“If you think you’re enlightened, spend some time with your family”

Last night, I spent a couple hours working on a team project, trying to get our development environment setup for our team. I was using a Django Docker container that I had generated using Cookiecutter-Django, but I had forgotten to select the setting that checks in the local .env files. I had already deleted my local copy of the repo to test cloning it, so I had to start from scratch.

I wanted to have an answer file in case I needed to regen the project with Celery support or whatever, so that meant learning about Cookiecutter’s replay capabilities. After figuring that out I determined that the Git repo wasn’t setup properly, so I moved the old one on our uni’s GitLab and ran the whole procedure from one more time, pushing and recloning the entire repo down and deleting my Docker images and building the whole thing again to make sure my teammates wouldn’t have any problems running it themselves.

I popped into our team Discord channel to let everyone know, and found myself in a discussion about dropping Django and pivoting to Android Studio.

I was furious.

Not like annoyed, but actual rage. I felt my blood pressure go up and I had to try very hard to maintain my composure while I responded.

I’ve never been what I would describe as an angry person, in fact most of adult life I’ve been pretty good about not getting mad at people. Computers on the other hand… I’ve been able to deal with things pretty well, I’ve never been one of those guys who loses their cool, gets in fights or screams at people. The last few months though, I’ve been a bit more willing to allow myself to get mad, and I’m not sure whether or not it’s a good thing or not.

When I was younger, I did a great deal of holding things in. I had a lot of unrequited crushes; mostly they were unrequited cause I never let the other person know. But outside of issues around my sexuality, I don’t think things were ever a problem. Now I don’t know if my meditation practice has anything to do with it, or whether part of it is being a father and having young children, but I am definitely way more willing to let people know when I’m mad or upset. I’m sure part of it has to do with how I was raised and disciplined. I’ve probably internalized a lot of abuse — for lack of a better term — and have been struggling with how I deal with that and how I discipline my children.

While I was responding to the team, I made sure to voice my frustration without resorting to any personal attacks. I spent about ten or fifteen minutes trying to respond to a few points and finishing what I had came there to do, to let them know that I had redone the development repo. I said straight up that I was too mad at the suggestion that we drop our entire software architecture plan six weeks out from the end of the semester. I tried not to be snippy and sign off with some useful information, so I told them to let me know what they decide tomorrow.

I haven’t really been able to stop fuming about it since I signed off though. I woke up after an hour of going to bed and tried to read for a bit to go back to sleep, and still woke up an hour before my normal time. My sleep patterns have been a bit fucked and my wife is out of town, but it’s still an unusual pattern for me.

I don’t want to get into any more of the details of this, but want to close with a quote from the Dali Lama that comes to mind: “worrying is prayer in reverse”. Meditating on this incident and writing about it has already reduced some of the anxiety or stress that I was feeling. To circle back around to earlier about being more willing to experience the anger and allow myself to get mad, I want to close and note that it’s important that the anger doesn’t get bottled up inside, and flows out before it can do real harm.

I’m going to post this and move on with my day. Peace.

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