Serenity

Worry robs you of today. Worry makes you dream up every horrible scenario and think it may happen. Usually it doesn’t. Most of the time, moms are classic over-worriers. “Dead in a ditch somewhere” usually comes to mind. Ever hear that from your mom? Yes, I think we all have.

If you’re an adult child of an alcoholic, you may be an expert worrier. I used to be. No more. I’ve not lost sleep over my problems, kids, their problems, my imagined problems, my kids’ imagined problems or any of the above. I can leave it to rest. Hope my kids are ok. Sure. I might pray about them, but I don’t worry. God will take us where we need to be. And He’ll provide me with whatever I need should the worst ever happen. Until then, praying trumps worry.

Mom has habitually worried about everything, real and imagined. She isn’t shy about telling everyone, even now, about worry and lack of sleep. It’s a strong habit for her. At 92, she wouldn’t have to worry about us all. I suspect she may nap a bit more during the day than she admits to, maybe she isn’t sleeping well because of napping. I’m not sure. She tires easily. Heck, at my age, I enjoy a nap, and would think she will. But I won’t worry.

They activate the automatic worry when an ill wind is blowing. Anything that may pose a threat causes you to circle the wagons and hide. And worry non-stop. It’s automatic. There is a lot of hard work to reverse that pattern. But it is possible.

It takes a lot to help people understand they have more power than they believe they do. They have to believe they have the power to re-gain control over yourself and your thoughts. You will no longer react automatically. A new action will become easier to take, and you will take back your power.

“Opportunity does not knock – it presents itself when you beat down the door.” They credit this phrase to a person named Kyle Chandler. Not sure who that is, but it is true. A mentor of mine told me long ago, if you don’t find your opportunities, you need to create them. Figuratively, you could beat the door down, but I would hope it wouldn’t take that much.

Carefully looking for opportunities becomes easier the more practice we have. Then it becomes second nature. Not worrying. Chasing your goals helps us experience many opportunities we wouldn’t have if we sat on the couch at home. Each opportunity helps us become better along the way to our dreams.

Not letting others control what we do is a key to having power. That said, we need to work for others during our lives. And we need to do that, gaining experience as we learn. We may not always be able to work for ourselves. Sometimes we need those experiences to help us grow before we can manage ourselves. One step at a time.

Cautiously realistic is how I like to approach unknown situations. Disasters are so unlikely to happen; I prefer not to worry. Those who borrow trouble from tomorrow cannot help but worry about everything and court disaster because it’s all they know how to do.

As I end this day and look forward to tomorrow, know I understand why you worry. I know because I used to do the same thing. And I also know I had to stop. It drove me crazy and most of all, it wasn’t good for me. It robbed me of joy. I took my control back; I took my joy back. I took my life back. You can too.

It’s been another long day; I hope it’s a great rest of the evening and a good day tomorrow. Let’s see each other tomorrow. Take care out there.

What? Me Worry?

Do people still read Mad Magazine? No, because it ceased publication in 2019. Everyone loved it when I was a kid, even into adulthood. It was intelligent satire, and you had to have some knowledge of current events. They made satire into a fine art. There is a certain finesse to it, and when it sticks the landing, it becomes a classic. The character Alfred E. Neuman had become the symbol of uninformed voters, baseball fans, a supporter of FDR, and many, many others. His catch phrase was “What, me worry?” If you repeat it to people of a certain age, they know immediately who you’re talking about. It’s quite humorous. I always think of good old Alfred when the word worry comes up. Alfred and my mother. And most all mothers worry. Except me.

Mothers can elevate worry to an Olympic sport. They can lie awake all night worrying about things created in their own imaginations. And the horror! They must watch scary movies a lot, because someone always puts an eye out, is dead in a ditch somewhere, and has no one to thank but themselves. They can elevate fear and worry like nobody’s business. Right after the sleepless nights and the crabbiness that goes with it, the guilt is layered up nicely, and placed on your shoulders.

One time in the 80s, I had the nerve to tell Mom, “I don’t lose sleep over my problems, why do you? However it works out is how it works out.” Needless to say, she wasn’t my greatest fan that day. I felt like it was the truth, why should she lose sleep over things she can’t control? Because in her era, good mothers worried themselves sick. Yes, sick. Or at least sleepless. Sad, isn’t it?

