Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Write On

I haven't been able to write as much lately.   This makes me quite sad because writing is what I do to clear the storms of my head.  So when I don't do it, my brain gets cloudy and end up making really dumb mistakes.  Like sending an email to my boss and others with the word boner in it.

Writing is how I discover things about myself.   Rereading journals is one of the ways I keep from making the same mistake twice, or in some cases, three times.  Sure, I always think that cutting my hair all off is a fantastic idea, until I go back to my tear soaked pages of my journal and remember how it wasn't.   If you think that sounds petty it's not.   Nothing is too petty to write it out.

Clearly American's need to re-read some history books before the election in November.. I digress.

In 1996, I wrote six pages about a guy who never called me back.  I  came up with all sorts of reasons, but the main one was that I had just cut off all my hair.  After three days, I discovered that he had mono. Had I not been lost in the clouds of my self doubt I probably would have just called him. It would have saved me a lot of angst.  But at least I can reflect back on my overreaction with fondness.

Self-doubt is the ultimate severe weather storm.  And it serves as much purpose as going out in the rain with a broken umbrella.

But it occupies so much of everything I do, and because I haven't been writing it made it's way to the surface. Which means Don had our familiar "Come to Jesus" conversation that goes down like this.

Don: What is wrong, you seem quiet?
Me: Do I? I didn't think you would notice because you never listen to me.
Don: Well, I'm listening now. Whats wrong?
Me:  (Deep breath) followed by tears and inaudible blubbering about everything I'm not doing right.

What sparked this was a rug.  We have had the same rug in our living room since we moved into the house fifteen years ago.  I got tired of it.  So I got a new one, and when the rest of the family was gone, I rolled up the old one and layed down the new one.  You would have thought I replaced it with a carpet made of hair from the bathroom floor or something.   They all hated it.  Like, adamantly hated it.  Oscar clung to the old rolled up rug and cried. Literally cried.

The entire family ganged up on me and each voiced their opinion about how much they disliked the new rug.  I pride myself in my interior decor choices, so this hurt me and made me question everything.

Then I realized something.   That rug was all they had ever known.  All of them at some point laid belly down on it before they could learn to roll over. Numerous things have been spilled on that rug. Including popcorn when we would camp out laying on the floor watching movies.  At one point it was used as the Land of Sodor.  Or the ground for numerous forts. It is in the background of all their baby pictures.

What the real issue was, is that they didn't want change. Change is scary. Even if it is in the form of a rug.

If there is one ray of the sun in this cloudy mess of a brain I have, it's that I am a creature of habit and routine.   To a disturbing, and (maybe annoying to some people) level.   My day is so habitual that I see other habitual people at the same place each and every day.  I drive down the street and see the same cars, pass the same pedestrians and dogs getting their daily walk.  I work out with the same people, and each day we say the same thing.

Each of the boys has a day of the week which they get to choose the music choice for our commute.   And on Wednesday, we really get tired of Jack's selection of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal, but we go along with it, because it is Wednesday, and that is what we do.

I get a morning text from my mom. An encouraging text from another friend telling me I'm beautiful. I get a Friday funny text from a good friend. These things are simple, but  I have come to expect and enjoy them and  they make me feel really good.  They are things that I rely on. Much like a familiar old rug.

I have always thought this OCD routine trait of mine, made me vanilla.  But to my boys, it makes me a person who they can always count on.   Much like my writing is to me.  Like an honest friend,  it puts things in black and white. It helps me realize that I may not be as big of a loser making horrible choices and doing everything wrong.  Sure, I sent the word boner to several male co-workers, sure I made a rug choice on a whim, sure I may have said something too harsh to my 6-year-old when I was tired.

But despite all of those things, life keeps going. Even when the rug is ripped out from under us.

That broken umbrella I mentioned earlier, I was caught under it with a friend laughing hysterically. We laughed so hard, that tears were running down my face.   If I focus on everything that is going wrong, it's impossible to see what is going right.  I encourage any friend of mine going through any challenge to write out their feelings.   Even if they look like this:

It helps clear the clouds and lets light back in.

And for the record, the boys are slowly starting to accept the rug.  Or at least realize that all their complaining isn't going to bring the old rug back.

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