Thursday, September 27, 2012

More affirmation

In all the whining I've been doing lately, I got a couple clue-by-four swacks to the skull. And then I got knocked down about a thousand pegs last week when a few people in my life lost a friend to suicide. Sadly, I didn't know him, but I had met him and he seemed like a good guy. Hearing about those involved, and the lot they were handed in life, certainly makes mine and the challenges I've had from childhood to now, look like a freaking cake walk. Then 2 friends ended up in the hospital (same building actually).

I mean, if the worst of my day is wondering how the hell I'm going to cover my bills, then I have really no true reason to whine.

Then, the other day, I forgot my electronic leash at home, and didn't have a yarny project in the mom-bus either. I had a magazine in my midst  though, and enjoyed the quiet while waiting for my son to come out of JROTC drill practice, as the Blur slept, and the cool breeze wafted through my opened windows. If I'd had a folding camp chair in the back like I have done before, I would have sat outside in front of my van to read.

I picked up where I'd previously left off in the magazine, and as I turned the pages, found this blurb about connecting with people. And it just made sense. I do this stuff too, and I have often thought rather defiantly "dagblastit, I shouldn't be chasing people down to stay connected with them like I am." I have tried to keep in touch with friends, and tried to reconnect with those I feel are important in my life, but it isn't always reciprocal. If I am to continue the friendship though, I do need to step back and leave the ball on their half of the court for a bit to see how they play it.

This topic came up while I was talking to another mom friend at church yesterday and she shared some of the same challenges I'd been having. I read the blurb to her, and she nodded, saying it made sense. She and I both share some of the same opinions about certain groups of people around us, and how their behavior reflects poorly on them and their associated places. I often wonder if I should even bother swimming upstream to try to get anyone to pay attention to their own behavior, or if they'll even care that I'm trying to get their attention at all.

Or maybe I should just do as the story in the article suggests, and leave others to discover how awesome I am, and how being associated with me could be mutually beneficial (or even just beneficial for one party only). I'm going to give this other approach a try, and see what comes of it. After all, if I'm not spinning my wheels over people who can't hear the noise of my tires, then there's no noise to hear over other noise and it's just quieter that way. And Lord knows, I have enough mental clutter as it is. So, if I can dislodge some of it, then maybe I'll have fewer A.D.D. brain moments because I'm not caught up in trivialities of other people.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Looks can be deciving

So since my last post ... when WAS my last post, anyway? (hang on, I must check this)
Ok, so it was like not even a week ago, but it sure feels like forever.

Our world has been rocked lately. And it put all my previous whining into true perspective. The other day, a man took his own life. This man was 23, held the rank of E6 in the Navy on a nuclear sub. I can't go into details because it's a very sensitive issue and there is information that does not belong posted on the internet. But just know that this man's end was the culmination of a lot of ugly. His ex-girlfriend and the neighbor found him, right after he ended his physical existence on this earth. You can't ever get that gory image out of your mind. My husband was friends with this guy, too. They would spend time watching football and playing poker at the various neighbors' houses in this neighborhood of folks who have come to be friends. And the loss of this young man has resonated throughout the neighborhood and is making its waves throughout the base where he was stationed. The things I'm hearing, if true, are just mind-boggling.

On the surface he had his whole future ahead of him. But his past haunted him every minute of the day. The monkeys kept scratching and clawing his back. And then a series of events sent him over the edge. The guardrail on that mountain road gave way and he went down with the speed of lightning.

This loss has made its way into my household, as my husband is suffering the loss of a friend, the ensuing information is coming to light makes him shake his head, and he's trying to help his friend, who found this young man, cope with his experiences. It has certainly given both he and I a smack in the head for a minute. We're not doing all that wonderfully, but we're here to deal with it. And we're not feeling in such a pit that we think our only recourse is to end our own existence on this earth. I can't imagine how horrible that feels, and the thought of ever getting there scares the bejeezus out of me. The things I'm hearing make me grateful that the crap I got handed as a child was only as much as I got handed. I am just flummoxed by what I hear, and I can't imagine the testicular fortitude it took to carry onward despite all that.

So please keep the young man in your prayers, and anyone who knew him. They need to be able to make peace with this. And please keep your prayers covering the friend and ex-girlfriend who found him, just minutes after he took his own life. It's such a heart rending situation, and some of the circumstances are utterly mind-blowing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Is it Rum-Thirty yet?

It seems that the last couple of weeks has been trying to just get me and drag me away like zombies on the prowl for brains. It's been a series of heinously annoying occurrences, punctuated by snarky stuff from my toddler. I have no idea where she gets it. I mean, I'm genteel and graceful, and sociable.
pffffft~ who am I trying to kid. I'm none of that junk.

