Mixed feelings

I had a vague idea that my next post should be funny and light-hearted to keep my blog balanced. Imitating real life though, certain things are just not worth the effort of trying to control. Thus when I feel that I’ve just had a profound thought about something and then suddenly feel compelled to express my opinion to the cosmos, I think “Bugger it, Let’s just do it”. This morning I’m feeling particularly partial to the topic of ‘mixed feelings’.

In an endevour to keep a balance though, I shall first ask….. Can you spot the faux collectible?

Back to mixed feelings, if you been following my blog in last seven months, it’s apparent I’ve written a fair amount about dealing with emotions. Emotional Agility (credit Dr Susan David) means not to shy away from the range of emotions one naturally experiences. Each feeling or emotion is a message (information) and we use that information to make a decision.

My own most recent experience is an unrelenting wave of mixed feelings or emotions. Although it’s not the first time in my life I’ve had such strong mixed feelings, it is the first time that I’ve had such strong mixed feelings since I’ve become aware of Emotional Agility.

Mixed feelings are two, but sometimes three or four contrasting emotions that present themselves simultaneously. The inner conflict it causes is utterly exhausting. For a day or two it just overwhelmed me and I tried ignoring it (#OldHabitsDieHard). Fortunately, some common sense prevailed and I realized these are just emotions identical to others. To get rid of any unwanted emotions, I need to process them one by one.

This all fine, however strikingly, this set of mixed emotions is particularly persistent and strong. Thus I sought some additional help to try to understand what these very intense mixed emotions (due to a current life situation) mean.

I found an amazing article that unpacked it

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/do_mixed_emotions_make_life_more_meaningful#thank-influence

Three main thoughts emerged for me:

Thought 1: Each emotion has a message. When contrasting emotions appear together, their messages highlight conflicting goals or core values that are competing for priority. Complete Ah ha moment – makes perfect sense! Immediately upon recognizing this (and identifying these conflicting goals) the tension in my back dissipated and butterflies in my tummy settled. I’m smart enough to know my mixed emotions are telling me “Bronwyn just decide damnit! One goal must take priority- don’t forget this, lest you will feel emotionally drained all the time. But be kind to yourself. Both goals are important to you, yes…. but choose one. Do not berate yourself. But also be logical and practical and trust the universe. It knows what it is doing. Just do your thing, It will do it’s thing, and all will be well”.

Thought 2: Mixed emotions are healthy. They help us cope with stress and adversity. Think about when you’ve had a bereavement – as a family when you get together – despite your sadness and you laugh about anecdotes of the person who passed. Losing my grandmother, who was a mother to me was the worst thing in the world. Although I was an adult, 25 already, I genuinely literally believed that the moment she took her last breathe the sun just had to stop shining. But that flipping darn defiant sun didn’t stop shining! Not that day. Or the next. Or the next. And it just kept rising again and again in the days and weeks thereafter. My greatest source of strength and comfort in that time was reminiscing with my family and laughing about all the funny things that my grandmother always said and did. That whole experience took my fear of death away. I’ll never be scared of death again. Mixed emotions made me more resilient.

Thought 3: Mixed feelings help people construct ‘meaning’ and ‘purpose’ in life. If you are brave enough to make an attempt at understanding the source of your mixed feelings, then you will be able to identify those conflicting goals or values. In most cases people make a decision one way or the other. You will choose whatever options is more attractive to you, or practical to you. I think about when I changed jobs. There was job security with my old and familiar job being a Veterinary Technologist. When I resigned that to start working for myself as a free lance editor and part time lecturer I had mixed feelings. But I chose leave old job for the new job because I wanted to improve my life circumstances. I did this in a more resolute manner because I had mixed feelings. Soul searching triggered by some mixed feelings advances one’s purpose in life. (Not all mixed feelings triggers soul searching though – I’m not likely to search my soul after I decide I need to attend a PTA meeting instead of getting drinks with my friends but for certain significant events it has the potential to get you to take stock of life).

