilot light. Which the plumber wasn’t able to do because of how they built the space. I wasn’t really listening that closely because then I would obsess about how I could have died in a gas explosion all this time.

Because I obsess about not having enough money for emergencies, I reminded myself of the ebola rule again while I was writing the check. I have refined it a bit since yesterday. It goes something like this:

Step 1: Do you have ebola?

If Yes: Oh my gosh! You are so screwed! Get to the hospital!

If No: Get over it and pay the man $1000.

So that’s what I did.

I realize that this may not seem like a deep and meaningful post to many of you, but the ebola rule helped me to put this little inconvenience into perspective, so it was kind of an epiphany for me.