Many seasons, storms, and holidays ago, I (Anna) and my trusty co-blogger, Hannah, were introduced to the concept of the emotional calendar through our research with Dr. John Sharp, psychiatrist and author of The Emotional Calendar. This wasn’t the first book either of us helped research, but something about it was different. We couldn’t get it out of our heads. Everywhere we turned, every article we read, every conversation we had seemed to lead us back to the main idea: that seasons, weather, cultural events, and personal milestones and memory all profoundly impact something called our “emotional calendars.”
Everyone has an emotional calendar. You thought you were cranky and agitated last Saturday because your friend showed up 20 minutes late to dinner? Maybe so. But what if the reason was something deeper, something you didn’t even realize was affecting you?
Last fall was the first time it dawned on me that I was under the influence of an emotional calendar. It was October and once again it seemed to me that the leaves had changed from a lush green to firey tones of yellow, orange, and red practically overnight. That I had fallen asleep one night and been jostled from slumber the next morning by the “oohs” and “aahs” of the traveling leaf peepers.
I felt restless. I had an overabundance of nervous energy. I was itching to do something.
And then I realized what was happening.
After college, I decided to move abroad. But in order to finance that, I had to work through the summer, so I didn’t set off on my great adventure until October of that year (three points if you can see where I’m going with this).
Last October, the changing landscape, the smell of apples, and the overabundance of porches dotted with pumpkins were triggering that anticipatory excitement all over again. But this time there was no new country to explore and so, instead, I felt off balance.
This year I’ve prepared myself for this hot spot on my calendar. Again, I’m feeling a bit restless, but this time I’m directing my energy. I’m meeting new people, volunteering for more organizations, and appreciating the crisp New England air. Oh, and I’m planning a trip to Prague and Vienna, because really, it’s about time for another epic adventure!
And, of course, I’m starting this blog with Hannah with the hope that through writing, we will both become more aware of our emotional calendars and embrace them with newfound appreciation.
How is your emotional calendar influencing you?