Five amazing days… We beached, we ate seafood, we napped, I ran on the beach, we golfed, we laughed, we played cards, we watched movies. Seven days later… My parents are now driving me crazy. Another thing they say in Alanon: When you meet 2 assholes in 1 day, the third one is usually you. Hmmm. Does that count when they are married and they are your parents? Becasue it seems like that would be a loophole of some sort??
It seems that no matter how long the vacation is, my son and I end up looking at each other on the way home and saying “We stayed one day too long AGAIN, damn it!”. It was a lovely vacation for 5 days, then day 6 started, and they turned into extremely irritated people. My kids and I couldn’t do anything right. We were slow, we didn’t eat on time, I didn’t drink enough wine with them, we watched too much TV, she was too good at Hearts, and he didn’t unload the suitcases from the back of the car quickly enough. There was no winning. Or- maybe I was finally on their last nerve, running every day during coffee time, leaving their house to go to the beach every day, and not doing… something…they… expected…I…should…so?
My Dad was a jerk to my son at the airport curb-first son didn’t get out of car fast enough, then didn’t unload suitcases from the car quickly enough, and then finally scratched the bumper of the car while unloading suitcases. My son heard and saw his grandfather’s disappointment about all 3 of those errors- my Dad was loud, angry, and belittling. Dillon’s sister, meanshile, could do no wrong all week in her Granfather’s eyes. I wanted to say “It is one thing to be an asshole to me, but don’t be an ass to my kid”. I didn’t say it. I hugged my son and walked away from the old man who is doing the best he can with what he has (likely some weird issue about aging and feels threatened by a 15-yr old who has no income, no status, and no choice but to listen to the fury). I called them later and thanked them for their patience with us this morning and for the wonderful vacation at their home. I don’t know how that is going to feel tonight.
It is not that easy. We can get a little gun-shy and self-recriminatory when we make mistakes. I am the first one to shout “I told you so!” when I screw up. But I have been told that the more we trust those innards, the better we will be at coming up with The Truth.
- So, I trusted my gut with the Cute Guy at work. When he said he went away for the weekend with another woman, I decided that meant I needed to move on down the road. I did my hair differently, gave him back the book he loaned me, ignored his conversation attempts, walked the other way when I saw him, and went out on a couple of dates. I acted AS IF I was moving on anyway; I wasn’t, but I was trying to fake it until I made it.. Ten days later, he texted that he missed me and was so sorry. I waited to respond (ok, so it was only 4 hours). And now, 3 weeks after that, we are dating. Exclusively. He is calling me pet names, he is calling me every day, and most importantly, he is referring to and paying attention to my speech to him that I only date one man at a time and only date men who date one woman at a time. At this point, he is opening up to me more than I am to him! He is sharing fears and dreams and listening to mine. I have no promises of where it is going, but today the gut-check was a good thing. I knew I could not tolerate the behavior of seeing others, and I took care of myself by speaking my Truth.
- At work last week, I was very uncomfortable with the way my boss handled a meeting that lasted four 10-hour days long. He didn’t protect our client from the third party and her lawyer. I was really stressed and in a lot of turmoil because this put my job as well as my reputation on the line. But he wanted me to follow his lead, and ”just let it all happen, be patient”. Because the third party held the checkbook. Finally, on the 4th morning, after painfully shutting my mouth several times, being jittery and taking more breaks than usual from the meeting for 3 days, I spoke out once in our client’s interest. My boss ruffled beside me, and the third party blinked their eyes a few times. We all went on, not a lot changed. And 7 hours later I got to board a plane outta there. I have no idea what the recourse from my boss will be when I return to the office, but somehow, I need to keep on trusting my gut and be true to what I believe is right. I have been asking for a promotion and a raise, I really hope now that I am just not canned!
- Dating with teenagers in the house- the ultimate test of our reasoning. My kids are watching me date this man now. They have met him, they have spent time skiing with him, and have had dinner with him several times. They know he has been a part of my life for about 8 months even though they didn’t meet him until 4 months into it. I told them about it when I broke up with him. I am trying to model how adults move through sadness and pain, so that when it happens to them, they will know the earth has not crashed into the sun, even though they feel awful about the breakup, death, job loss, etc. I am also trying to teach my kids about honesty… they don’t get to have sleepovers with their boy/girlfriends, and, well, I do. If I am teaching my son not to be sneaking around behind my back, shouldn’t I stop sneaking around behind their backs to spend the night with my boyfriend? This is difficult terrain here, because if I decide to stop sneaking around, then that means I have to decide how much Cute Guy means to me. Do I want him to have a relationship with my kids? Do I want them to like him? Get attached to him? Things are still very fresh and new, although going really well so far (what has it been, 2 weeks on this new relationship plane? NOT LONG!). So luckily, I am on vacation with my kids. Phew. We have some ski days planned all together. No overnights are planned, yet. But you know how that goes.
- The bottom line is, we all need to take the time to “act, and not react”, as the Al-anon saying goes. In order to trust our guts, we need time alone, with friends, and/or with journals to process, and a ton of communication with everyone involved. I need to have the long talks with my kids that only come when I am not worried about work and not rushing to find dinner, and can look them in the eyeballs for more than 10 seconds at a time. And, yes, I need to ask God to “help me help me help me”.