Highlights include communication failures abound, and I mean prolific ones. Working weird hours to avoid having to intrude on friends or pay some stranger I dragged in off the sidewalk to watch the Blur so I can work has resulted in contentious exhaustion. And my favorite - Tuesday, we woke up late, and the ensuing travel was craptacular. I put 100 miles on my van before even stepping foot into my first store for my first service call of the day. All told, I put about 145 miles on my bus. If I'm going to drive that many miles in a day, can I at LEAST end up somewhere interesting?

I am SO looking forward to the first opportunity to safely imbibe at home, with minimal risk of needing to drive anywhere. The chaos is like that insidious virus at a job. It creeps into EVERYTHING and starts looking like a bunch of overgrown vines that cover a wall. Nobody is enjoying anything, unless it involves making other people miserable.

Rum, on the other hand, provides a nice veil of DILLIGAF for a brief time, and by then, I'm mellowed out enough to stop harping at all the BS landing at my feet. I anticipate the first available time slot to enjoy Rum-Thirty. Except, I have no idea when that will happen, given all the driving I have to do. That sort of thing seems to be frowned upon around these parts.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Life carries onward

My Crackbook post this morning:

Today, I honor those who died in buildings, planes, fields ,and on streets, and those who have suffered the effects of any and all of it - by holding my head high and living my life every day. Why honor them this way? Because the attempt to paralyze us can't be successful. The hatred can't be perpetuated. The lives lost can't be in vain. The joy mustn't be successfully stolen.

And further proof that life must continue and move forward: My toddler.

We've been working on the potty training thing since Clone went to camp at the end of July. So far there has been measurable success with the #1. It's the #2 that's going to be what drives me to drink. She'll keep her panties dry all day, overnight, while away from home. She won't, however, even admit that her backside is about to lose its contents. So, Mommy gets to be the primary mess cleaner in that regard. If you could hear me speak about it, you would just know the party this is for me. It's a real kegger, that one.

So, the Blur got quiet after dinner, as I was trying to plug the INSANE schedule of: 3 workers, 2 students, and Princess-poops-her-pants into the Cozi online calendar, as P-p-h-p pooped her pants. My husband was amused. Of course he was, he wasn't the one who caught her hiding behind the door that I opened to allow the lovely balmy breeze into the house. So she was carted off to the bathroom to hose her and her Boots-adorned panties off, without benefit of the kind of hosed shower head I need to make it easier on me.

Me:   "Seriously, child, this is not nice. You should poop in the potty. Or at least tell me you have to          
           poop so I can give you a diaper."
Blur: "Boots is not happy"
Me:   "I'm not either."
Blur: "Yea, I pooped on Boots."
Me:   "uh huh. What are you going to tell me next time you poop."
Blur: "sorry."

I've got nothing. Because I know she's right.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Making steps forward

I did call one friend, and apologize for leaving her hanging.

I knew she would be 1,000,000% real with me, and sure enough, she verbally Gibbs-smacked me with an iron skillet.

She said that our friendship was deeper than dishing out the day-to-day bullcrap at each other and that I shouldn't apologize for living our everyday lives. She went on to say that she knew that if either of us truly needed help, that we both knew the other would help in what ever way is possible.

Well, now I feel a bit stupid.

And then, I thought more about it. DUH, Trish, that's pretty much what constitutes almost all of your friendships that are worth a damn. We may only catch up with each other online, or in passing, or not at all for weeks at a time. In one case, years pass with no contact. And we can pick up where ever we are, and jump in for how ever long we have mutually available.

Then, I called L back and thanked her for her wisdom shared during our previous call, and relayed a sense of relief from at least one of my perceived burdens with one person. Some of the wisdom she'd also shared in the earlier call was that she and I are the type of women that dig in when we must, and we don't require incessant hand-holding from our friends, nor do we do well having to handle needy friends who must have their hands held all the time. We can pick up the phone if we truly need some kind of help - literal or mental/emotional, and there is a friend who can do just that.

So really, THOSE are the kind of friends that fit me best. And those are the most enduring kinds of friendships. And I'd rather have that, than a variety of people flitting in and out of my life because we're just incompatible. That will still happen, but I'm discerning the kind of role I want people to have in my life each time I encounter them. Likewise, I would expect nothing less of others when dealing with me.

Here I was carrying around this weight of guilt over being a bad friend, in a manner that would rival the fruits of a Jewish mother's laying it on thick. Does it assuage my guilt at all? A bit, yes. But then it piles it elsewhere, under the column titled "Foolish Errors & Worries". I am a much more confident, independent individual than I was even 20 or 25 years ago. But I have things ingrained into me that will never leave, and my inner child will forever be present. I hear her voice all the time, and I'm constantly learning how to parent her - much like I parent my own children, and much unlike how I was parented. I see the same kinds of insecurities appearing in my children, and with it come those exact same pangs I had as a child. And I hear myself telling my real children and my inner child the things I needed to hear at those times, but no one said to me.

