Posts Tagged With: kindness

an inexperienced yet somehow expert road tripper

Thursday morning two weeks ago at 7:17am EDT Baby K, YBW, and I left home for Georgia.
(If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you’re wondering about 7:17. My goal was to leave by 7:00 and we ran seventeen minutes behind. In the grand scheme of life seventeen minutes off schedule isn’t too bad and I quickly let it go.)

Baby K hadn’t made that trip since July of 2020 when her family moved here. She had no memory of making that trip. She had no concept of ‘road trip’. But with a bit of explanation and creative encouragement she was ready for the undertaking.

We had the right mix of toys, books, stuffies, and snacks. We had the right kind of attitude. We had a new and improved route. We had a girl eager to see her mom and dad.

Now, I’m here to tell you Thing 1 and Thing 2 were experts at car travel. They had more miles under their butts before they were out of car seats than many adults out there. Between their auntie in Charleston and their grandparents in Florida, my girls were experienced over the road travelers.
Turns out it must be genetic because Baby K was a delightful car traveler.

We stopped often enough for her to stretch her legs and go potty, and for YBW and I to switch driving. She ate enough snacks, read enough books, napped enough, and chatted and sang enough to entertain herself and us.


You’ll notice the busyboard to her right, the snack bag to her left, a cup of water in each cupholder and an apple core in her lap where it rested while she slept.

Our journey took a little over twelve hours.
Never once did that kid complain.
Never once did that kid whine.
She was content.
She was funny and playful.
She was kind and loving.

She was a better traveler than some adults I know.

She shrieked, “Momma! Daddy! I see Momma and Daddy! Daddy! Momma! I here! We here!” when we pulled into the driveway at her Nana’s house where her parents stood on the porch.
Her joy was reflected on the faces of her mom and dad.
She was with the people she belonged with and she was joyful!

Monday the following week, Thing 1, Baby K, YBW and I began the return journey.
(Husband N came home the following weekend.)
While we were packed a little tighter than we were going down, we managed to share snacks and waters and songs and conversations. We stopped for chicken biscuits and to pee on the side of the road. (potty chair to the rescue)
Somewhere between Columbia, SC and Charlotte, NC my car’s AC stopped blowing cold air.
(WHAT THE ACTUAL FUUUUUCK?)

Y’all, never once did any of us complain.
Never once did any of us whine.
Never once did any of us lose our temper.
We made the best of a bad situation.
I’m still not sure who lead the best example, us for Baby K or her for us.
She only expressed once that she was hot.
When she expressed not liking the road noise she understood when we explained it was either noise or heat, she chose noise. I mean, we didn’t really give her a choice, but she agreed that noisy air was better than being hot.

We made it home in just less than twelve hours.
YBW adjusted the temperature of the house via app from the road so we were nice and cool the moment we got home.
Baby K was happy to sit in the chair and watch Mira, Royal Detective while we unloaded the car.
We brought Thing 1 and Baby K here to our house because it was closing in on bedtime and we could share the responsibility easier together. I took them home (in YBW’s air conditioned car) Tuesday morning.
Sundance stayed with the dogs and cats and welcomed us home when we arrived Tuesday morning. Of course Baby K wouldn’t even look at her and Thing 1 and I were so tired we barely made conversation, but somehow she knew our gratitude and left us with big hugs.
After putting Baby K in bed for her nap (I got to rock her which I haven’t done in such a long time!) I helped Thing 1 change her bed and left those girls to their own devices.

Somehow a three year old girl, inexperienced in the fine art of road tripping, turned out to manage it like a dang expert!
I can’t explain it, but I’m certainly here for it.
She did have great help from her mom and grandparents, I’m just sayin’.

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mind your business

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This is what my brain feels like.

Ever since June twenty-fourth I’ve struggled to make sense of the world around me, but mostly I feel like that shit-show up there.

Look, I understand there are differing opinions regarding abortion. I’m not opening this up for differing opinions to hate on each other. This has been so heavy in my heart and I’m trying to make sense of it. I’ve journaled. I’ve had conversations with people I trust, people who’s opinions differ and are similar to my own.
But I’m still struggling with how to wrap my brain around it.

