My super-friend at the shelter and I were having an email conversation after my meltdown on Sunday, and she said, “I don’t think you’re irrational. I think you’re angry. I wish more people were angry and we could channel it, make it into something productive.” And something in my brain went ding. My modus operandi when I’m angry is to seethe, stew, cast aspersions onto everyone (including myself), and curse the world.
But, by design, anger is a motivating emotion—it can drive us to action; that action can be harmful or productive. Like my friend said, we just have to channel it in a positive direction.
I wondered, what productive actions can I take? My thoughts jumped to this Facebook note from the Coalition to Unchain Dogs, which is enormously powerful (the note and the organization). But I immediately got overwhelmed thinking about “the hard work of relationship building and education”. Made me want to stand in the middle of the living room with my hands on my face, which is my modus operandi when I’m overwhelmed.
I backed up. If I wasn’t emotionally equipped to build relationships and educate people right at this moment, what could I do? I follow Carolina Care Bullies on Facebook. A few days ago, I saw that they had pulled a blue and white pit from a shelter but had to leave her sister behind because they didn’t have a foster family for her.
And I fretted, ate compulsively, and scratched at my face, which is my modus operandi when I’m nervous. Three dogs is so many dogs. What if she didn’t get adopted? What if she didn’t get along with Redford or Violet? Could I afford it?
Then I thought about my friend Kate K. Every year, she makes the same New Year’s Resolution: Say yes.
So I said yes.
Maybe that can be my new modus operandi: Say yes, and see what happens.