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My two youngest children at opposite ends of High School, one starting and one ending this year. My older son wants to be a video game programmer / designer. My youngest wants to be a physicist or a bio-engineer. My older son wants to go to a college in Utah, my younger son told us this week he wants to go to Yale.

My heart is proud of both of these boys for planning out their future doing what they want to do. At the same time I can’t help but feel anxiety over how they will get there. The thing is, I have no doubt that they can do these things…. I’m just not familiar with the roads to get there, so that makes me worry, because I don’t already know how to be helpful… but that is my issue… not theirs. I don’t need to project that upon them.

My worries, really doesn’t matter.  I have to remember, its not about me or my worries. Its their adventure to start, and I don’t want anyone impeding that.

We shared the news with a couple groups of family and they immediately start in with the “Well you need to do this” and “Are you sure that is what you want to do”… and  “Its going to be hard”, and “You better figure out scholarships and get student loans”….. blah blah blah….

Why do adults do this? Why is their initial reaction to scare kids off? I know adults mean well, just wanting the kid to be prepared for the world and work ahead of them, but over the years I’ve discovered that often what makes things harder to manage is plain being psyched out early over how daunting the challenges in front of you are. There are multiple ways to achieve goals, and what is hard for one person, might be fine for another person and totally within their ability.

Instead of saying “Oh thats going to be a lot of work”…. why don’t we say more things like “Oh! What steps do YOU need to get to that goal?”… or if you actually care to be helpful… “Do you need help gaining access to finding out the information you need to plan this?”

If you want to help a kid, then encourage THEM to research and identify what they need to achieve their goal. Adults rarely know all the ins & outs of what they are so opinionated over. Want kids to succeed… Don’t identify what they “need” for them – because in most cases, (while few admit it) adults will really only have a partial idea anyway… because things change faster than we like to admit.

Everyone’s life has “hard work” times involved, and maybe this piece is hard for you, but not hard for your kid. Maybe instead of psyching kids out… maybe instead just let them know that you are supportive of them applying themselves to their own goals. Maybe instead of you pointing out what they’ll “need to do”… maybe instead encourage them to think it out by asking what their road looks like. Ask what their plans are in tackling those things.

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I listened to adults way too much…. and I regret that.

Growing up there were three things I really thought about doing when I grew up. I wanted to be an architect.. and when I mentioned it, it was brought up that at the time (mid-school) that I struggled and had to actually try hard at math as it was, so maybe that architecture might be “too hard” for me to be good at.

(I really should have questioned how an adult with absolutely no personal experience with architecture in the first place (and no access to “google” back then, nor someone who visited a library ever) felt like they KNEW this would be too much of a problem for me. (and by the way… thanks for having no faith that I could get better at math, or encouraging me to get better at math… I just “wasn’t good” and apparently that wouldn’t change.) I wish I would have really questioned how seriously to take their opinion. I think this is part of the bad with being brought up rather sheltered)

Later in High School, I contemplated being a counselor or a teacher. When I mentioned that, my Mother told me I was way too sensitive to be a counselor so I wouldn’t be very good at it. I would cry with my patients and not be able to handle helping people with problems.

So later I thought about being a teacher, but my family did not have the money for school. I was told basically the only way I could do that is if I got really good grades and got a bunch of scholarships and student loans. I got A’s and B’s, and ended up getting one scholarship that paid for 3 classes worth at the local community college. I was told that student loans would be really hard for me to get because I had nothing of value to leverage for a loan, and I didn’t have family that could (or would) co-sign. I just believed all this too. Adults know what they’re talking about right? They’ve lived, so they know.

I found out later that isn’t exactly how student loans work. I should have looked into myself instead of trusting adults so much

I did my three classes, and then when that scholarship ran out I was done.

I don’t at all regret having my kids or current family, but I do regret listening so intently to some of the adults that “knew me”, that I put their worries ahead of forging my own path. That I just took what they said as being gospel. That I didn’t have the confidence or commons sense to question what I was told.

There is a difference between listening and accepting that what your told as being correct… Its fine to listen to what others opinions are, honestly its good to listen… but its important to not blindly accept something as absolute truth. Its important to remember that opinions are often cloaked as knowledge.

I hope I will teach my kids to make their own choices and forge their own way by doing the research and implementation themselves.

