Posts Tagged emotion

#13: Dear Diary

I don’t really keep a personal journal, which is immediately identifiable as a false statement, since you are reading my blog right now.  But my blog is, in many ways, a product for public consumption, and it is as much about my thoughts and plans as it is about the immediate experience I am having (that day, week, etc.).  In the past, I’ve considered trying to start and keep a reasonable daily journal, one that might let me have a record of my emotional and experiential state each day.  I even tried to make it a month-theme on this blog (June) but couldn’t because it’s really hard for me to “find” an emotion to post about if I don’t have one in my head at the moment I want to write a post and/or I have a hard time translating what I feel into words on the page.

I heard or read a pretty simple and reasonable strategy for raw emotional state collection – take a book of blank pages, and each day mark on the left side of the page my emotional state in the morning (good at the top, bad at the bottom) and on the right side my emotional state in the evening.  I think if I did this consistently, I’d also be motivated to write a few words (maybe not in narrative form, but some words nonetheless) about why there was a difference from morning to evening.

13. I resolve to keep a simple emotional diary for a period of a month, to review and think about afterward.

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Feeling Fine…?

I decided for June’s blog theme I would return to “traditional” blog roots and give a little spiel about my emotional state each day.  I hope this will do two things – (1) it will let me work on blending my logic and emotion a bit better, since I’ll be striving to capture my emotions in the blog in addition to my normal logical thoughts, and (2) it will let me get an emotional barometer on myself over many days, identifying problems that I might not always identify via logic!

Today I woke up and felt oddly adrift.  Part of it might be the openness of a new month.  I feel somewhat disconnected, having just returned from a big trip (the Pro Tour in Puerto Rico).  Work doesn’t seem particularly pressing – maybe because I have too many things to do and no one of them is clearly winning the fight for my top attention.   I have residual guilt from not spending enough time with friends, and not separating my party-with-friends time from my work time sufficiently.  I feel wrapped up in my own thoughts a little more today than usual.

Also, an aside and a sneak preview for next month: I want to take hold of a project for my free time and write an entire month’s worth of blogs (or at least, most of a month’s) on that project and my work on it.  Maybe volunteer work?  Maybe some sort of personal programming project?  I’d like it to differ significantly from what I normally do – that way, I can also track the ways in which I change because of the project.

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I once (actually, quite recently) thought that emotions should just be secondary to the logical mind, but now I am leaning more toward trying to find a happy medium of synthesis between logic and emotion.  I want emotions to guide but not dominate my action.

So, here’s a survey of emotions I have felt recently and where I think their place might be in an ideal Dave:

  • Anger.  I would prefer this to be, if anything, an indicator / warning light that something is wrong.  Otherwise, not helpful.
  • Wonder.  I really enjoy this emotion because it leads naturally into curiosity, which satisfies my logical mind’s need for connection.
  • Jealousy.  I wish I could get rid of this entirely.  I don’t think it’s helpful at all – I can be motivated for other more meaningful reasons than “that person has what I want”.
  • Trust.  The emotional component of trust, which is really more like loyalty, is something I think I lean on a little too much.  How to integrate it better?  Maybe by working on reducing my desire to be accepted by others so totally – so much of my self-worth is tied up in other people, I don’t think it’s good for me.
  • Anxiety.  I think this stems from a lot of my overblown standards for myself – whenever there is a significant differential between where I am and where I want to be, I get stressed.  By attacking things in more bite-sized chunks and continuously reflecting on those steps and whether they were good, I can make this better.

I know there are tons more, but those were on my mind(s).

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