The problem with anger

The problem with anger is that it doesn’t do you any good. For a short while you may be convinced that it’s fuelling some sort of creative passion, that it’s shaping you into a fierce competitor or a more developed artist. But it isn’t. Anger is holding you back and impeding your ability to grow as an artist. Anger is stunting your emotional growth to a point where normal behaviour regresses; normal responses are replaced by scepticism, sarcasm and mistrust.

I’m a frequent acquaintance of Anger – he and I have hung out many times. Along with Worry, Anger is one of my two closest confidants. But I’m doing my best to hang out with more favourable emotions these days like Contentment and Peace. Sometimes, I even encounter Joy. I’m making new friends, and it feels alright.

Some time ago, I started a long-term working relationship with a client. Things were great at first. The connection began through a friend who worked there, which bridged the awkward early stages of a client/vendor relationship nicely into something that seemed quite healthy.

But as time went by I observed that things were not all roses with this organization. They had a difficult time embodying the positive persona they projected to the public. They disrespected staff and had unrealistic expectations of them. And if that was how they treated their own insiders, one can only imagine what their opinion of the contractors were.

I make every effort to permeate the culture of each client I partner with. The key word being partner. I look to build relationships wherever I can and strive to become a part of my client’s team. I know this isn’t always possible, and that it may very well sound like a pipe dream to even mention it, but it’s how I’m built. As time went on it became difficult to continue working with this client. Still I believed I needed the business, so I did what I could to press on. Eventually the professional relationship dissolved and we went our separate ways.

For a long time, this break up offended me. I took it personally and let anger seep into my thoughts and my opinion of the client was negatively exaggerated. I disliked talking about them and would even attempt to taint other’s opinions by my own jaded point of view. This was not doing me any good. My discontent was not going to bring me success, it would only sabotage my attempts to move forward.

Charles Swindoll compares anger to a flat tire or a dirty diaper: When left unattended, it will not correct itself. Sweeping my feelings of anger under the rug wouldn’t help. So I am facing my anger head-on, and seeking God’s help and the encouragement of others to change my perspective. I’ve held my grudge long enough. And what for? I’m sure this client does’t know that I had a beef with them. Why should my discontent concern them anyway? I don’t want the chip on my shoulder to negatively affect them in the way it has me. It’s time to move on.

Do what you can to purge whatever anger you hold on to today. Face it and confess to it, seek help and get back to being the best you you can be.

Cancelled memories

From my DayOne journal…

I don’t know much about the house I was born in, but I can vividly remember our house in Toronto. It was old, but bright and warm. After a couple of years we had the basement remodelled and I would spend just about every night down there on the sofa bed.

I’d spend most of Spring break playing with my G.I. Joe figures. I’d spread them out all over the basement stairs and along the railings and laundry room floor.

At some point my dad decided to punch out the living room walls and let the light from the covered stained glass windows shine through. The multicoloured brilliance of midday would reflect off the eggshell white paint and I felt just great about that. I’m guessing that was 30 years ago.

Tonight I tried writing an obituary for my Dad — a small tribute that runs in The Salvation Army’s magazine. I can think of a thousand and one things to say about Dad, but the act of putting it in writing is just exhausting. It’s painful too.

This hurt is lingering and doesn’t seem to be letting up. I’m not who I used to be, this much is true. I don’t write anymore. I cancel out memories of my childhood because every time I recall good times I do the math: You know, back then, he only had X number of years left…so stupid. It does’t make sense, but it’s what I do. For now at least.

My stained glass windows are covered over, and I don’t have the strength or even the willpower to do anything about it. In time perhaps I will. I’ll stop cancelling my memories and doing the math and everything will feel a little more “normal.” In time.

Looking forward to 2014


Staying the course

It is impossible to look ahead without first looking back. Like every year before it, 2013 had its ups and downs. Professionally, I am making a slow but steady climb back up from a devastating 2011 and a disappointing 2012.

I have come to learn that the road to success is long and not always smoothly paved. I am gaining the patience to see the big picture and to expect incremental–not sudden–changes in the growth of SamsonStudios. Building a successful business is a long-term investment of time, sweat and energy. Continue reading Looking forward to 2014

Small victories deserve rewards too

Taken from DayOne

Summer is over. I know this. But – Today as I was walking Ginnee – I couldn’t help but feel as if the sun had something else to say about the issue. The hot sun burned my arms as we walked out Columbus towards Rouge. It felt just right.

I finally completed (and sent off) my self-promo CV project and was feeling as if I deserved the time away from the office. Apparently the weather agreed with me.

I’m feeling accomplished today. In two ways: A) Like I’ve established myself in my field; and B) Like I’d accomplished a lot today. Little time was wasted. I can’t say that everyday.

These past two days we have had a third child in our house. One of Caleb’s school pals’ dad is out of town and we were asked to watch him for couple of nights. It was a real treat to watch Caleb (and Claire) interact with our houseguest. It was obviously a highlight for both boys and I can’t help but feel happy for Caleb. I think that like his old man, he deserved a treat.

I’m grateful for accomplished tasks and well-deserved rewards.


I don’t feel like writing today

Pulled from my Day One journal…

OK, I don’t feel like writing. I’ve hit the snooze on this entry several times. It’s frustrating really: I want to write more often – here (Day One) and on the blog – so why don’t i want to write?

Maybe it’s because I just read over an editor’s interpretation of my account of my time in Tanzania. For the most part it sounds like me, but there are instances where I don’t recognize my own voice. It’s weird being edited. Reinforcement mixed with violation. If that makes any sense.

Anyhow, another day punched and I’m off to make supper for the family. Grateful that I can close the door on my work tonight and focus on what’s important.