 

 

 

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Blind respect towards something or someone that doesn’t respect back, is not wise. It tends to actually just be enabling out of fear or laziness. Its not noble, responsible or even a healthy practice to simply not question things “just because” something is the way its “always been”.
Actually learning and growing requires that our own morality and ethics always be questioned and reflected upon. We should not wish to be stagnant.
Respect not earned by admiration of our own character, or observance of our own qualities and actions is rather hollow. More often than not it is a sign of fear, rather than actual respect.
All should be willing to listen. This common practice of shutting down conversations with shame instead of listening to the other side and actively working through creating understandings with people and their different experiences…. the practice of judging first and ignoring is a sign of true cowardice. In the end, no amount of lying to ourselves will ever change the fact that we are two sides of the same coin.

Your Facebook bubble…

Honesty is difficult. It is easier to hide in the crowd and to drown one’s own guilt in that of the human race.  – Kierkegaard

In the past week, I’ve seen three different posts on facebook of people who start off saying how toxic or mean the posts they see on facebook are, how people should be so much nicer… and then either in the next line blame some group over it, or like someone’s comment responding to their post with words blaming <insert label here> for behaving this way… for  “crying” or “whining” of being entitled, or plain being disgusting or dumb.

#1 Gripe: Here is the deal. Facebook is made up of your circle of “Friends.” People you’ve accepted or invited. If the posts you see are negative… perhaps consider that it is the information bubble you’ve created, and maybe… just maybe…. you should do some soulsearching on why that is. Either people you choose to be connected to are really that spiteful, OR… and stay with me here…..  maybe your friends are going through a rough patch and could use an actual FRIEND to help encourage them that things aren’t as dim and bleak and hateful as it appears…

Your Facebook feed is never an accurate reading on the world… its only a small section of people you’ve collected to stay connected to. Don’t ever take it as anything more than that.

#2 Gripe: Why can’t people ever seem to plain understand that if you want to find peace, its not found in demonizing or blaming others, or projecting that you are above human imperfections.

Peace is not found in unwillingness to even listen to another’s hardship or situation.

Peace is not found in supplying judgement over situations you only just heard of and/or never investigated beyond a two minute google search. Upon situations you’ve never experienced for yourself.

Peace is not found in an unwillingness to reflect upon your own behavior or require improvement in even yourself or require thought into what you publicly support.

Complete peace is not found without complete honesty and civil minded motivations. “Peace” that you encounter when things are hidden, is not really peace at all – its ignoring someone else’s exploitation or pain.

 

Unhinged….

I’m feeling pretty heartbroken and angry if I’m honest.

I’m a Gemini – the twins – supposedly seeing multiple sides… if there is ever any real merit to that categorization I won’t claim to ever know. However I do very often relate with the proposed ability to see things from different sides on a regular basis. There are times when it is so frustrating to feel so alone in thinking the way that I do… to always have that duality at minimum — and often more sides of things, all being able to be represented in my own head.

At the moment I have those different sides all communicating but still unsure, with nothing definite seemingly coming of it. No real peace or wisdom found at the moment. Its an internal struggle that I’m not figuring out as quickly as I like… and it hurts.

Not inclined to shirk responsibility because you can’t fix or make things better doing that…. but I’m also not inclined be used as a scapegoat for others either, when the power over actions aren’t my own.

On one hand I’m a firm believer in personal responsibility. That  thought that you do have an influence on what happens to you and even to those in your care.

On the other hand I know that the reality is we have absolutely no control over anyone except ourselves… and even those in our care are never totally under our control and we are foolish to ever believe differently.

So I question…

Does or can someone else’s choice mean that  I failed to be attentive enough? Should I still have known the turmoil in another when there were no signs, no reason to suspect it? When their actions and words are so outside their normal character?

Would being more attentive have even helped?  Should I just know to be prepared to suspect a fire where there was no smoke? Or have I just been played a fool the entire time with the level of trust I’ve given?

Can I forgive myself for not being the super hero? For plain not knowing? For not teaching them good enough?

Can I forgive them for going against every fiber of everything I’ve ever tried to relay about respect towards others, in relations with all people in the first place? I’ve vocally made my point time and again, so its not an instance of silence on the subject. Is it my own pride that makes it hurt so much to feel like their actions so clearly display their disregard for the lessons I tried to teach, the things I felt it was so important to instill.

To have those lessons apparently unheard… uncared about.