Is abortion always the answer?
I don’t believe so, but how could I possibly know what’s the answer for another woman?
Is it up to me to decide what’s the answer for another woman?
Absolutely not.
And here’s why: It’s none of my fucking business what’s the answer for another woman.

Unless you’re the one that’s pregnant mind your business.
That’s the bit that matters most.

What I believe is different than what she believes is different than what he believes is different than what you believe.
And no one wants (nor should they have) to live their lives according to another’s beliefs.

I believe in the right to choose.
But for me pro choice isn’t always pro abortion.
For me pro choice means it doesn’t matter what I believe about abortion, it’s not up to me to make decisions about what an another woman can or cannot do with her own body.

What’s happening in this country is more than negating bodily autonomy from (approximately) 170 million women. So many of whom already lack access to appropriate medical care.
It is an attack on women.
It is an attack on girls.

Abortion is a hot button topic. I get it.
No one will change their mind.
No one will choose to see the other side of the debate.
But that isn’t the point.
The point is each of us must do the ultimate kindness and mind our own damn business.

(This was me trusting y’all and it’s still not quite what I hoped to get out. I’ll be over here continuing to sort out how to feel. Let me know what you think but please don’t come at me. Abide no hatred.)

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

all that compounded smartness

I felt anxious Monday.
Literal low-level thrumming in my body.
This list is enormous!
Three weeks sounds like a long time, but it’s not.
How will I get this done?
How will I be ready for the movers?

My logical brain knew all that was straight up bullshit.
My logical brain knew I’d planned everything out to the nth degree.
My logical brain knew I was prepared.

But my feels were actively attempting to run the show.
That physical vibration was convincing as hell.

To thwart the feels, I over-functioned my ass off.
So much so that I crossed off everything for the week of July 11-17 on my moving list that very day.
But that wasn’t good enough.
I had to do stuff scheduled for the following week too.
I had to get more done.
On Monday.
Of the second week.

This is where I was when I went to bed Monday night.
Monday July 12.

What you don’t see crossed off are two things I actually started working on.
pack bathroom and linen closet
pack clothes

I was chatting with Thing 1 about how I was feeling. She was loving and encouraging. But I simply couldn’t shake the feels.
She was quite clear that I shouldn’t overwhelm myself right before the finish line.
(it’s like she knows me)
I assured her I knew it wasn’t real. That logically I was even more on target than my prep work suggested I be. But I sure as hell felt a way about it.

We talked later in the day when I finally stopped and sat down.
In this conversation I was finally able to verbalize what I was feeling anxious about. I wasn’t sure how to pack all the random things so the movers would take them. I didn’t want to waste boxes I might need for dishes on laundry room things, etc.
It was then I began to realize my panic wasn’t only about being ready on time, it was also about being properly packed so the movers could be successful.
Thing 1 was like, “Uh…Momma. You can put stuff in your car and take it over there.”
(but actually kinder than that sounds)

Her words created an instantaneous shift in me.
My body was still even though my brain was thrumming – with realization!
I didn’t have to pack up anything awkward. I could simply put it in the car.
Y’all! My girl saved the day!
I often tease her that she’s smarter than me. She doesn’t see it that way. She calls it ‘compounded smartness’. That she’s as smart as she is because I’m as smart as I am and she simply built upon it.
(something like that, I think she explains it better)
Either way, she saved the day.

The container we packed in March is being delivered Wednesday of that last week and being unloaded first thing Thursday morning.
Thing 1 offered to meet me at this house after they’re finished at the new house. We’ll each load up a vehicle and take it to the new house.
Then anything that doesn’t really go into a proper box, or anything we’ll need straight away will be there ready for us.
YBW is staying at the new house because the smart home guys will be there working their magic. So he’ll pack up his car the night before instead of coming back home with me.
Those three loads will carry all the awkward things, and the movers can do the rest.

I’m still properly planned.
I’m ahead of schedule.
I’m perfectly still inside.
Like some sort of organizational ninja, this move won’t even see me coming.

This is an excellent example of why we must talk about feeling a way. Just because our logical and emotional selves are at odds, doesn’t mean there isn’t a solution.
In my case, the solution was someone looking at it from a different perspective.
Someone who knows and loves me, and had the patience to listen even though she knew I wasn’t making any kind of sense.
Grown children know what’s up.
It’s all that compounded smartness.