So the bottom line for me is Bronwyn stop jabbering in this blog and get on with what needs to be done ✅ 😄

Laters alligators 🦋❤️🌺🌻🌈🤦🏾‍♀️😍❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🤷🏾‍♀️🤸🏾‍♂️💜🌼🌸😳🐥🐛🦄🐝🌎💘🐞🐣🔥💧💚⛄️🍒🍋🍔🍕🍭💛🥂🎼🎷🎈🧡📚📝🤓💝💓💗💖💕

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Bibia Be Ye Ye

So I pulled an all-nighter. It’s not often that it happens anymore. I think I literally haven’t done this out of necessity for years and recently I’ve only worked through the night because of insomnia – but tonight was different.

My stats students wrote their midterm exams last night and so I’ve been preoccupied trying to prepare them. I’ve also been doing my own research and prepping my project students to hand in their topic approvals. Plus (and the real reason for my all-nighter) is our final exam and memo and special exam and memo must be handed in at the CPUT exams office tomorrow (later today rather!). If I miss that deadline I have absolutely no doubt that I will be named and shamed in the next Faculty Board Meeting, so there was no way I was gonna miss it. And on top of all that I wrote a last minute abstract today, because a colleague persuaded me that a talk I did at CPUT last week on online assessment is actually quite good, and potentially capable of being selected as a presentation for an e-learning festival happening later this year.

Absolutely No regrets. I love the thrill of the chase. The impending deadline and the satisfaction of delivering. Kachow baby. Every time I hit one of my targets I go on a natural high ….Completely dig it – reminds me of when I was consulting. It’s like a drug almost, but this drug pays my bills.

Although …I am pretty damn knackered now. I’m blogging now just to stay awake. It’s 4:30 and I dearly want to sleep but I know I shouldn’t because if I get into bed now there’s no way I’ll be able to get up at 5:30 to get the minions done and take them to school. So I’ll rather find something to do while I wait.

I simply can’t work anymore. My brain is in neutral gear.

This kinda reminds me of another time in my life that feels like a lifetime ago, about six months after my divorce was finalised, I was studying part time while working full time. I would habitually stay up very late nights – actually till early morning. I did this because I was terrified of failing in my courses. So I really put in as much effort and time as I could. I would only try to get some sleep from about 2 or 3am and have to be up at 5:30am again, to get the minions ready for school, drop them and then travel 35km in the opposite direction to go to my own work. I would sometimes sleep in my car during lunch times if I could. Lucky I had paid for parking spot in an undercover garage at that work place.

After oversleeping a few mornings, I decided I needed to come up with a plan to avoid that. So after doing whatever homework I had and studying, I would shower and then sleep on the couch in my work clothes. Luckily my couch was comfy, but not so comfy that I would oversleep. So especially that first year I hardly ever saw my own bed.

But even if I sleep in full kit on the couch now I know there’s no way that I’ll be able to wake in 50 minutes time, so for today I’ll just plow through.

Fortunately my work situation is different (more flexible) now, and to my sheer delight – I have Ed Sheeran on my iPod! Bibia Be Ye Ye! My fix…..

I think I’ll go watch myself go dance in the mirror now😱🤫💃🏾

A peek into my classroom

One of my students recorded this very short video of me teaching last Monday night, using her mobile device and then shared it with me. It’s funny how there are things about yourself that you just don’t realize until you see a recording of yourself!

