I saw a really cute little meme on facebook yesterday. If you’re on fb, I’m sure you’ve had it float by in your news stream a time or two as well.
Worst job in the world is what I call this cartoon pic of a toothbrush laying on a bathroom counter stating: “Sometimes I feel like I have the worst job in the world,” while the roll of toilet paper thinks, “Ya . . . Right.”
It is all about perspective, isn’t it?
For all the troubles and difficulties that happen daily in my life and in my world, I just have to open up my facebook page to read past all the cute kittens, angry cats, inspirational quotes pasted onto nature images, and George Takei’s humor to see the updates from the people I’ve actually managed to build a level of friendship with via facebook. Friends who are mourning the loss of loved ones or who are experiening fear and anxiety over a scary medical condition; friends who are embattled because who they are is denigrated and denounced by family and strangers alike; people I’ve known since they were small children engaged in a path of self-destruction to numb the pain from the lives they’ve had and the people they’ve become – it breaks my heart and helps me to remember and understand that, no matter what conflict, fear, or unmet expectation I am going through, I’m not the only one and what I’m dealing with could be worse.
Last night was the Parent Policy Council Meeting for the Head Start program that serves our family. I had reached out to another mom on the Council the day before and she had agreed to give Luna and I a ride, but she had to pick us up early because her little guy had an ice skating lesson at the nearby mall just before the meeting. I don’t know much about her story, but I do know she’s had her fair share of troubles. Yet, she is one of the most genuinely compassionate, accepting, and unconciously likable people I’ve run into in a while.
During the drive, we chatted about things and as usual, because I can’t seem to NOT talk about my issues – I really am working on this folks, I really am – she offered some anecdotes and resource information for me. In the midst of it all, she said something that resonated with me. At this point, I’m going to paraphrase, but it went something like this:
That’s why I am so blessed. I am truly thankful for every bad and horrific thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I’m here. I’m doing well. I have life and that’s worth celebrating. Be happy that you have life.
So what that Keith texts me almost daily, sometimes multiple times a day, about how stressed out, fed up, and angry he is about his current work situation? He’s working, he’s providing for our family and it’s hard to be going through what he’s going through in the isolation of being a long-haul truck driver. One of these days maybe he’ll figure out how to redirect his own thoughts and emotions. In the meantime, I just need to let go of my own fear and anxiety over his outbursts and just offer the support and encouragement he needs and be responsive so that he is able to realize he isn’t doing this alone. I hope he doesn’t decide to quit, but, he’s tried to make this work for over a year now and if it isn’t working, it isn’t working. It will be difficult if he does decide to quit, but we’ve gone through worse and survived, we’ll get through this too.
So what that Luna’s clinginess or LaLa’s unexpected and unplanned camping in our living room mean I can’t establish the routine and accomplish the cleaning that society touts as the acceptable norm for being a stay-at-home-mom. Taking the time to sit and cuddle with and listen to Luna will be way more important to our future relationship than if I conformed to a square hole structure that our hexagonal lives don’t fit comfortably into. Being able to have conversations with my 19 year old daughter and her friends and engaging with her as she pursues her future is a higher priority than getting the approval of social service providers and parenting instructors.
Good things can come out of less than good situations.
During Keith’s home time his tax refund came in and we took a mini-vacation to visit his nephews, their girlfriends, and the newest member of the clan, his great-niece. He’d promised that we would get me a decent swimsuit so I could begin my swimming again. The Wal-Mart option was approximately $45 – $50, but we were too rushed for me to take the time to try on the different options before we left town. The misguided expectation/assumption was that there would be another Wal-Mart where we were going. Not the case. We wound up speding $75 – ON SALE – for a swim dress at the only retail outlet in the small town we were visiting. I wore the darn thing one time for about 20 minutes during our trip.
Yesterday, I finally made it to the community center across the street and swam 450 yards in 20 minutes before deciding to get out before I overdid it. YAY!
It wasn’t until 11 p.m. last night that I realized I’d left my new suit hanging from a hook in the women’s locker room. Ironically, I picked up a left behind pair of glasses and turned them into lost and found on my way home. Go figure.
I attempted to subdue the part of me that wanted to stress and worry. Sadly, it was only shoved down to the subconcious level and I woke up at 3:30 this morning with a tension headache shooting lightning bolts of pain through my head, neck, and shoulders. I couldn’t get back to sleep. Blah, blech, boo!
However, if LaLa and her SpiritLove hadn’t been here, occupying my living room, I wouldn’t have been able to leave Luna alone in bed at 5:30 a.m. to go over to the community center. I took my towel with me on the off-chance and hope that they would have my suit. Guess what? It was there and I actually did 40 minutes of deep water aerobics.
It’s all good and I’m very thankful.