I know that words are just words yes, but shouldn’t we live by what we say… be held responsible for our words? If our words can’t be trusted, then what good are they and why should anyone heed them?

How far does forgiveness go? How much can I trust you if you ever felt it was OK to even say certain things? If those things even came to mind in the first place?

To have given me the apology with the claim of understanding and even the admission of fault….  but for me to now have to continue wonder at your level of sincerity. To feel that now going forward, I will feel obligated to second guess wither or not actions and words are true —- or are they all just a show to keep me placated for the remaining time while you have to deal with me.

For me to plain no longer trust without a doubt that you will chose human decency over anything else in your actions and dealings with others… its honestly heartbreaking.

Mistakes don’t define us… this statement is very true — as it is actually the lessons we learn and how we implement them going forward to better ourselves that define our final character. It is my ultimate hope that you learn something so unforgettable from the repercussions of your choice that you never dare to again tread that line.

…. but gone are the days of certain trust, where I would ever “know without a doubt” what to expect or know of you.

Maybe its my own pride that I need to quell, but It makes me question everything I’ve ever striven for, as if in an instant your choices void out any positives  I’ve worked for, leaving my own existence meaningless, because if I wasn’t good enough at training you… my legacy… than what good was I?

For you to have said such hurtful things to someone you claimed to care about…  it hurts even though those words weren’t directed at me…

Just some thoughts….

Its ok to get angry, but its not ok to reside inside of it. Put simply, anger is the easy way out and deserves no honor. Stewing in it gives you a false sense of righteousness that — to you — justifies your own unfair attitude, behaviors, and unwillingness to work out a resolution. It gives you an excuse to not try… to not grow as an individual, to not bend.

There is peace found in simply understanding that life is not going to go the way you planned period. Life’s value is less about what happens to you, and more about what actions you take, how you adapt, how you react. Taking responsibility for yourself – being honest about your own motives – your actions, these are the first steps in not being so lost. Guard yourself against dramatization, because it muddies the water, and often makes you focus on the wrong questions. It makes you take pride in the wrong things. Your level of pride in your own perfection in any situation is a red flag that you plain aren’t being reflective enough.

Time for my mask…

    Affix your own mask first….

When you get on an airplane, its one of the first things they tell you. In the event of an emergency when air masks are deployed, you should always set up your own first. Why?  Because you can’t help others if you are dead. You have roughly 30 seconds to get your mask on.  Seems simple enough… yet.. there is a reason why the reminder is issued.

From the time we’re children we’re told not to think of ourselves first. We’re told its selfish. We’re told its disrespectful, but we are told all of these things without any context. We are told it in a very overly simplified way (probably because we are children) as if it is always 100% the best way to maneuver always. When we get older, and things graduate beyond sharing our toys, taking the last seat when someone else would benefit more from it… it gets forgotten sometimes to teach us that in fact, there are some situations in which our own clarity and well-being actually needs to be given more priority in order to be effective in what we do. You are able to give more and help more if you yourself are stable.

Put another way, you are far more able to help others find stability… if you have found it first.

I’m personally experiencing a down time. I’ve gotten into that rut.

The world is swirling around me with concerns and issues. Some mine, some my family and friends, some my communities, some my countries.  I’ve been feeling tapped out and pretty much felt suffocated, like I have no room to move or work. Limited resources to work with, and inability to be as productive as I feel I “should be”. Feeling like I’m barely getting by, and not accomplishing some needed things.

Truth is though… that is the story of everyone.

Even though I feel so spent.. truth is I need to admit to myself that I’ve not been doing “everything” I could, and a big part of that is because I’ve gotten in the habit of plain ignoring me.  If I’m to accomplish anything at all, I need to first make sure that I’m not “dead.”

This means that even though my husband’s health situation isn’t resolved, we actually have done work there. He is currently on medicines, he is figuring out his routines. The smart side of me knows that some of the things he says and does isn’t really about me or the kids at all. All the emotions and negativity when those times come… Its about how uncomfortable he is… uncomfortable with himself, with his place, with his sense of value. A good chunk of how we live this life is seated in how we choose to react and the attitudes that we allow ourselves to take on….. and in the end it doesn’t matter who around us, or what they say or do for us… we choose our willingness to change our own minds and our own situations. In the end I can’t do this for him.

