Without going into a lot of detail, I wound up getting my feelings hurt today.
In the before-times, I was better - I think - at self-soothing after things like that, telling myself it didn't matter, that I was still an okay person, and all that. The criticism was probably justified but it was delivered more harshly than I would have delivered it to someone, and it stung. I mean, I was never great at letting criticism roll off me; I've always been sensitive. But I can tell it's gotten worse in recent months. I suspect part of it is a lack of positive casual human contact and all.
But then again - in lab students and I were hanging around (waiting for something to develop) and one of them referred to the person who was critical of me and said "I like them, but....wow, they've really been on edge lately" and I suspect that's part of it.
it doesn't make it a lot better knowing it's not me, perhaps, as much as it's the times, but still.
But these are awful and ungracious times, and I do see that people aren't extending grace to one another as much as they might. I try to. I don't always succeed and I admit I joked with the students that I probably mask my frustration better than some people but that I'm afraid there will come a day when I just snap and yell at someone because I'm at the end of my patience.
I guess for me, raised to try to be kind and gentle with people, it's hard to live in these times - I can't snap back at people; the few times I have in the past few years I've felt so terrible afterward that I swear I'll never respond like that again. So in the game of "kick the dog," I'm the dog who gets kicked, and I can't really lash back or lash out.
I took partial care of one of the issues; I will address others later, but I'm just tired and worn and sad and I find that I don't get the same satisfaction from my hobbies as I once did, where I can look at a thing and go "yes, this is good" and more and more - and I realize this is a bad tendency - I need someone to agree with me that it's good, I don't trust my own judgment any more.
But yeah. I need to find ways to self-soothe again, to somehow quiet my hurt feelings when I get them. I know I have no one willing to do that FOR me so I have to do it for myself.
(It's also hard because there are some people whose feelings I spend time managing; so it's like I have to care about other people's feelings as well as my own and no one cares much about mine, and it's kind of disheartening.)
Anyway. I saw this on Twitter this evening (from her official account, not sure who runs it) and I thought it was kind of nice. I can't quite parse out if she meant "when I was a child" (which is what I assume) or "I was an adult" (Which I admit I *hoped* at first, because then I could say "look, Ursula K. LeGuin did this too") but:
She had 57 stuffed animals.
I've not counted but I'd not be surprised to learn I had at least that many - perhaps even that many *on my bed* (most of them are small).
No, I don't really make up stories with them any more like I did when I was a kid; they are just kind of there, but I admit many nights I reach out and find one - whether it's Leopold the Leopard or one of the Ponies I crocheted or my Jinbesan whale shark - and squash it to my chest and yes, it makes me feel a little better, at least for a little while.