I don’t finish my sentences! 🤦🏾‍♀️ If I was my own student, I’m not so sure if I would be impressed with myself 🤔

 

Oh well, now I know 😁. Once we know better we do better. From now on I will make an effort to finish my sentences. 🤞🏾Fingers crossed

The girl with the bow and arrow

No this is not evidence of S&M or an abusive boyfriend! I’m rather chuffed about my purple bruising because it is in fact evidence of my long awaited archery lesson! This happens when you accidentally smack your bow arm with the string of the bow as you discharge the arrow. A novice mistake….. because I am a novice! #PayingMySchoolFees 🏹 🏹🏹🏹

I have bruises on both arms because about halfway through my lesson I learnt that my left eye is my dominant eye. So I should hold the bow with my right arm and discharge the arrow with my left arm – hence I switched my bow arm and ended up having bruises on both arms 🤦🏾‍♀️. No matter, it was so worth it.

I wish I had my own bow with arrows that I could practice every day! Fun cubed for sure. My dream is to be that chic with a bow and a quiver of arrows on my back or side – and while I’m dreaming I might as well add a unicorn to the dream so I can shoot my arrows on the go…. 🦄 😁

Seriously though, it was more than cool. It’s an expensive sport to get started with though. Approximately 10K to just get set up. One day when I have extra cash, I believe I’ll definitely do it. For now it’s time to start saving. A great huge big Thanks to Luther and Sharon at Bowtime in Brackenfell. I definitely will go back to practice again.

Still revelling from an epic experience, Mel and I invited ourselves over to Berty’s house for a braai, and then later the evening he persuaded us to pop in at his Local, where a fundraiser was happening to pay for one of his friend’s charity entry to the Two Oceans Marathon. To end off a rather cool day I won a raffle prize at the fundraiser event 🤸🏾‍♂️👏🏾🌈 -A bottle of black vodka…. never knew the product existed before. So it’s been a pretty cool weekend.

But for now it’s back to work…. gots to earn some cash…. to buy my own bow and arrow! Catch ya later alligator

Living purposefully

Life is quiet at the moment but life is busy.

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Its 3:03am on a Friday morning. I started to feel fluish (muscles aching) yesterday and so I started taking meds. I don’t know if this is the reason why I find myself wide awake now in the middle of the night. Not sure if my insomnia is related to me feeling sick, me taking meds or related to my hectic work schedule and to-do list or not.

I am currently enjoying my work tremendously despite it being challenging, because I’m slowly getting jobs done. There are practical jobs that I am completing and there are thought processes (ideas that I’ve been mulling over for other practical jobs that I must do) that are evolving. Overall I’m happy, no … I’m delighted that I am moving in a positive trajectory. I’m living purposefully and deliberately.

On an emotional level I have invested a lot of time and energy learning to, and dealing with my emotions in order to overcome any emotional blockages that could hinder me from living purposefully. I think I’ve gotten really good at dealing with emotions. I love the phrase Susan David uses #EmotionalAgility. I love the phrase Mark Manson uses even more! #EmotinalNinja

An interesting observation that I now have is feelings of fear and loneliness don’t hurt anymore like they used to. I have trained myself to see that fear is always the symptom of a deeper message from self to self. And Loneliness is just a thought. It’s not as easy as I’m making it sound. It takes a great deal of courage to firstly recognize fear for exactly what it is and then respond to it by calmly unpacking the reasons for it being there. In terms of loneliness, there was a great deal of pain surrounding me acclimatizing myself to the reality of not having a specific someone to share deep thoughts with and not feeling gutted about it, and also not feeling sorry for myself either.

I believe this was a not so obvious test of my faith… and also my ability to be happy with just living purposefully.

I don’t know what exactly the future has in store but I have a strong feeling about what it is that I must do. I also know that this is my one life. I know that every moment that I have now is a gift. And I know that I am grateful that I am not overwhelmed with negative emotions, because in the past six months I have trained myself to see every feeling that I have as a message (data) from my instrinsic self to make a decision. I am grateful that every little decision I take aligns me with my ultimate decision – which was to live purposefully.

The best way I can describe it is what I am feeling feels like an out of body experience to me now. I am not feeling as affected as I would have expected myself to be affected by the quiet moments in between the spurts of busyness. I wish for more, but I have peace with what is right now. I know that right for now, I’m doing the best that I can.