I can be supportive, but not at the detriment of myself otherwise there may be a time where I can’t help him even a little. If I’m honest, I’ve been afraid to go get help for me, because it might take away from what he or the kids need… but if I don’t stop that, and begin to work some self care into that equation too.. then I won’t be able to help them even the little that I currently am able to.

So…

I’m going to the doctor today. Going to talk about this current issues I’ve been experiencing. Going to re-open the possibility of getting a new neurologist, and I’m going alone. This way the conversation doesn’t get hijacked to other’s issues. I’m better at hiding my issues, and seem to not be trustworthy enough to not let someone take focus off of me, I generally welcome it. Mostly because I get this horrible uncomfortable feeling and get super self conscious when I have to talk to someone about me. Give me any other topic… please.

Anyhow.. this is the plan..

 

Sometimes you run because you have to. Because if you don’t then the worries you’ve been unable to deal with are able to catch up, and it kills you to let them. They eat away at your heart and soul, and you can’t allow that because if you do, there is no safety net. There is no backup support. There is no one else to shoulder this with, so you can’t allow them to catch you. You just keep pushing through, going a day at a time. Hoping and praying to the universe that it will all be ok if you can push a little longer…. but sometimes you stumble. Sometimes they do catch up, and they overtake you, and unfortunately, they have tonight, so I find myself unable to sleep and in tears in front of my computer. Typing away to try and get these feelings off…. to lay them somewhere else, because I’m already tired, but I still have to work in the morning.

You just keep pushing through, going a day at a time. Hoping and praying to the universe that it will all be ok if you can push a little longer…. but sometimes you stumble. Sometimes they do catch up, and sometimes they overtake you, and unfortunately, they have tonight. This is why I find myself unable to sleep for the last four hours and hopelessly in tears in front of my computer. Typing away to try and relieve myself of some of this pressure. Desperately wishing to get these feelings off of me….. to lay them somewhere else, because I’m already tired, but I still have to work in the morning. Tomorrow my eyes will be puffy, and I will once again likely blame allergies to people who care to ask why I’m a bit puffy, and I’ll feel bad to do that but the alternative is to explain too many things that they weren’t really in the position, nor wanting to hear in the first place… besides, the last thing I want or need is sympathy, because all it does is compound how inept I feel at not being able to manage and take care of those around me let alone myself.

How expensive peace of mind seems to be, and how odd it is that people are so opinionated on whether someone else “deserves” it or not. I sometimes wonder what it is you have to do to “earn” it? I’m at this point able to work full time and push through everything, but I still am not able to afford it. Its all I can do to keep this family of mine going in maintenance mode. Where just enough is taken care of to keep them fed, housed, and clothed, but not much more.

Deon’s troubles with Fibromyalgia and the chronic inflammation issues keep piling up. He falls more than twice a week, thankfully able to get himself back up after a bit… but what do I do when that is not the case? His medicines keep getting added to, and like me, only seem to be able to keep him in a maintenance mode… to where it keeps him somewhat stable-ish, but doesn’t resolve the pain or the issues he’s experiencing, just minimizes them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful, and he is too, but it does get to him, and makes him chaotic and emotional, which makes him question everything, and I have no answers…. none at all. He should be going to specialists that we’ve been referred to, but honestly, they haven’t been helpful in the past, and at this point in “maintenance mode” there really isn’t the money to spend on things that don’t help. This sounds horrible of me to say, but I can’t afford it at the moment to continue to see Doctors who nickel and dime you without giving direction nor actual assistance.

My youngest son used to be a catcher for his baseball team. Now he mainly catches anything and every sickness possible. He gets the flu, or a cold so often that we got a letter from the “dropout” specialist warning us that we were reported to them because he has missed so many days. Luckily he is a self-driven student and he catches up in his classes pretty quickly, and once the teachers get around to grading everything, he is still somehow on honor roll. I’m not exactly sure what they want us to do.. send him in sick so he can infect others?  It usually takes a day or two and then he shakes it off, so we haven’t even been making Doctor appointments for him, we tend to wait a day or two… which drives me crazy with worry, yet I know “it will probably be alright”, so we wait first to see, because if we took him in each time, the co-pays alone would be an actual problem.