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

accentuate the positive (and weird)

Y’all, my husband is a precious man.
I mean a truly precious man.
When he asked about my day and I told him I was feeling a way (mood) he began suggesting things he could do to help. From providing me with things to keep me occupied, (things he knew I didn’t really want to do) to coming up with things he could do to be helpful.
When I told him I appreciate him trying to help make it better, but I didn’t need him to fix it. He told me knew that, but he wants to help fix it because he loves me. And I honestly couldn’t argue with that.

We talked about me going to Thing 1’s. He inquired about girlie hotel weekend with Thing 2. She’s on the way regardless of which direction I’m heading.
This man is over here like, I can’t make it better for you, but if being with one or both of your girls will, I can make that happen.

He’s been very clear during the pandemic about how he understands his life is much more normal than most of the rest of us. He goes to work every day every other week, so those weeks feel normal. He gets out. He sees people. He gets do do the work he loves doing.
And I know how lucky we are!
We aren’t worried about how to pay the mortgage, or feed ourselves, or whether or not there’s enough loo paper.
We don’t have little kids at home who need to stay safe and continue to be educated.
We don’t have elderly parents to worry about.
Our kids are safe and healthy.

I’m quick to get frustrated.
And my husband often bears the brunt of that. I mean, sometimes he’s part of the situation, sometimes he’s just in the line of fire. But I hope he really understands how precious he is to me.
We had a conversation over the weekend in which I shared my concern that he never hears the good stuff. That he only hears negativity and criticism. I suggested that predated me. I’m not saying that I can’t be critical, because I can.
I’m hopeful he’s listening more for the good stuff.

My feels for this man are deep and wide.
We were meant to find each other in this life, but only when we were truly ready to accept the other with an open heart.
I waited my whole life for YBW.
He was worth the wait.
He told me “I think I’m falling in love with you.” the first time we were in the same physical space after dating over the phone and email for a couple of months. The smartest thing I ever did was decide to trust him.
His love and his kindness are without measure.
His desire to do all he can for the people he loves is bigger than he is.
His sense of humor is twisted and kind of gross, yet he continues to amuse me.
He’s creepy and weird but it somehow compliments my own creepy weirdness.

He has loved me though the last ten years with a kind and playful heart.
I am grateful for his willingness to fix my problems even when I don’t need him to.
Him simply being him eased my anxious heart and helped me feel more calm and settled.
I am grateful to feel safe in his love.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

the responsibility of farmers and pigs

It’s YBW’s week back to work and he went in today to get a jump start. I’m not sure when but he was gone when I woke at 8:25.
I showered and got dressed and went downstairs.
Out the front door sidelights I saw the front yard, and thought, Damn, we didn’t tell the kid to mow the lawn.
I went into the kitchen and got excited when I saw a piece of paper at his place at the table.
(I got excited! YBW asked him to mow, so I wouldn’t have to. The kid often behaves as though what I say doesn’t always apply to him.)

Then I read the note.

Thing G,
Comb your hair before you go to work.
–Dad

And I was hit with the full force of the truth.

The reason the kid doesn’t think about anything but himself is because he’s not encouraged to.
He takes no responsibility as a human being and member of this household because he isn’t expected to.

We’re in tricky treacherous territory now. Because this is when it becomes personal for YBW. This is when he hears me say he’s a failure as a father.
Only, I’m not saying that.
I think he’s a kind and loving father. In fact, it’s one of the things I’ve always loved most about him. He’s even kind and loving to my children, not because he has to, but because he can.
I don’t think he’s failed as a father. I think he’s raised his children exactly the way he was raised.
How can that be a fail?
He has taken care of them with all the love and kindness he possesses.

Taken care of them to such a degree that one doesn’t have to worry about helping maintain his household.
Taken care of them to such a degree that one doesn’t even have to worry about helping himself.

Thing G will be twenty years old in forty-three days. He is so well loved and taken care of he doesn’t even need to remember to comb his own hair.

My husband was raised by a stay at home mother who literally did everything for the household.
Since the divorce of their parents, YBW’s sons were raised by a full time working father who did everything for the household.
He parented the way he was parented.
His love is evident in that he did everything for his children.

