There was a time, when I was a kid, when I would fling myself around in what was affectionately known as a “tanty”. My arms would fly, my voice would raise, and I would behave as if the world was about to end. Believe me, I had some points that needed to be made, but admittedly, in hindsight, they could have been made a little more gracefully.
In my family, I was not the first to have a tanty. I was witness to chairs being thrown over balconies, grandmas yelling at grandchildren because they didn’t like brandy sauce and vice versa and family members yelling from one end of the table to the other. Somehow, these tanties always left a pleasing residue, and we would pat ourselves on the back because, unlike the majority, we really knew how to express ourselves.
As I have aged, and at 28 I have indeed aged, I am pleased to say that for me the tanty is generally a thing of the past. Except for this morning, when a piece of technology failed to deliver. Goddamn that piece of crap. I yelled, I screamed. Poor Elki tried to read a book with me, and after a page, I was too angry to go on, and had to hand her over to her father. She wasn’t happy and had her own tanty. It was miserable. I had descended into bad behaviour.
See, the thing is, that since I have met Greg, who isn’t a fan of my tanties, I have tantied no more. Apart for that one occasion when I dropped my bag onto the floor in a rage, and broke my camera, which of course was karma biting me on the bum. And because my tanties are generally a thing of the past, I feel better. It’s amazing how bad a tanty can make you feel. Unlike my family’s belief that tanties are great for the soul, as they allow you to release, I believe that tanties actually make you feel worse. For me, anger is fast followed by guilt and remorse. Which, as a Buddhist will tell you, is actually karma. A psychological reaction to mental action.
So when I flew off in a rage this morning because my Optus wireless device was not working, I immediately regretted my outburst and felt like crap. Especially because my daughter then proceeded to be upset. My tanty provoked another. Our children are sponges…absorbing everything we do. Of course we can’t always maintain perfect standards. Occasionally we have to be human. But for me it has been a good lesson in observing my actions. Beware, my child is watching and learning from me. And this is a lot like karma…my actions are reflected back at me, and the consequences are immediate. Next time my Optus wireless device fails me, someone please remind me that Elka will be copying my behaviour!