According to Merriam-Webster, the word of the day is phlegmatic.
1 : resembling, consisting of, or producing the humor phlegm
2 : having or showing a slow and stolid temperament; not easily upset, excited, or angered
How I came upon this is neither here nor there, but I thought it was an interesting word. I mean, who knew phlegm could also mean ‘calmness in a difficult or unpleasant situation’? I suppose most know of it by the first definition, or know of it by experience. And what a gross experience it can be.
I very much identify with the word though. And sometimes it makes me feel weird. Like I don’t quite fit in. Everyone else seems to have these passions that light a fire under them and here I am sitting at my desk thinking about buying a bread-thing with bacon and brie on it. I’m almost ashamed to admit I’ve spent more time thinking about that then actually working. But it’s a “break” week and I’ve not much to do right now.
Not easily upset, excited, or angered.
This is basically me in a nutshell.
I wasn’t always this way and I had been thinking about it a lot in the past year or so. My boyfriend commented at one point, probably after our one year mark, that I never seem to get angry. Which is true. I don’t. Mostly because I don’t see the point. It’s an awkward feeling that, in my opinion, isn’t useful.
When I used to get angry–angry at the world after I graduated university and nothing happened, angry at others that I perceived to have it more “together” than myself–I never felt inspired. It was also incredibly draining. Being angry isn’t fun.
So I decided to stop. I stopped caring about all the things in the world that I couldn’t change. I stopped caring about what I thought others had. I focused on myself and the things that I could do to make myself happy. I essentially started practicing my own form of ‘mindfulness’.
1: the quality or state of being mindful
2: the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; also: such a state of awareness
As soon as I started practicing this, I felt as if the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. I still had my doubts and my insecurities, but I didn’t let them control me and I definitely didn’t let them turn to anger towards others. Life is hard enough as it is. Being angry made it worse.
I know I mostly focused on the anger part of this word, but I think it’s the most poignant part. I see people every day angry at everything around them and I can’t fathom how they go through life like that. Even yesterday I had to summarize a press release from REAL Women of Canada and it was just dripping with anger to the point where I actually felt very uncomfortable.
And I do get excited, more of a muted excitement though. Something about getting older and having done a lot already in my life.
I still get very excited when I fly though.