How is this a fail?
My husband isn’t a failure as a dad.
He love his children.
He takes good care of them.

He is responsible for them. Well, one of them anyway.
He bears all the responsibility for Thing G.
We talk often of transferring the responsibility from the father to the son.
I still haven’t figured out if it’s that YBW doesn’t know how, or if he doesn’t want to.
He talks about how he wants the kid to be educated or have a job and be able to ‘be in his own place’ and be responsible for his own life.
Simply put, the kid lacks the skills.
The kid lacks the skills because he’s still being told to comb his hair.
But not to mow the lawn.
Not to participate as a member of this household.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what that actually means.
Is is mixed messages?
Is it lack of effort on any or all parties?
Is it the never ending excuse of his diagnosis?
I legit don’t know.

What I do know is that there is an adult in this household that doesn’t participate in the day to day goings on.
Does it come down to expectations?
Does the kid meets the expectations presented to him…?
If this is what YBW expects from his son, and his son meets these expectations perfectly, then I am the one with misguided expectations.

At minimum, I expect adult members of a household carry their own weight. Ideally, to participate in the day to day operations to help things run smoothly.
I expect adults to know they’re supposed to comb their hair without being told.
I expect adults to know their responsibilities and to execute them without being told.
I expect adults to be respectful when they need to be reminded of their responsibilities.
There are thousands upon thousands of responsible non-neurotypical humans on this planet.
I’m past the point of being willing to teach.
It’s not my job.
I refuse to take on the responsibility of someone who won’t be responsible for himself.

There is nothing healthy about this situation.
Not for me.
Not for YBW.
Not for the kid.

I’m so tired, y’all.
Tired of living in a situation I didn’t create.
Tired of watching the toll it takes on the man I love.
Tired of watching the kid waste his life.
Tired of feeling helpless and hopeless in what’s supposed to be my home.

I worked so hard to accept what I can’t change. And I even went so far as planning to accept that change may never come.
There is a common expression, but I like Thing 2’s version,’Not my pig. Not my farm.’
It’s easy to say that.
Thing G is not my pig and this is not my farm. However, when I joined my life with YBW I willingly took some responsibility for that pig and this farm.
My question is when does the responsibility shift from the farmer to the pig?
Can I accept that day may never come?

At this stage of the game, these constant reminders to do things for which you’re responsible should not exist.
But that’s the thing, right?
He’s not actually responsible for anything.
Not unloading the dishwasher.
Not mowing the lawn.
Not even combing his own hair.
How can one be expected to be a responsible member of a household, or be responsible to create one’s own household if they’re not actually expected to be responsible?

Y’all I don’t know the answer to any of these questions.
I truly need to learn to stop asking.
It would take the pressure off my husband.
It would make my life so much simpler.
And if I’m not entirely comfortable in life, the least I can do is simplify it.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

say it to my face

There’s an episode in season four of Mad Men in which Peggy does a presentation with lipstick on her teeth. The guys think it’s funny, but it wasn’t. She didn’t care because the pitch went well, and the client loved it.

I was on the phone with Thing 2 and after telling her about it, I said, “You know what it reminds me of?”
Without hesitation she says, “Booka!”
(Booka was name Thing 1 and Thing 2 called their father’s mother.)
My former mother in law was notorious for going about with lipstick on her teeth. And do you know no one would ever tell her. Well, that buck stopped here. (*points at self*)

Now, what y’all don’t know is that this mother in law was the born the same decade as my grandparents, so to say there was a generation gap is an understatement. But I never understood why people just let her go about her life with lipstick on her teeth!

So there we are, at some family thing (they had a huge extended family). She was sitting with a group of ladies, and I walk up with Thing 1 on my hip to hug her. I discreetly rub my finger over my teeth. She smiles and repeats the gesture before showing me her teeth. I give her the all clear.
She walks away with her son and I sit down in the seat she vacated.
I am instantly barraged by the hens.
Apparently I shouldn’t talk about things like that. It simply isn’t done. On top of that, I was disrespectful. I was rude. I wasn’t properly raised because young people don’t behave that way to their elders. etc.
(Fortunately my mother wasn’t there, she would have told them a thing or two about being raised properly.)
Well, I smile and pick up my daughter before I say as politely as possible, “I told her because I respect her. She shouldn’t have to go around like that because none of you are kind enough to tell her.”

