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Friday, July 20, 2018

Life: A Highwire Act

I was talking with a coworker today about my mornings when I have my daughter and need to drop her off before work.  One thing she noted was that she has a checklist of things she needs to do before the kids are out the door and to where they need to be.  I too  have a mental checklist of things I need to do:

  • Make sure she's awake and stays awake.
  • Make sure she takes a shower if necessary and gets dressed.
  • Make sure she takes her medicine
  • Make sure she has breakfast or knows where she can get it--packing it if we are short on time.
  • Take a shower and get ready and get dressed.
  • Feed my cat his medicine
  • Pack myself and her a lunch.
  • Feed my cat his medicine.
  • Make sure her backpack is packed and whatever needs signed is signed.
  • Make sure I have everything I need.
  • Make sure everything we need is taken out to the car.
  • Kiss the wife goodbye and say bye to the kids if they are awake.
I'm sure I'm probably forgetting something, but I have to do all that in roughly about an hour.   That's just one part of my regular routine and by the time I drop her off, making it in about 80 minutes after I left, I feel worn out.   Suffice to say, I have to keep track of a number of things and make sure to stay focused.

Sometimes my wife is wide awake for this and sometimes she's resting.  I have such a routine going where everything is done in the same order.   If she's awake she sometimes tries to ask me if  I remember this or that.  Sometimes it's okay and sometimes I tell her, don't worry I'll let you know if I need help.  It might come across as being an ingrate or being brushed off, but I finally found the words to communicate what it is like in the morning to my wife.

Mornings are like a high-wire act.  I take one step at a time going from one end of the wire to the other end--that is to say I methodically check items off my checklist from the moment I wake up to the moment I start my commute.  I'm very focused an on task, but very intense, just like someone who would be crossing the high-wire.  Sometimes, when she intervenes, it breaks my rhythm.  I forget my place and have to readjust.   Just like if I was on a hire-wire and out of nowhere a person appeared in front of me on the other side.  It could startle me for a moment enough to throw off my balance.  I would quickly have to readjust, factor in the person on the other side and continue my progression to the other side.

So, if your significant other seems to 'reject' your help, especially in crunch situations, don't necessarily take it personally.  He or she just might have their own of coping with the situation.  Maybe after he or she has had time to exhale they can explain.  Perhaps if he or she realizes that the situation is hopelessly beyond their control they will know to reach out for hope.  Just my thoughts and realizations for the day.

Thanks for reading.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Considering others, but answering only to my Higher Power (God)

The 'wisdom' of years & experience can be a double-edge sword in terms of perspective.   You can be so tied to the 'old order of things'--not realizing for example that Separate But Equal is really Separate and Inherently Unequal.  You are so tied to the old order of things that when the enlightenment plane comes along, you don't think it is your flight.   In reality, though the destination had changed, it was still the flight you needed to take.  On the other hand, as a seasoned 'flyer' in life's journey you have seen flights diverted, delayed or cancelled (rhetorically) and you know life like flights change.  Even if you don't totally recognize or understand the change, you at least recognize the need to adjust.

As I am fast approaching the mid-century mark in my life, I can see some of the old ways of counseling and behavioral medicine completely missed the mark.  Kids with autism and other spectrum related disorders were labeled as 'problem kids' and not always given the help and guidance needed. Instead, they were labeled as troubled kids in some cases.  On the other hand, I can see that sometimes in today's society pushed parents to 'relate to' and 'understand' their children more.  While it is important to know your children and be able to explain in ways they understand, sometimes we just have to be the parents.   That is to say, we have to guide and discipline them based on what will need as they travel from childhood to adulthood vs. what they are willing to readily accept.

----

Speaking of wisdom of years and experience, it has changed it has changed the way I relate to people and whom I 'seek approval' from.  When I was in my teens and twenties, I had opinions but didn't always have the confidence that goes along with age and experience.  I tended to defer to 'grownups' (aka parental figures and older folks) more.   As I've gotten older, I realize that I've learned things along the way, gathered experience and that not everything is as it is portrayed, including in politics.

Everyone wants to have their take accepted to varying degrees.  Some people seem to need a constant feedback of praise or validation, while others seem to measure their take against a principle or set of principles.

For what it's worth, here is my take:
  • The take of others has to be considered. 
    • Someone who has devoted time/service to their country--sometimes at great cost--is someone who has earned a right to be heard and considered.
    • Similar people in a place of authority.
    • Your spouse and kids, whom are affected by your decisions need to be taken into account when you make a big decision.  For example, can't just accept a job out of town without consulting them and expect them to go along without any chance of resistance. 
    • A friend or family member who has observed you for years often can give you an outsider's perspective from someone who you'd expect to have your best interests in mind.
    • More often we are able to discern their motive or perspective and assess where it is coming from--a selfless place, a mixed motive place or a selfish place.
  • Ultimately, I have to measure my decisions/choices against that of my Higher Power (aka God).
    • As His child, I know He sees and knows things about me which no one could possibly.
    • As His child, I know He created me in His own image and therefore wants what is best for me.
    • As His child, I know He wants me to trust His divine judgment.
    • As His child, I know He has put forward principles in my life (Ten Commandments/The Golden Rule/Proverbs/etc) for my enlightenment and wisdom.
  • I know He didn't shape me to be one of a mass produced robots.
    • He shaped me individually with my individual talents/strengths.
    • He shaped me with free will.  He wants to be appreciated by His children, but He wants it come honestly I believe.
    • He saw that 'man' cannot live an island.  We are social creatures and need the company/companionship of others in our lives.  Obviously, we have to take into account their needs too. 
    • While we aren't an island, we can't just put the 'need' for acceptance from others above His eternal wisdom ('rules') and his knowledge what is best for us.

I have had family and friends who have properly thought--or occasionally rationalized to themselves--that they were advising me in what they saw as 'my best interests'.   Usually, it is, but it hasn't necessarily always been.  Sometimes the advice is welcomed, sometimes it is not, but regardless I have always felt it best that it is best that either way, I have to do what I understand is best in His eyes.  That is, not just what I can rationalize that He would 'accept', but what I can back up with my knowledge of His word and discern with His guidance through prayer and meditation.   There is a time for quietly listening to the guidance of others and there is a time for letting others know that their guidance is not helpful, but it is always the right time to seek out and follow His guidance.