Live and let live …I guess?

 

Screenshot 2019-08-21 at 12.20.19 PMIn my endless pursuit of self-improvement, I listen to a lot of podcasts and read a lot of books. One of the key messages of almost ALL self-care/self-improvement media (whether it’s about weight loss, spirituality, unleashing your full potential, etc.) is not letting other people’s bullshit affect you.

If you want to test yourself to see what mile-marker you’ve reached on your “journey of self-improvement (puke),” go on a family vacation. Hell, go on ANY vacation with a bunch of adults of all ages and one male 17yr old. The male 17-year-old is not essential- like, don’t STEAL one or anything- but if you really want to challenge your zen level, I mean REALLY want to push yourself, I highly recommended incorporating one into your travel plans.

What did I learn about myself?

I learned I’ve made some good progress, but I still have a long way to go. I learned that if people are pissing me off, I tend to take it out on my husband- which is obviously not cool and needs work. I learned I struggle with wanting everyone to be having a good time and feeling upset when clearly one or two people are not. I learned that I am more able to recognize these feelings in-the-moment and do some self-talk to manage those emotions.

(We’re just gonna go ahead and use “they” here- lest I have people calling for my head on a platter)

  • “They didn’t have to come along, but they chose to because they want to be with the family. So maybe they aren’t having a woo-hoo blasty blast, but they are content to be with the group.”
  • “They are just not as go-with-the-flow are you are and that’s ok. Actually, it’s great for them! They probably have a better credit score than I do because of it LOL”
  • “They literally just said 5 minutes ago they had an upset stomach- this is not about you- you lunatic.”
  • “We are a loud, obnoxious family, not everyone is used to, or is into, that!”

I also learned I’m not sure what the end goal should even be. Are we not even supposed to have feelings when other people act in ways that we don’t like and just understand it’s their bullshit causing them to act that way and understand it has little or nothing to do with us? Are we just supposed to accept and embrace everyone for who they are?  Most self-care media suggests surrounding yourself and spending your time with people who have similar goals and outlooks on life and avoiding people who drain your positivity. So are they suggesting you just “cancel” family members? I understand cutting ties with family members who have repeatedly shown they can’t be trusted; but what about the family members who are just not on the same wavelength as you? Or have very different personalities? Or perhaps some shit they should probably work on? Or just make you crazy? Are we SUPPOSED to enjoy all the time we spend with people and therefore only spend time with people who we enjoy all the time?  Well, that can’t be it because I would be alone 100% of the time both because there is nobody I enjoy 100% of the time and FOR SURE nobody enjoys ME 100% of the time (LMAO)! 

 

 

The visit

It’s about to get weird up in here.

Thursday night my father visited me in a dream. Oddly enough, I have been waiting for this to happen since he died, and have been slightly (irrationally) annoyed that he hadn’t done it yet like my grandfather did the night he died (You can read about that here).

As we know, there were some “issues” between us when my dad died that caused me to sadness, anger, and confusion because our relationship had actually been great the past few years. I even answered the phone when he called every week or so and didn’t let it go to voicemail and then Facebook message him later on as I have been known to do…..

His refusal to let me visit when he was dying has run through my mind on a fairly regular basis. However, only over the past several weeks have I been able to lose the anger, and even the sadness, about it and realize those couple weeks are irrelevant to the past several YEARS.

Thursday night we stood talking in front of a fireplace (in a house/apt I’ve never been in or seen before) and he said something (I can’t remember what), causing me to say, “Dad, you know you died months ago, right?” He paused, thinking for a minute, and said, “Well, I guess that makes sense.” Then I told him what happened between us at the end and he genuinely appeared to remember any of it and seemed disappointed in himself, saying something to the effect of, ‘wow… I wonder why I would do that?’

Those last couple weeks, he was confused and disoriented most of the time, often unable to answer simple questions or recognize people he knew. So it would make sense if he didn’t remember events that took place during that period of time.

The rest of our visit was just. so. normal. We chatted like always and he was just my Dad.

The only thing nagging at me is when I said, “So… Do you like this new place?” he said, “Not particularly.” He did move right before he went into the hospital, and he wasn’t happy about it, so I hope that’s where my brain got that footage.

Yes, my brain. Because while I felt the realness of him there and the difference between that experience and my other nightly dreams. I also realize our minds are incredibly powerful and my dream could have been ‘just a dream.’

Frankly, It doesn’t matter which it was.