My older son, he is on this emotional roller coaster at the moment. It worries me because my coworker just lost her son of the same age to just that. I’m having a hard time getting thru to him, I don’t know that he ever really gets the lessons and coping strategies I’m trying to teach him, he gets caught up in the emotional part and just won’t talk to anyone about anything real. He covers it up with being silly, but I can see he’s actually weighed down internally. No clue if I’m handling things with him right or not, he’s so different from my other two. I would like to get him in to see a counselor and have them talk to him and give me any possible hints as to what I could do differently, because I don’t feel like what I’m doing is working, and I’ve not got much time left with him really. Not because I think he would do anything (course my coworker never thought it either), but mainly because he is going to be eighteen this year and released on the world, and I just hope he has the tools to grow the rest of the way and cope in a healthy way with what the world is.

When it comes to me, the truth is… I’m tired, and I hurt, and I’m kinda tired of hurting. MS has thrown at me all the off the wall and odd symptoms to which I have to try and weed through if something is serious or not… If I should try and get help, or wait it out in case it simply dissipates with sleep and quiet time or distraction.

I’m up this evening because I have this odd sensation on my neck, ear, and a small spot on the back of my head that the nerves are telling me that they hurt and itch like crazy. No bite that I can find, no odd rash or discoloration at all… yet its bad enough to interrupt my sleep and not let me be able to rest. Stupid I know, and I’ll do what I always do, but I worry. At some point, my normal measures may not be a “good enough” option.

I actually had to say no to my Daughter’s Mother’s Day offer of getting me a massage, because at the moment the skin on the left side plain hurts to be touched by anything other than clothes. I have to keep covered to find relief which makes the 96 degrees Fahrenheit days we’ve been having kind of tricky.  I wouldn’t have been able to handle it right now while this is going on.

Truth is that I’ve not even seen a neurologist in the past four years. I was referred to one last year, and they said they’d call me in six months and that was roughly eight months ago. I should be diligent… I should be advocating to get a new one as soon as possible. The reality is though that everytime I get one, they make me do tests that take three years to pay off, and they get nothing helpful out of them. They just tell me what I already know by simply living my life. That I’m decently stable compared to others with MS, and that if I want, I could go on medicines, but all it would do is play decoy to distract from other inflammation in my system, and “possibly” cause me to have “less” symptoms “IF” the MS was acting up. Not a sure thing though, kind of a gamble… oh and a side effect is feeling like you have the flu every day. I’ve been there, I’ve done that, it isn’t worth the gamble when at the moment I seem to be able to rest to minimize things… course I can’t rest right now. ><

It makes me question myself to always be in this “maintenance mode” of limping along… pushing a “little longer’… hoping that the universe allows issues with those I take care of, and with me to “just work out eventually.” till I get to the point where I actually can get things resolved.

In every other area of my life, I’m so pro-active. I plan, I figure out ways to resolve it now, adapt or move on… in order to keep going.

In this health care taking aspect, I seem to fail to be able to have that same nature and it’s really getting to me.

I should be getting Deon to a specialist to see what else could be done. I should be taking my youngest in more often to the Doctor so that we can figure out why he’s so susceptible to picking up sicknesses, and figuring out how we can help that. I should be getting my older son to a counselor so that he has someone to talk to since he can’t seem to open up to me without me constantly prying at him. I should not be waiting to get back under someone’s care for this MS….. but, in the world, we live in, that all requires money which I have just enough to just keep us getting by in this  “maintenance mode.”

All this talk about healthcare in the government right now, and honestly they are simpletons and nowhere near resolving this when the main priority they seem to focus on is on the existence of plans you could buy into, instead of the affordability of care needed in the first place. I have insurance, but right now it does me little good because I only end up being able to afford the occasional “maintenance” visits, but nothing further.

But it is what it is… and I’ll keep going as long as I can. I have work in two hours now …. it’s going to be a long day.

Admitting frustration relieves a bit of this, so maybe now I can shake it off, just hope the universe is kind in the level of severity it presents us with, and I’ll begin my run again.

I don’t run because I’m scared, because truly if the resources were there I’d be all over all of these things rather than doing a little for this one now, and a little for another next payday and so on.   I don’t think I run and try to avoid focusing too intently on these worries because I’m scared… I think I run in the hopes that I’ll reach a point where I’ll find what I need in order to just deal with them head on.

Hopefully, after getting this out I’ll be lighter and able to be faster than the worries for a bit. Hopefully, they won’t catch me and consume me again this way again for a little while longer. It’s time to go maintain this life as best I can… now… where were those running shoes?