The Path Less Traveled
Often when I’m reading other bloggers, I wonder about how they keep those smiling faces when I know that life sometimes gets in the way. Then I realized, I do it too.
I can certainly say that it happens here…is happening here. For example, right now there are at least three pressing family situations going on that are nagging at me to the point that I want to grab each of these family members and shake some sense into them. Sadly, It wouldn’t help.
I always sort of know when I’ve reached my ’nuff’ point because it spills into everything. Lately, it’s been our morning routine. Usually, The Dane and I take our coffee and lean over the kitchen bar to discuss our plans for the day. It’s usually a very pleasant time which ends with a kiss as one or the other of us skirts out the door. When I’m at my ’nuff,’ these moments become a vent session on my part. I’ll wake up with the issue on my mind and pour it all out as one or the other of us goes through the motions of making coffee.
With so much going on, I’ve taken over the good moments of our morning and sort of ruined them. I take full responsibility for that and am eternally grateful that The Dane is a good-hearted soul who loves me enough to let me work my way through it. Besides, he knows what comes next is an introspective silence while I worry at the problems I can’t fix.
Usually, he’s intuitive and gives me my space, but this time, he decided to take me on a little walk. It was probably way too cold, but we did it anyway. After the initial bitching – “it’s too cold” and “I’m freezing” – we fell into a comfortable pace. Not talking at first, just thinking. Slowly, we started our conversation and then worked our way all the way through. By the time we turned around to come back to where we started, we hadn’t fixed a single issue, but I felt much better than I have in days.
Our walk and talk reminded me of a great many things that I already know, but needed to be reinforced, so I thought I’d take a moment to share some of them with all of you.
How we create our own problems:
- Over-generalizing – This means taking one bit of information and applying it to all situations. Ex: Millennials are stupid.
I’m pretty sure there are some exceptional millennials out there, but it’s pretty easy to think they are all messed up when the ones around you act like stupid is a way of life.
- Trying to fix things you have no control over.
As you might have guessed, some of our issues are related to the millennials in our life. Too often, I am guilty of believing that I can somehow fix the problems that they have created in their lives. To the point of obsessing.
- Jumping to conclusions
Yep, guilty as charged.
- Second guessing
Sometimes, the issue for me has been that I rethink how I responded to certain situations. I ruminate over how I might have responded differently and what I should have said instead. When I boil it all down, I said what I said and I meant what I said. I probably just could have been a little nicer in the way I said it. But then, come to think of it, when I have been nicer about it, that didn’t work either. (See how it goes?)
- Over analyzing
Over-thinking, over stressing. In one of the situations we are facing, I don’t have all the facts. There is nothing that I can do to obtain them and not a damn thing I can do about that, so…why does it work me up so much?
On our walk, The Dane reminded me of a few things:
- Think about the situation from a different angle.
He asked me to think about each of these situations as if I was – a lawyer, a doctor, and yes, even an Indian Chief.
- Live in the present
This is why The Dane felt it was so important for us to take this walk. To get to a point where we could be connected and that he could reassure me that any fix we provide will be temporary and possibly make matters worse.
- Avoid overshadowing special moments with all the issues
The Dane never mentioned that I’d taken over our mornings with my vent sessions. I realized this on my own. Those morning moments need to be reserved for our us time. I don’t want him to start hating them because he has to listen to me talk about things we can’t change – again.
- Remember that the people who have created their problems are responsible for the solutions.
- Love them anyway
For me, that’s the easiest part.
So yeah, life behind the scenes goes on and it’s messy.
Today, I thought I’d end with the quote that The Dane told me about:
“It’s not the shit we face that defines us; it’s how we deal with it.” — Ahmed Mostafa
Until next time, I’ll be sending up lots of prayers. Dear Mom’s and Dad’s out there, give me a shout out if you want to be added to the list.
PS: I’m also reminded of what a good friend says to me often when talking about her millennials, “Thank God humans are over engineered to survive.”