Category Archives: relationships

Patience.

About a month ago, I picked up a book called “300 Writing Prompts” in an effort to get back into the habit of writing on a somewhat regular basis. Today, I actually opened it and one of the ideas that struck a cord was this prompt: Describe something that requires your patience today. That made me laugh out loud. Ordinarily I would have had some smart response about my daughter pushing buttons or being 4 but today that’s not it.

I find myself struggling to be patient with those that call themselves adults. People that are inconsiderate to the needs or wants of others. People that leave things broken in their wake and continue on without a care in the world. Don’t get me wrong. Adulting is hard, and it requires work like most anything else in life. At what point though do we begin to hold people accountable for their actions and decisions to emotionally destroy others? When do we decide that adults need to behave as such and it is no longer our responsibility to care for them as we did when they were children? Why are so many silent when others carry on like fools?

I get it though. Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting different results. Perhaps you’re one of those people that have tried to talk sense into a particularly irresponsible human being disguising themselves as an adult. You’re exhausted. Constantly battling the traits of narcissism can damage one’s sense of peace, self confidence and world view. Eventually you give up, not only on them, but yourself as well. What’s so wrong with you that you can’t fix them?

Today, I want you to transfer that patience that you’ve been dedicating to the 4 year olds traipsing around as adult and gift it to yourself. Applaud your ability to love without borders, then love yourself enough to create them. Praise how far you’ve come despite whoever has discouraged your progress and KEEP GOING. Be patient with your success because I promise it will come. Wish them well and walk away. Give yourself the ability to be patient with your children, pets, spouse, extended family and occupation. You are worth it.

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The Saddest Thing

Anyone that knows me knows that I have a hard time expressing myself confidently. The best way that I know how to do it coherently is to write. Sometimes I do it well, other times, it’s mediocre at best. I’m my own worst critic, the voice in my head consistently screaming “DO BETTER!” Compound that with grief and my guess is you get a spiral of anxiety and depression that leaves me consistently exhausted and angry. Not conducive with a three year old and partner who depend on my ability to stay patient in the face of adversity…er, everyday life.

My Christmas present last year from Josh was a Fitbit Charge (which I love!) and that has proven to be a curse. This week, I have slept more than played with Izzi. This week, I have spent more time on the phone than teaching her how to read or working on her ability to add or subtract. The rare moments that I have found the capacity to be the mother that I think she deserves, I’m irritable and mentally spent after the exchange.

In no way is she neglected or malnourished but I can’t help but feel like I’m failing her when I can’t get out of my own head. I find myself flashing back to previous holidays, and vacations and am spaced out and short of breath when I return to the present. Usually snapping out of it because Izzi has asked the same question 18 times and I’m just now figuring out how to answer.

The other day, perhaps the beginning of my spiral, I was on the phone with my mother and Izzi asked to speak to Opa. My guess is she longed to hear him say “IKE!” and ask her how she’s doing. I was unable to prevent my mom from hearing it and after my own anguish, the guilt of Izzi’s inability to understand and the probable pain caused by her question flowed freely. I should be able to explain Opa in a way that she understands but then, how can I explain what I don’t even understand. It’s like explaining why the sky is blue or the stars shine so brightly outside the lights of the city.

Guilt and grief go hand in hand these days. I’m sad because I miss my Dad, then guilty because I couldn’t save him. I’m sad because I can’t make myself move past this and guilty because it’s taken a toll on my family that I can’t fix right now. I’m sad because I can’t heal the pain that my mom, daughter and partner endure from the loss of a man that’s left a black hole sized chasm in our family. Guilty because there should be something that I could do to ease their pain.

Grief specialists will tell you that this is part of the process and you have to let yourself feel every emotion to get through it. Grief stops for nobody. Not even a three year old that needs her mother. That’s probably the saddest thing of all.

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I’d Do Anything for Love…but not that

Relationships are tricky. I have yet to find one that reminds me of a Disney movie where the partners are in love, happily ever after and forest animals do their laundry. They’re messy. The right one comes with baggage from previous partners, family and professionally. It can alter your dreams and change them in a way that you never saw coming.

When I was 15, I told everyone and anyone that would listen that I would never get married, have children or a house that would require yard work on my part. As I grew older, I realized that perhaps my 8 year old version knew more of life and love than I gave her credit. At that age, I planned on being married, having 3 kids and being a writer. Surrounded by the love of my imaginary children and husband, I felt content, creative and full of life.

I always pictured my Dad walking me down an aisle made of sand and seashells and placing my hand into a man whose face I couldn’t quite imagine at that point. I knew that he would love dogs, want kids, creative in his own right and value family.

That never happened. I found the man, he’s everything I thought he would be, and at times more. Our relationship is a work in a progress, but because I saw what work in a relationship is, I know we can make it. I just don’t know what that looks like right now.

Marriage is a right that so many people have fought for and I don’t know if I want to do it anymore. What does a piece of paper mean if you’re not willing to do the work? Will it keep me from leaving? No, the loyalty that my mom taught me will do that. Will it keep me from giving up? No, Dad’s determination is firmly ingrained in my personality.

So is his last name. My connection to the past, to the happy memories of days gone is something I see everyday I get the mail. I’m reminded of the beauty of those before me, like my grandparents and father. I’m reminded of my incredibly strong mother for making the choice to change her name and bear my brother and I. It’s a strength that I’m not sure I have or even want anymore.

At the end of the day, I’m already in a Disney relationship. It may not end with happily ever after but it’s beautiful nonetheless. I have a partner that values stability, humor, family, our furry and non furry children and my dreams. It turns out that both my 8 and 15 year old selves were right: the title doesn’t matter, it’s the person willing to meet you in the middle and do the work.

 

 

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