I’m a big believer in honor your father and mother, but the price can be very, very costly. The tough decision can be to accept people where they are vs. where you wish them to be – or stop trying all together. I believe I’ve stopped aspiring for myself, but for my children and the experience of having a grandfather, I’m working to let them experience, determine and decide all on their own. And in the meantime, we are very thankful, for a granny straight from God.
Godsworkinprogress has written 6 entries about this goal
My father maintains a “my family” website, and I visit it from time to time. I wasn’t raised with him in the house and I have struggled from time to time with our relationship. He has always been a recognized teacher and coach in the community. He keeps the website going with pictures, updates and news about the family. He has raised my youngest sister, and my siblings and I share very little except him. After a week of holiday celebration, my mind couldn’t help but linger on thoughts of what he was doing, where he spent the holidays and what was the family news of the day.
I don’t know why, 35 years later with 3 children and a husband, any of it matters. I can go without thinking about it for days, and then all of the issues, hurts, disappointments, can come full circle in a matter of minutes. It lingers under the surface, I’m painfully aware that he really has never understood the damage he has caused, not for me, even less for my younger brother.
At times I accept what he can do becuase I don’t want to color his relationship with the kids. He sees them a few times a year, sends an obligatory birthday gift, and typically a check or something for Christmas. So – today I have to wonder, what is the price?
What is the price for admission into our lives? If I’m waiting on an apology it isn’t going to happen. If I want him to look at the disparity between how he treats his children – it isn’t going to happen. If I’m seeking confirmation or admiration for my parenting and relationship style – it will not happen. So, what is the price of admission – does remembering 3 birthday’s a year equal being a grandfather? Do you accept people where they are and just accept it.
Or do you make the hard choices, and do something different. Whatever it is – I’m done with the Family Web Site. It really isn’t my family at all.
The holidays can bring mounds of joy, and a few other emotions. I was looking forward to having my family come visit – because they know what they are getting, at least for the most part. Although I wish we had the house furnished and all of the details attended to, they know where things are at – 2 mortgages, some rooms completely unfurnished, the color scheme very much that of the previous home owner. Yet, the family celebrates with me because they rejoice in the new space, the nicer home, etc.
Well, my best friend from back home indicated that she had a change in plans and wanted to come visit. Hmmmm – that didn’t sound quite as fun. I wanted to see her – but I felt like I would be judged for all that was not “perfect” and I know she is currently house hunting. Something in the pit of my stomach said, she’ll see what you have and get something bigger, more spacious, more brick, more. The green eyed monster didn’t care about the spirit of thanksgiving, it rested well within the deepest thoughts and expressions on my face. I said, sure, come – and started my list of no furniture, not in order apologies.
Fighting my demons was difficult when she first arrived, I gave the 2 second tour of the house and I was struggling to find my smiles. About 30 minutes later, it clicked – this is not her issue, its yours. I could have said it was a bad time to visit, I could have suggested that she come when all was well, but I just pressed through. And, once I pressed thrøugh my monster, I remembered why she has been my best friend for a lifetime.
We talked about the future and about possibilities – in the house and in life. We laughed over overpriced kid jeans and I stood in awe of her generosity for my daughters birthday. We cringed jointly at the sponge paint effect in much of my house – it is so not me. And she honestly responded – we’ll have another conversation if we are still doing this 2 years, but you just moved in – give yourself a break.
Sometime in next year, she’ll buy a home. It will be her first. It may be more of whatever, but I don’t really care. I may have to fight my demons, but our friendship is worth it. I’ll look forward to seeing her vision, her victory and getting the coolest housewarming gift that creativity and 20 years of friendship can buy. And, at every turn this year, I’ll continue to make decisions that reflect who I want to be, even if the person I am is tagging behind a bit. Friendship is worth it – growing up is worth it- modeling a different behavior than your emotions dictate – is worth it.
Here’s to a true spirit of thanksgiving, for possibilities and for friendship.
Okay, when you are living on a budget the last thing necessary to do is incur additional fees. So today, when I went to do a “speed pay” transaction, I really looked at what I was doing. I was paying $12.00 for a bill that I should have mailed. I was paying the fee for the third time, because I waited to the day before the bill was due. I was trying to figure out how to balance the budget, while giving away the resources for the budget.
So…$12.00 could have, hmmm:
1. Purchased 3 Grande Latte’s from Starbucks – although I know I shouldn’t.
2. Gone into savings – I know it should.
3. Paid more interest and principal somewhere else.
4. Been pocket money for hubby or me during our long weeks.
5. Purchased mindless treats for the kids at the Dollar Store.
6. Paid to ship at least one package for Operation Christmas Child.
Well, you get the point. More importantly, I get that I have been missing the boat.
I thought I was a closet republican, an independent, even a conservative democrat at some point. Then it happened, I realized I was a mother of 3, married 11 years and hanging on to working middle class with my right big toe. So, my husband (a republican) asked recently, “you gotta be happy with the way it worked out – the election and all…” I have been thinking about this, nope, not happy.
1. Trying to figure where I fit in to the American Dream.
2. Upset that with 4 degrees between us – I still don’t think we have the time, energy and interest to research all of the things that are important to us- we vote because of our obligation not inspiration.
3. Resolved that the country needs a change but a realist about the likelihood it will happen.
4. Infatuated with Barak Obama – I mean, hope – you gotta hope.
5. Committed to providing a better life for our children.
6. Aspiring to live in a world where you can love Condi, Barak and The Fray and still be seen as delightfully normal – not odd.
7. Conflicted about Iraq – but grateful for our soldiers.
8. Cautious about people that believe that the world should be color blind.
9. Strapped – we own two mortgages in Bush economics.
10. Well, maybe I am happy. I can write random thoughts about it all – even that too close for comfort election. Pelosi’s clothes were a front cover news story – in a country where black males are still more likely to be in prison than college. But I digress….
The Today show had a story about what people do in marriage – telling little white lies. I thought the story would be frivilous, but it made me think. They weren’t talking about something so out of reach for me – even small dishonesty comments about “How was your day?” If someone asks you how are you – what do you respond? Do you tell the truth or do you simply say what people want to hear. It made me think about how tough it is to really let people know what you are going through or how you are really feeling. How often have we all said “fine” – when we meant – today isn’t good, I’m going downhill, its hard today, I’m not smiling inside or out – but we say, fine. Maybe the course of the day could be changed if we let someone in and we said what we know to really be true.
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