Based in Washington, Ross is a general manager of a food safety company. His musings explore life, work and every moment in between.

Emotional Range

I take pride in having a wide emotional range. This range includes the traditional laughter, anger, relaxed, confused and sad. It includes the less traditional of sulky, self-hating, judgmental, spontaneous, present and grateful. Each of these emotions has an impact on me. From my love of comedy (and memorizing movie lines and routines) to make me and others laugh, to crying at a commercial, my emotions help fuel my behavior. They have been present during all good and bad parts of my life. They have felt the euphoria of success, the agony of defeat, have made me feel shame and have challenged me to work harder. My emotions in many ways are the fuel for my soul. My emotions are my power.
 
As much as I love my ability to feel, I am not always in complete control of my emotions. I struggle to control my frustration, my anger and my stress in a meaningful way. Over ten years ago now, I was telling Jeff Miller about how frustrated I felt and how it was paralyzing me from getting anything meaningful done for the day. He told me to go home. If I was not able to get anything done, I didn’t need to be at work. It was then and there that I realized that learning to control my emotions was as important as having them. Going home would not help me fix the problem, it felt like failing. His advice helped me get better.
 
Lately, I have fallen into some of the same pressure and stress traps that hijack my emotional wellbeing. These days, I have much more at stake when I lose control of my emotions and I have to find a way to keep them under control. I can add a new emotion to my repertoire: meditative. Hiding on my phone is the “Calm” application. I became aware of it three years ago during a presentation at school. I remember thinking the speaker was a bit too much of a Boulder hippie (there’s that judgmental side) but downloaded the free app anyway. I had not used it until recently. The app is great. It leads me through a ten minute mediation that helps me re-center myself when I need it. When I have lost my balance and my emotions have become a hindrance instead of a help, Calm makes me refocus. I like the more meditative version of myself, but I much prefer staying in control of myself.

Mother's Day

On survival