Because really, why do I care if no one wants to play with me now that I'm an adult? Why do I take such trivialities as personally as I do? So, when my Clone brings to the table these complaints that girls at school are doing X, Y, or saying Z, I have to fight back my own insecurities that I felt at her age and beyond. And then I have to tell her the things my socially-challenged mother didn't know to tell me. Some girls are afraid of what everyone thinks, and it prompts them to behave poorly towards someone they once regarded as a friend. There are some girls that want to be seen as cool, no matter the personal cost to them or others. And that unfortunately, there are going to be people in the world that purport themselves as a friend, when in fact they may only be looking for personal gain. We must learn to listen to our instincts when something is even remotely off kilter about a person. We must also not be afraid of being real with people, and not be afraid to let go of the weight of burdensome friends. In turn, we must respect the decisions of others when they decide that we are not the kind of person they want or need in their lives. And to expect that when you're 1,000,000% real with people, you're going to find yourself on their chopping block.

And it will be okay to be there on occasion, because you're going to move onward to more fruitful things like friendships that don't drag the day-to-day BS, or incessant drama, into the friendship. Or if it does, you and that friend recognize it for what it is, and once it's behind us, it stays there. And even when your friend thinks you're out of your gourd for doing things a certain way, you respect her opinion, and she respects yours. And the differences don't harm the friendship, because the value of the friendship trumps the differences of opinion. Unfortunately, I'd let myself lose sight of this important revelation in evaluating my friendships over the years.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The wheels on the baggage go round and round

I noticed a friend who has lived in my computer for many years deactivated her crackbook page again. She does that periodically because she recognizes what the vortex does to her life and that she needs to step away from it. I applaud her for that, because she has ovarian fortitude that I lack in that regard. Slowly though, I am actually nearing that point myself. I'm still stewing over my losses, and haven't given a whole lot of effort to the attempt at amends. I'm still deciding if I even want to, or actually should do it. I know I should, at least to apologize for leaving certain people high and dry from my end of the fence. They may not see it that way, and just see it as their own evolution that left me in their dust. I won't know till I take that step though. I'm still working up my nerve to do it, just like I'm still working up the nerve to get back on the motorcycle. It will happen, I just don't know when my cajones will appear and make it happen.

In any case, I was talking to L on the phone since she isn't online at this point, and we shared our burdens with each other, looking at the blessings and silver linings of each situation. Interestingly enough, there were parallel threads with us both. I'd experienced my own version of her disappointment, and likewise, she'd had her own version of the one I am experiencing. She said even though her mind has reasoned that she needed to cut ties with people, she still feels IMMENSE guilt for doing so. We talked of forgiving others, and ourselves. We've always heard that we should forgive those who have done wrong by us. And for many folks, forgiving equals letting those offenders back into your picture. Forgiving, in fact, does NOT mean we have to allow them back. It just means we don't let the hurt they caused to remain as a weight on our own shoulders. Reconciling is a completely different bird, that has feathers of forgiveness in its plumage. Forgiving just means you don't have to lug around that heavy baggage of resentment, guilt and revenge.

L is also Catholic, with an excellent Southern Protestant upbringing full of Biblical Scriptures. She's got excellent timing with the verses she shares with me. This recent conversation bore "My yoke is easy and  my burden is light" to which I remarked "yea, cuz I put wheels on my baggage." That imagery sent her into a bit of a giggle. Leave it to me to not let things stay heavy too long. Levity is one of my many coping mechanisms. Lately though, I'm not as light-hearted, snarky, sarcastic, amusing, interesting, humorous,  - the usual Feisty stuff. I'm feeling weighed down with mental and emotional clutter. And it's causing difficulty pretty much everywhere. Rather than chucking the burdens, I put wheels on them and schlepped them EVERYwhere with me. All I'm doing is wearing out my shoes, my shoulders, my heart and mind. The whole problem is getting to be pervasive, and that is really annoying. I liken it to dragging a suitcase along on a plane, along with a bunch of other loose odds and ends that won't stay in another bag, and keep falling out of it. If I'd checked that suitcase, I could have less difficulty handling whatever was spilling out of that other bag. Nope, instead I put wheels on it, compounding my own challenge, and the trip becomes a chore, instead of an enjoyable journey.

What baggage have you put wheels on, and schlepped along behind you? How much of it should you have just jettisoned, restructured, or framed differently?