March Mad-Ness

"Cheryl Leutjen Writes"

I know “March Madness” refers to college basketball, but I’ve decided to co-opt the term. It’s high time, in my own opinion,  we had a month to honor our own various forms of madness, be it fury at the political scene or a pathological inability to pass up a cheese plate. 

And it seems like there’s more and more to be mad about every day. I feel the foundations of everything I once took for granted, all the “progress” we made ripped out from under us like Lucy snatching the football away before Charlie Brown can kick it. 

The problem is that I never learned how to be mad. Correction, I never learned how to express anger. Growing up, I was well-schooled in “Midwest Nice,” which is sometimes code for “superficial smiling while silently seething.” I feel my Midwest Nice veneer peeling off me like a Brazilian wax job—both excruciating and liberating.

Seething just isn’t cutting it anymore, and I’m struggling to find enough legal outlets for venting my fury. Which is the topic, believe it or not, of my blog post about yard sale-ing below.

And it’s not just me. NPR recently published an article about processing all the anger a lot of us are feeling. The article cites a Gallup Poll that shows 23% of people surveyed admitted feeling enraged a lot in 2022. The rest, I surmise, are lying. The article offers 4 steps to processing anger, the first of which is to name it: 

“Ignoring our emotions only makes them roar louder and come out sideways, 
but making space for anger can help us experience it so we feel calmer.”

So if acknowledging our anger is a good thing, why not devote a month to the endeavor, one that’s already conveniently nicknamed MADNESS? Someone hand me my scepter and crown, I hereby proclaim March it so. 


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