Number 1
Last night, I did an hour of yoga, followed by another half hour of weights. My anxiety level is significantly lower today, and I have that pleasant achy-but-not-too-achy muscles feeling. I really didnít feel like doing anything, last night, but I went ahead in blind faith that it would make me feel better.

Number 2
The reason I had time to myself to do yoga and weights was because Adam went climbing and then to dinner with friends. He hasnít done this much since he started school. Usually, if heís out, itís because heís teaching or studying. Once or twice a semester, heíll head north to hang out with his buddies there, but those guys donít make him happy. He goes to see them because he grew up with them, and he feels like they are family. So, last night was nice for him. He got to climb, relax and hang out with people who do make him happy.

I never understood that kind of obligation. I understand feeling obligated to be a decent person, to be supportive when someone needs it, or upholding vows, but not feeling obligated to spend time with people that make us unhappy. After a few decades, weíll kinda get a sense of what most people are about, and if those people donít generally make us happy, why do it? Yeah, all relationships have their ups and downs, there are arguments and misunderstandings. There are times when things are just inexplicably cool between two people. It makes sense to weather that kind of stuff, but not if itís bad most of the time.

I guess like food-guilt, there are some things that donít make sense to me. Perhaps itís because I grew up in a family that had no sense of loyalty or obligation to one another.

Number 3
My grandmotherís 89th birthday would have been earlier this week. One of my uncles posted a photo with a short tribute to her, and I was surprised at the number of people who commented. Most of them were people from the generation before mine. They were people that I recognized, but hadnít seen in 20 or 30 years. Nearly every one of them mentioned her incredible sweetness, even people who had been her daughter or son-in-law, decades ago, when they were still married to their first spouses.

When I knew her, I didnít know people well enough to make that kind of judgment, beyond the simplistic judgments I made about classmates (that person is mean, that person is nice, etc).

Iíve mentioned this several times before, but itís a favorite story of mine. Once she told me that her only regret in life was that she waited too long to start sticking up for herself. For years, she suffered in silence, too shy or afraid to tell people what she wanted. As she got older, she got braver, and found herself much happier and satisfied with life.

I suppose that one could conclude that if you want people to post about your legendary sweetness decades after youíve died of cancer, then yes, not sticking up for yourself might be the way to go. I saw her working to find a balance, though. She was learning to express desires and opinions with compassion. She was figuring out how to not be steam rollered without being a steam roller, herself.

I took that lesson to heart. Itís amazing how smallest things can have the biggest impact on a kid. Something as small as that may have eventually led me to decide that itís ok to give up a steady, stable, well-paying job to pursue something that will be unsteady, unstable, probably badly-paying, but ultimately, fulfilling.

1 comments so far

Friday, Mar. 02, 2012 at 12:37 PM