She came to me later apologizing for the little old ladies. She expressed her gratitude. Literally no one ever told her but me and she was grateful.
What was their motivation? Do you just not talk about things ‘like that’? Were they secretly amused? To be perfectly honest, they were some of the nastiest women I’ve ever been around, and I suspect they liked that she was unaware.

This story got me thinking…
Surely y’all have seen this meme or at least something like it?

Isn’t it lovely to think it could be this way?
But is it our reality?
Girls are often told one thing, and shown another.

Girl Power should include all girls. It rarely does. Girls often learn to look out for themselves without real thought for each other.
You’ve heard it:
Slut.
Bitch.
The C word.
Did you see what she was wearing?
She has lipstick on her teeth.
Her dress is tucked into her tights.

There is pointing and behind the back conversations.
I’m not saying I’ve never talked shit about another girl behind her back, but I don’t think it’s right.

If my tag is hanging out, please tell me.
If I’ve got lipstick on my teeth, please tell me.
If you’re nasty about it, great. At least do it to my face, right?

I want to be a woman in a world in which we all adjust each other’s crowns without telling the world they were crooked.
It’s hard enough to be a girl/woman in this world without us being against each other. It really isn’t all that difficult to treat each other with kindness and respect.
We’ve been taught we’re nothing. While also being told we can be whatever we want.
Mixed messages.
That’s the life of a girl in our world.
It shouldn’t be.
It doesn’t have to be.
Yet here we are, tearing each other down for our own amusement.
We hardly need the patriarchy to hold us back, we’re so busy doing that to each other.

But there are women and girls out there who are kind. They treat themselves and other women with the respect every human being deserves. They are our inspiration.
That’s what the sisterhood should be.
We have to keep at it.
Less shit talk.
More crown straightening.
Starting with our own.
Tell me when there’s lipstick on my teeth, because you can damn sure bet I’ll tell you.
But not because I’m mocking or attempting to insult you, I want you to know so you can put your best foot forward. We have enough stacked against us, let’s not be against each other.

OK, this went a way I didn’t expect. But there you have it.
I didn’t realize how something so seemingly irrelevant was actually a pretty big deal.
Maybe being trapped at home is getting to me?
I don’t know.
Let’s just fucking be kind to, and stop judging each other, OK?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , | 18 Comments

conceptual interpretation or more what you’d call guidelines

Laurie at Meditations in Motion wrote a post in which she quoted this bible verse:

‘A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.’ Luke 6:45 (NIV)

Now this got me thinking.
It reminded me of a post I wrote in November. I was examining the difference between what’s in my heart and what comes out of my mouth. I questioned the obvious disconnect between my intention and action.

Normally I’m not about the literal interpretation of scripture. For me it’s more conceptual.

Suddenly, I am reminded of something Barbossa said.

But I digress…

This verse kicked me square in the solar plexus. That kick feels more literal than conceptual. So today, the bible and I are going to get literal.
I find myself asking questions. (Who knew?)
What is in my heart?
Is it where I store good or evil?
Is my mouth speaking what’s in my heart?

I wrote this in that November post:
Here’s my truth.
I honestly have love and kindness and compassion in my heart.
When I say my intention is to do everything in love. It’s not bullshit. I’m as serious as I can possibly be.
I believe in the power of kindness. The power of compassion. The power of love.
They’re our super powers!

So why is that not reflected in what my mouth spews?

Luke tells us that Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Am I actually storing good in my heart?
Is my heart filled with kindness, compassion, and love just because I want it to be?

Not to be overly dramatic, but I’m seriously experiencing a crisis over this.
My words reveal my heart.
Not only to others, but also to me.

Here’s what’s up.
My words are not always kind.
I believe in the power of kindness, compassion, and love, yet I don’t always practice what I believe.
Does that mean I have evil stored up in my heart?
Am I just spewing what is in my heart?
The literal interpretation of that makes me queasy.

So let’s look at this conceptually.
Can it be that there is both good and evil stored up in my heart?
Can I create an environment in my heart in which good grows and just kind of kicks evil’s ass?
Is this a case of feelings follow actions? If I speak good words will good store up in my heart?

