Moderation Q4

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 9, Q4

Moderation: “Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

Personal notes:

  • Moderate actions;
  • Moderate emotions;
  • Moderate when at your worst (tired, exhausted, hungover).

I snap at family — not strangers, not associates — but family. I used to wonder why, why the people I love? Then I realized I bottle anger and spill it at home. It’s easy to spill at home because it’s the ultimate safe space, where I’m comfortable and shielded from the world. It’s a mistake.

Moderation has been a focus of mine this past year. I’ve gotten better, but still have triggers. My ultimate trigger is my kids. They can bring out the best, and the worst in me. When it’s the worst, I try to take note. Here is that list.

  1. Electronics: I’m consistently amazed at how much worse my reactions are when using electronics. It is digital heroin. Yesterday morning I sipped tea while reading the news on my phone. My 2 year old came over for a hug, and spilled tea all over me — I lost it. When situations are unduly escalated, electronics are involved.
  2. Alcohol: I’ve significantly tempered back alcohol for a variety of reasons, but the main one is family. Hungover with children is the worst — I am also at my worst. My temper becomes extremely short and extra surly. I’ve seen fear in my daughter’s eyes. Had to cut this one down.
  3. Sleep: Young children are exhausting. Sometimes that exhaustion can lead to anger. Coffee is necessary, and TV can be a friend. I’ve learned to enjoy My Little Ponies.
  4. Hunger: Not so much me, but my wife and daughters are bears if they are hungry. Feed the bears.
  5. Exercise: I feel like shit if I don’t work out, and that makes me miserable. I’ve enjoyed martial arts — if you need to get rid of some anger, it’s best to take it out on angry, bearded men.
  6. Direction: Whether you call it direction, passion, or purpose. It’s a big one, it quiets all the inner voices swirling about. This year gave me direction, and it was the surest way to moderate my action. Sitting for hours writing at my desk quieted voices in a way that sitting at a desk for hours reading financial statements seemed to exacerbate them. It was an important, and unintended discovery. If you haven’t found it, it’s certainly worth the investment (a year or more) to find.

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Next Week

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 10, Q4

Cleanliness: “Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes or location.

Personal notes:

  • I feel terrible when frumpy, dirty or disheveled;
  • Clutter drives me crazy;
  • Pine needles are everywhere!

I haven’t showered yet, and feel gross. Time to get clean.