Mom’s do worry. I prefer to say, “I have a concern.” Sure, but I don’t lose sleep over whatever it is. That’s not love, it’s codependency. It’s not the sign of a good mom. Most worry is baseless, and a habit of the codependent person. I’ve thought of why people worry. Most don’t want the worst to happen to their loved one. No one does. When it reaches an unhealthy level it becomes trouble. Lots of trouble.

The Mom’s who meddle or intervene and try to solve problems which haven’t happened yet enable their child, regardless of their age. The child (or adult) who allows someone else to solve their issues will continue to have more issues. They will not be able to work out solutions to their own problems. They cannot cope because they haven’t developed their skills. More harm than good is done. It’s a shame, really.

I’ve been codependent; I think anyone who has any relationship with an alcoholic has a good chance of being codependent. It’s not a good place to be, but often the fixing is how a codependent person creates their “normal.” Watching someone you love fail is hard. The strength comes in walking away and letting them handle their own mess. Often we care more than our loved one. When that happens, you’ve lost too much of yourself. You’re only hurting yourself, and not helping your loved one. Take it from me. Walk away. They don’t want to get better yet. You’ll lose yourself before they care.

Learn to let go. Learn to care for yourself instead. First. It’s hard work, but it’s so worth it. Today, I’m going to do some errands. Thank you for reading. I’ll see you tomorrow. Hugs!

Monday Morning

What a beautiful sight outside! I still love fluffy snow. It looks wonderful, magical, and almost romantic. The wonders of nature amaze me every day. Every day I live, I try to find something that is wondrous, beautiful, and majestic. My God is that way.

Later today, we’re going to our daughter’s home for dinner with family. Our son from DC will be in town, it’ll be nice to see him. It’s been over a year since we saw him and his family. They will remain home, quarantining and distance learning. President Trump will do a stopover at the airport tomorrow, so they must prepare things for him. He won’t stay long, just speak and leave. That’s fine. Unsure if Blake will leave tomorrow or Wednesday. Family is everything, and we make the most of the times like these. Sending hugs to those who couldn’t be here.

I’m really dug into reading Kaye Gibbons’ book, Emma Foster. It’s a sad but very good story. A young girl overcomes terrible circumstances to rise above her plight in life. Her father, a terrible alcoholic, her mother dies, the estranged grandmother interferes every way she can, and the little girl, Emma, matter-of-factly handles everything. She is brutally honest. It is amazing how mature she is. She has to be. It speaks to how people can rise above their circumstances. Something told this little girl how to stay safe from her father. He was a beast. She often wished him dead. She thought of killing him, as if that were her only way out of this terrible situation. It resolved itself, thanks to her teachers noticing how Emma came to school after her mother’s death. She had bruises on her, and she told exactly how they happened. She hid from her father often and had little to eat.

The story takes place in the South, and the usual white attitudes exist in her mind about “colored” people. She questions the segregation, as her best friend is a black girl. The girls’ family is kind to her. She wonders why she shouldn’t “mix” with them. They are good people. I hope to finish it this afternoon and start its sequel, “All the Life Around Me, by Ellen Foster.” The writing takes you away. I want to learn how to do that. Excellent advice from Sam, my writing coach.

Only one of my to be read piles

Over the winter, I hope to find some bookcases I like for our family room. I have not unpacked my books from the move four years ago. I will donate many, such as quilt books I’ll never use, novels I doubt I’d read again. Even donating things like these will free up space and make me more settled. We rarely use the boxes of toys for the grandkids. They’re all outgrown.

I have a mat for the floor, which looks like a little town. Kayla will receive that, and I’ll probably send her a few little cars for it. Gavin used to set it on our coffee table, and pay with it. Roxie used to steal a car from it and run. Gavin called her SWIPER. He laughed once he decided he couldn’t get her to stop. She let him have the car. She just wanted a little adventure, I guess.

Yes, time is fleeing too quickly. One personal mission is for me to make more time in the day. I need to find time to get more things accomplished. Most people waste some time. The mindset is, “I can do whatever I want, I’m retired.” True, but will you finish things you want to? Will you explore all the nooks and crannies of the earth you want to see? If not, better get started. I’d hate to have you miss it, too. Let’s move forward, even if we are retired!

Thank you for reading today. There will be more tales tomorrow, and I hope to see you here then. Don’t eat any yellow snow! Just be careful out there. Don’t break anything. Please. Be Kind. Be Safe. Be Thoughtful.

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