I must listen to my words. Not just the words I say to others, the words I say to myself. To God. I must determine if my words reflect what is in my heart.
This is a time for both literal and conceptual interpretation.
A time to ask and answer the hard questions.

I wrote this in that November post:
What I’m really understanding for the first time is that my intentions and my actions are at odds.
I have much work to do.
I want my intentions and actions to become much more cohesive.

I’m nowhere near finished with this.
I do have much work ahead of me.
I will journal about this.
I will keep asking questions and doing my damnedest to answer them.
I will be brutally honest with myself. With God.

I want my concept of what’s in my heart to be my absolute truth. I want what comes out of my mouth to reflect that truth.
Do everything in love.
I believe that with every fiber of my being.
Surely there is good stored up in my heart.
Time to put my mouth where my heart is.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

What *is* Mr Rogers responsible for?

Mr. Rogers: Responsible for the Entitlement Culture?
I saw this article when I was researching for a lesson plan I’m writing.
Initially the title gave me pause.
Then my hackles went up. And y’all I mean WAY up.
To even suggest this goes against everything Mr Rogers!

Of course I had to read it because I was getting bent over a title.

One of the things I learned from Mr Rogers is I’m special because I’m me. I have a responsibility to bring what’s unique about me into the world and hopefully make it a better place.
Mr Rogers was pretty clear that I owe myself to the world, not the other way around.


What are we doing with what we have?
Would Mr Rogers be proud of us?

Categories: education, me | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

when wit turns mean

I have love, compassion, and kindness in my heart, but biting sarcasm coming out of my mouth.

What does it look like when wit turns mean?
Can one be of dry wit with the perfect bit of snark without crossing over to critical, hurtful, sarcasm?
Being playful, is that little bit of snarky humor without being unkind?

These are the questions I’m asking myself today.

Now, you may be aware of this quote.

I mean, come on, we have to admit Oscar Wilde was witty.
What interests me about this particular quote is I’m actually inclined to agree. Sarcasm, not super witty. But those who wield sarcasm are quite possibly using their intelligence, and instincts to point out what they observe about the world around them.
The more ‘intelligent’ (intuitive, instinctive, aware) you are the more you observe. The more you observe the more you understand. The more you understand the more you remark upon. The more you remark upon the more critical you can become.
That makes a kind of sense to me.

YBW and I were having a conversation with our therapist about helping each other feel safe. This kind of morphed into a discussion about him being butthurt (he used this word, I’m not being intentionally hurtful) when I’m “being myself” and saying whatever thing I’m thinking or feeling. Actually, it isn’t as much my words as it is my facial expressions.
Apparently when I think I’m making a “You sure about that?” face, what actually appears is a disapproving look.

This ‘face situation’ happens with positive emotions too. If I’m happy, y’all will know it!
(and that’s why I don’t play poker)
Most of what shows on my face and comes out of my mouth does not reflect what’s actually happening in my brain. Meaning, oftentimes what I’m actually thinking is much more kind than what my face shows.

According to Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D., sarcasm is really just hostility disguised as humor.

Am I hostile?!?
Do I attempt to mock or show contempt?!?
Do I honestly think I’m better than other people?
(Let’s be real, I am better than some people. I mean, for the most part I am a helpful, productive member of society. That said, am I walking the walk that matches the talk I’m talking?)
Here’s my truth.
I honestly have love and kindness and compassion in my heart.
When I say my intention is to do everything in love. It’s not bullshit. I’m as serious and I can possibly be.
I believe in the power of kindness. The power of compassion. The power of love.
They’re our super powers!

So why is that not reflected in what my mouth spews?
Why is it I can express my love, my kindness, my devotion a thousand million times, but the three times I express something like, “Don’t be stupid.” that’s what becomes internalized? When I say, “Don’t be stupid.” It’s not that I actually think the subject, or person, or whatever is stupid, I’m jut saying something off the cuff, something that to me means more like, “That’s a silly thing.” And mostly I mean it in a playful way.
Which leads us to intention.
For the most part, my intention is to just be “stupid” myself, by saying or doing something off the cuff. Off the cuff means I’m not putting any thought into it.
Not. Putting. Any. Thought. Into. It.
Whoa!
I’m not being mindful. I’m just saying whatever comes into my mind as fast as it comes.

