Posts tagged ‘Teens’

I bought a new CD recently of music of India.  As a rule, I am always open to new music, but generally I will not seek out anything beyond my realm of experience without some sort of push.  I happened to hear part of the CD one day when I was out and about, and liked what I heard enough to go ahead and buy it when I found it.  I have been listening to it in the car, and the more I listen, the more I realize I really like this CD.  Don’t worry, I am going to stop here on the gushing about the CD.  This is not a commercial and I am not endorsing that you need to go buy a copy for yourself.  Just wanted to give you the context.

The first track on the CD is a song about the strength of women and how, historically, women of the eastern countries have been repressed and oppressed:

Behind every great man, there is a great woman
But as Jasmine never blossoms in the shade,
So woman’s potential can be left to wither away,
Unfulfilled, when standing in the shadow of man
Still, women of the east have stood strong
and fought hard throughout time.
The determined intelligent strength of a woman,
emanating from the inside out.

This got me thinking about how I have downplayed my own potential in the past, and how my choices have affected my life.  Sort of the “Knowing what I know now, if I had it to do all over again, what would I do differently” dilemma.  I think everyone has, at one time or another, asked this question of themselves.  It is very easy to ask the question.  It is far more difficult to answer it honestly, no holds barred.  That requires that we take a long, hard look at ourselves and the mistakes we have made in the past.  Were the lessons that we learned from those mistakes valuable enough to justify the pain we caused ourselves?  Were they valuable enough to justify the pain we caused others?  Could we have learned those lessons in any other way?  One that would have been less excruciating?  And if we did, would the lessons have meant as much to us?  Would they have made as much of an impression?

I know that, if it weren’t for the experience I had during my first marriage, I probably would not be married to the man I am married to now.  The “bad” experiences we each had in our first marriages prepared us and taught us what we should look for in a potential mate.  It also taught us what to avoid.  I think I am ultimately happier now, even when “bad” things happen at home, because of the difficulties I had in my first marriage.  Would I have preferred to be able to learn those lessons without the “benefit” of my first marriage?  Of course I would have.  Would the lesson have meant as much to me?  Probably not.

On the flip side of all of this, I am watching my older children, on the threshold of adulthood, preparing themselves to make some of the same mistakes I made when I was about their age.  On the one hand, I can see the mistakes looming ahead of them, and I know the potential horror awaiting if the wrong choice is made, and I want to spare them any pain I possibly can.  I want to tell them they are about to make terrible mistakes, and I want them to actually listen to what I have to say about it and hear the dangers ahead.  On the other hand, I know that the chances of them listening are slim and none, and Slim has moved to Marrakesh.  I know that, without falling down, they will never learn how to get back up on their own, and I know that without severe pain, they will never be able to truly appreciate the great joys that life can offer them.  So, I am going to do the only thing the situation will allow me to do.  I am going to talk to them until I am blue in the face.  Even when they are frustrated and disgusted and tired of listening, I am going to keep talking.  I am going to tell them all the mistakes I made and the consequences of those choices.  I am going to pray that even a small fraction of what I say will actually sink in and have some effect.  I am going to buy stock in tissues and wait for the day they come home, awakened, disillusioned, and defeated, and I am going to tell them that “This, too, shall pass.”  And knowing all this, I just wish, in a very selfish way, that I didn’t love them as much as I do, because seeing their hearts breaking will kill mine, and no matter how much they hurt, I will hurt 1,000% more, because I knew it was coming.  And, until then, I am going to pray with every ounce of my being that, this time, I will be wrong.

When I started this blog, I was determined to follow the advice of countless writers before me: Write something every day.  I was on board.  I had willingly drunk the Kool-Aid and was writing daily.  Then life happened.  One of my favorite sayings is “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”  After the day I had yesterday, he must be ROFLHAO.

It all started very benignly.  I got up and went to work.  Now, some people might view this as a chore, but I work in a place where, at least once a day, I am laughing so hard I have to put effort into not peeing my pants.  Anyway, a situation came up at work and my boss needed someone to cover some additional hours, and I willingly volunteered.  Had a great day, but then, when I got home, I had two hours to try and get done all the things that I had planned to do in the five hours I originally had scheduled.  One downfall to being a perfectionist is that, if one is not sure that EVERYTHING is going to work perfectly, there is a tendency to procrastinate until the stars align and perfection is attainable.  This explains why my house is in a constant, fluctuating state of chaos.    So, rather than trying to achieve what I had originally intended, I put out a few fires and got things ready to go for the next event on the schedule – the spring concert at the school.

I love all my kids, but each has their own particular quirks that can sometimes drive me completely mental.  In order to make sure he arrived in time to prepare for the concert, the performing son wanted to arrive an hour early.  The brooding son wanted nothing to do with the whole affair but was attending under duress, and the toddler cared only that he was getting to ride in the car.  Sitting quietly and waiting for the concert to start was an absolute impossibility for a 3-year-old. He only wanted to RUN!  He could not even be dissuaded by the DS, so I ended up watching him circle the cafeteria at breakneck speed, hoping he wouldn’t splat face first into the tile.  (I was lucky, this time.)  The brooder wandered aimlessly waiting for the concert to start, constantly texting with his friends.  During the concert was another story.  Three trips to the potty, two suckers from Grandma, and fruit snack and dry Cookie Crisp cereal kept the toddler mildly amused.  The rest of the time was devoted to seat dancing!  The brooder, in the meantime, kept excusing himself to also “go to the restroom.”  On our third trip back from the potty, the toddler and I saw him in the lobby of the auditorium, phone in hand and thumbs flying.  Oh, well.

Anyway, by the time we left school, picked up dinner, came home, and ate, it was time to prep the toddler for bed.  As he and I were putting on pajamas and brushing teeth, my husband came into the room.  Now, my husband has also been working on a little writing project of his own, and has been very devout about spending time each day writing.  He mentioned that he had not yet written, but that he was expecting to be able to do so once the boy and I had both gone to bed and the house would be quiet.  I replied that I, also, had not written yet, but that, along with the to-do list still waiting to be completed from the afternoon, my little blog was going to go a day without an entry.  And once again, the perfectionist in me popped up and said, “Self, you could just run out to the laptop and put in ANYTHING, and then you could sleep soundly, knowing that your streak has not ended.”  I told the perfectionist in me to STFU – I was going to bed!  I hope the warmth I am feeling is just summer coming on!