What do you do with the mad that you feel?

In keeping with my “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” mission of 2010, all that I can say about Tuesday is that it was challenging. Really, really challenging. Thanks to my mostly imaginary Vulcan heritage, I usually manage to keep my emotions under very tight control, but OH MAN SOMETIMES IT’S HARD because BITCHES BE TESTING ME. Usually I let my bad feelings max out at “grumpy” before I wrangle them back into line, but Monday night-slash-Tuesday morning I was genuinely, grade-A ANGRY. I went to bed angry, I woke up angry, I was angry while I ate my cereal. And trust me, nothing is awesome about angry cereal eating.

I was angrily drying my hair when a phrase popped into my head: “What do you do with the mad that you feel?” I’m not ashamed to admit that it took me a solid twenty minutes to figure out where it came from, but FIGURE IT OUT I DID. Growing up in the middle of nowhere, Australia we didn’t get Mister Rogers, but late last year–probably in response to a much less grumpy, but still grumpy mood of mine–someone sent me a video of a song called “The mad that you feel.” Here it is if you haven’t seen or heard it.

What do you do with the mad that you feel,
When you feel so mad you could bite?
When the whole wide word seems oh so wrong…
And nothing you do seems very right?

I probably could have bitten someone, to be honest, and that was a scary realisation. But this song is all about finding a constructive way to deal with your anger and, although biting the person who’d made me mad would have been SO SATISFYING I CANNOT EVEN TELL YOU…well, it’s not exactly constructive. And because out-and-out rage is a feeling that I don’t have very often, I don’t really have many existing protocols designed to handle it. But using what I’ve learned about other strong feelings, I know that letting negative emotions dictate your behaviour only ever hurts in the end.

What do you do? Do you punch a bag?
Do you pound some clay or some dough?
Do you round up friends for a game of tag?
Or see how fast you go?

So what did I do with the mad that I felt? I pulled on a pair of jeans, grabbed my camera and walked out into the amazingly perfect sunny day to take a very long and stompy walk. It’s always been my opinion that it’s much harder to feel cross when you’re out in the sunshine, especially when you’re wearing new combat boots.

And you know what? It totally worked. I came home two hours later, tired and warm and SMILING. Because you know what I noticed? IT’S SPRING, GUYS!


I call this “The Addams Family House” because…well, duh.

The first crocus of the season! Also, does anyone know if you spell it “croaking” if you’re saying that the crocuses are croaking? I’ve only ever heard this phrase, never seen it written. Is there an alternate spelling for this situation that I’m unaware of? Stupid primarily verbal figures of speech!

How Masonic.


I laughed for nine years.

. . .

It’s great to be able to stop
When you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong,
And be able to do something else instead
And think this song:

I can stop when I want to
Can stop when I wish.
I can stop, stop, stop any time.
And what a good feeling to feel like this
And know that the feeling is really mine.
Know that there’s something deep inside
That helps us become what we can.
For a girl can be someday a woman,
And a boy can be someday a man.

I’m a long way from being the woman I hope to be, but every day I get a little closer. Thanks, Mister Rogers. You’re a good dude.

Happy spring, everyone!


4 thoughts on “What do you do with the mad that you feel?


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