I’m not hostile! (well, sometimes I am) I’m simply not paying attention. I’m not being mindful.
Words can and do hurt.
Dry wit is funny.
Snark can be funny.
Sarcasm is hurtful.

I don’t understand why I’m just now realizing that.
I learned that meanness as a small child. I learned that was how you communicate. My mother was more sarcastic than I could ever dream of being! But she was hostile. And she was chock-full of contempt.
I didn’t know. I didn’t know then what I know about her now.
I didn’t know that being mean was not the way I should treat people.
Only, I didn’t know it was mean. I thought that was how people who loved each other functioned.

Oh, I’m not making excuses, I understand that sometimes sarcasm sounds unkind.
What I’m really understanding for the first time is that my intentions and my actions are at odds.
I have much work to do.
I want my intentions and actions to become much more cohesive.
I’m journaling my ass off getting ready for my appointment with my own therapist next week.

I’ve been fighting to reach perfection my entire life!
Perfection is the big lie!
Being critical of others might make one feel perfect…but perfection isn’t truly achievable.
Being the best possible you is the only thing you can really strive for.

Damn.
It’s true what they say about learning something new each day. Kinda wish I’d known all this a bit sooner though.
I’m not entire finished with this thought process. There’s more to it. I’m going to give it a good think and get back to you.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I don’t give a f**k who judges me

The post I wrote the other day about managing my expectations seemed to elicit a great deal of response.
And what I love most about that is each one of those thoughts or opinions had kindness at the root.

Most of you were sympathetic but not judgey. I thank you for that.
This blog is filled with my thoughts. My perceptions of my life. I’m never ever going to point a finger and decree that I’m a billion percent right and the other person is a billion percent wrong. That’s not how life works.
I know I’m difficult.
I can be a real dick when I get frustrated.
I have been known to make bad choices in how I behave or react, however the underlying stuff is real.

I want to thank you for your kindness in choosing your words when you shared your thoughts with me. Your words were sympathetic, they came from a place of knowledge of circumstance. For the most part they were not blaming, and some even shared great ideas about how to circumvent the food drama!
I appreciate the positive feedback.

That morning, I got a message from Thing 1 in our group chat saying she’d read the post and wanted to know how I was. It was right as I was getting to work. I thanked her and promised to talk later.
She texted me in the afternoon that the post concerned her and asking how I was.
I assured her I was fine then explained that I was frustrated and being a dick but didn’t feel like I was terribly wrong.
Her response:
“I’m sure you are. And I’m sure you were a dick, but I still feel like Thing G shouldn’t be running the freaking show.”

We talked a great deal about how much growth there’s been.

About how most of the way he behaves isn’t really his fault. He’s adapted to it. I don’t believe there is purpose or malice in his actions. I believe he’s been insulated from being engaged in his life since his diagnosis, and simply doesn’t have the tools.

This is not to say I blame his parents. They did what they had to do to function as a family. They did what they had to do to make sure he was safe to himself and other children. Every family functions differently. And they did what worked for them.
Only now it doesn’t work.
The kid flat refuses to engage in his own life. He simply puts forth the least amount of effort to get by. Sure, that’s teenage behavior, but this is different. Most teens desire to GTFO of their parent’s house. They desire to be in control of their own choices, etc. (As adults we see the ironic hilarity, but we’ve all been there.)
This kid literally wants to eat crackers or ramen, drink soda, and play video games all day every day. My interpretation of that behavior is this is someone who is not engaged in his own life.
That’s cool if that’s your choice. And if you can find a way to eat and drink trash and play video games all day and remain solvent I say, bravo!
But I refuse to sacrifice my own comfort so that he can continue to live the life of Riley.

This kid isn’t actually the problem. The kid is simply the lightning rod of focus for the problem.
As I see it, the problem is that his family sacrificed their own personal comfort for his.
And y’all I get that! What parent or older sibling hasn’t done it!?!?
Though in most families as children age and develop that behavior changes. We expect kids to learn that we all have feelings. Needs. Things that make us comfortable or uncomfortable.
We expect them to respect these things in others.
I know I’m guilty of behaving as though the world revolves around my girls, especially Thing 2.
I own it. I know I do it. I admit I do it.
There are two huge differences.
The first is I don’t expect anyone else to do it.
The second is they’re engaged, and however they struggle, they’re actively participating in their own lives.

