Saturday, June 27, 2015

"Feelings...nothing more than Feelings!"

Recently my therapist advised me to get in touch with and honor my feelings. I sort of knew what she meant because my most popular feelings as a working mother are guilt, guilt...and guilt. Lately sadness has been popping up too with early menopause. If worrying about others was a feeling that would be my most popular feeling but it's not, it's a verb.

Anyway, I vowed this weekend to follow her advice and what better, more mature, introspective way to do that than going to see a Pixar movie with my teenage daughter. Before I reveal which movie and the outcome, let me reveal that my kids -- and most people for that matter -- do not really relish seeing movies with me because, well, I like to chat. I like to openly (but quietly) share my thoughts and questions about the film and just assume my seatmate does too. "Who is that guy and what historical relationship did he have with her and what did she just say?"Is a common movie question for yours truly. You get the point.

So the movie is about feelings. It's called, appropriately Inside Out and was actually suggested by my counselor and received stellar critical reviews. No matter that the characters are colorful animated feelings who live inside an 11-year-old girl's head and battle her confused state and each other after she moves from Minnesota to San Francisco and is, in short, miserable.

Big names and comedic actors including including Amy Poehler ("Joy"), Mindy Kahling ("Disgust") and some SNL actor I had never heard of named Bill Hader ("Fear") make the movie a comedy for all ages, except for this surreal "abstract thought" scene I'm sure would confuse even the most gifted 5-year-old. The show-stealer ironically is "Sadness" played by The Office alumnae Phyllis Smith. She is blue (of course) and hilariously mopey as a modern-day Eeyore. She truly wants to help but every thing she touches turns blue (=sad) so Joy wants her to just read manuals and try to stay out of the way. That's it on the spoilers.

It was about three-quarters through the movie in between laughter and tears I was wiping on my sweater (because gosh Dang-it I'd left my tiny Kleenex packet in the car!) when I finally GOT what my therapist was talking about. It's okay to be sad! Now some of you emotionally intelligent dim-wits may be saying, "Duh, we all have feelings...sad, happy...get over it!" But the thing is for many of us whatever gender, we are encouraged to suppress our feelings and act happy. Be satisfied with your lot and all that. Smile when your heart is breaking. All that crap.

Well, thanks to a little blue darling I'm gonna embrace my own little feelings. Jealousy? Bring it. Anger? I am woman! Of course, I'm hoping my feelings choose to cooperate most of the time because I can't always SHARE what I'm feeling or I might get fired, murdered, divorced or shunned. But I can feel my feelings. Honor them with a little salute, give them an inner hug, then let them mush around for awhile until it's time for me to eat, sleep or act like I am the professional, mature woman I am most often not.

This is gonna be fun....

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