Every parent makes sacrifices for their children. That’s part of being a parent.
Older siblings sometimes make sacrifices for their younger siblings, that makes sense, but still doesn’t seem all that acceptable. But I’m the big sister, so I know it just sometimes is.
This becomes a problem when everyone else is expected to behave in the same manner. It’s not other people’s job to put the comfort of someone else’s child, sibling, etc. above their own. And in all honesty, I don’t believe YBW and his family ever consciously expected that behavior from others, and they certainly never verbalized it. I feel like it was and remains very obvious by the way everyone functions.

I don’t think YBW is wrong for wanting to sacrifice for his kid.
I don’t think he’s an an idiot or stupid.
And I will own the fact that I’m judgey as fuck.
Judgey. As. Fuck.
But I don’t judge him for doing what he believes is best for his son. I’ve done what I believed best for my girls, sometimes it worked perfectly, sometimes I cocked it right up.
No one else has been in our hearts, in our families, it isn’t for another to tell anyone how to raise their children.
I’m guilty of pointing out what his kids don’t know. That doesn’t mean I think he failed. It means I don’t understand why they don’t know how to do X. And instead of examining that, YBW thinks I’m saying he failed as a parent.
Dude. We all fail as parents. I just want people to bring in the mail and trash can when they walk right past it every damn day.

What bothers me so much is that he continues to put the desires of that particular kid above everyone else’s. He doesn’t even know he’s doing it. And he sacrifices so much of himself for that kid.
The difference between YBW and me is that I refuse to do it. I will not choose Thing G’s comfort or happiness over my own.
Because I don’t want to. And because it’s not what’s best for any one.
I’m choosing to do what’s best for me.
Just because I don’t like it, or I won’t do it, doesn’t mean I’m judging him for doing it. It just means I won’t make the same behavior choices he makes. My emotional and physical comfort are important in their own right. No more no less than anyone else’s.
And when I see him sacrifice his, I don’t like it because I believe he deserves more. But I can’t make that decision for him. I can only make that decision for myself.

I spent a long time talking with a friend who also has a child diagnosed with autism. Here’s what I see, in their family, it’s just a thing. It means some tweaking here and there. It means she’s (the mom) working hard to meet everyone’s individual needs. But she’s not letting that diagnosis run their lives.
In this family it is everything. And because it is everything all the tweaking must be done around the diagnosed. It means everyone should work hard to meet the diagnosed’s needs. The diagnosis runs all our lives.
This is not the fault of the kid with the diagnosis. It’s not even the fault of his parents. It is simply the way it is.
I don’t choose to function that way.
I don’t choose for my children to be expected to function that way.
I don’t choose people who enter this house to be expected to function that way.

I don’t believe the desires of one should rule the many.
I mean come on! There were revolutions about shit like that.

I love my husband.
Like, in ways that sometimes have no words! I want to be with him in the life we build. And I want to get old with him.
I want him to feel loved. To feel understood. To feel like I’m in it with all I’ve got, not that he’s something I have to endure.
Right now, I think the best way to do that is to be quiet. Just be quiet and do my thing. Just be quiet and let him do his thing. Because clearly talking about it makes me a dick and him a failure.
I want to stop putting each of us through that.

Only this is a conversation worth having, and because we’re in it for the long haul, we have to figure it out how to have it successfully. Last night we talked a little and seemed to get to a place that’s better. So good for us!

I will be the first to admit I want what I want.
But not at the expense of others.
And that is the little nugget of truth I cling to.
Therefore, it seems just that I expect the same from others.

I choose not to live my life for anyone but me.
I believe YBW judges me for it.
I accept that.
I am not ashamed.
I feel no guilt.

I did the hard work of raising my children. I do the hard work of being the mother of adult women.
I did and continue to do the hard work of keeping myself safe and sane.
I do the hard work of marriage to a man I love all the way to Pluto and back.

I’m doing the best I can to live my intention.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians: Do everything in love.
I’m over here working to do everything in love and still have a sense of self.
I own my truth.
I don’t give a fuck who judges me.

Categories: love, me, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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