via Connected Dots
“They tried to make me go to rehab…”
I just shared the responsibility of driving mom to visit dad while he was in the hospital followed by a two week sentence of rehab. During this time, I realized I spent a month worrying about my parents in the exact way they spent decades worrying about their kids. I cannot be the only person to write about having this epiphany, but I’m sharing my connected dots and if you care to read them and comment, thanks.
Dot one- Driving
It’s our turn to worry about dad behind the wheel. Will he get flustered in fast traffic?Will fast traffic get flustered by dad? Stop signs, car trouble, reaction times. Wait a second… these are all the things dad worried about when we sat behind the wheel for the first time. (Times four of us)
Dot two- Sleepless Nights
No one tells you that you will wake up worrying about your parents, but it happens like this around 2:57am,
“Is Dad sad in that place all alone? Is mom sleeping missing dad at home? She needs her rest or she will get sick. What happens tomorrow, how about……”
STOP THE BUS!!!!! I bet they did the exact thing when we went to our first high school dances, dates, and college visits. (This was mind blowing to me.)
Dot three- Frustrating Behavior
I’ve loved those car ride conversations I had with mom, but there were some frustrating talks where “I couldn’t get her to listen.”
(Yeah, I’m laughing at that one and picturing mom and teenage math class me at the kitchen table. Do you think I listened when she was giving me advice? If you answered, “I bet you said something about how you have your way of doing things and you can’t change me,” you would be making the same dot connections as me right about now.
Dot four- Home Alone
I hated dropping mom off to an empty house. What if someone had been watching us come and go? Professional thieves do that you know! Did she leave a light on so it looked like someone was home?
“Holy crap!!!!!This is why they were so nervous about me moving out and living alone.
Miscellaneous dots– Are they eating right? Why aren’t they calling me back? Should they be out this late? Please drink something else besides coffee!!!!
Dots connected and it turns out they say,
Thanks Mom and Dad. We got you this time.”
I had a goal of finishing the middle grade novel I’m working on by the end of summer. Well, that didn’t happen. I’m not even close, and I’m not even sad. I thought I would wake up each and every day, pour some coffee, and drink in the inspiration. What actually happened was perfect.
Perfectly perfect and exactly what I needed.
My days started with hot water and Apple Cider Vinegar. There was no writing, just me taking care of me, then heading off to whatever exercise class I felt like going to. My best days involved getting up early enough to ride my bike to the gym! There were looks, and a few passive aggressive jabs of, “That’s why you look the way you do,” which I let get to me a few times, until I nicely reminded the commenters that I haven’t found a person yet who didn’t have some body issues, and I certainly have my share.
There are tons of memes and hashtags created by writers reminding people like me to #justwrite and #amwriting, but for me it just wasn’t happening this summer, and I didn’t force it. I needed something else. I needed to work on me. I am my own Work in Progress (WIP) and this summer was devoted to revising and editing the book of ME.
I’m almost ready to hit submit.
Most days I try to make healthy choices, but there are other days when it’s pizza and popcorn. Blah, blah, blah, balance. We’ve all heard that before. In the spirit of “stop saying that, ” another blah, blah, blah, I’m tired of hearing is, “I wish I looked like you.” Yeah? Well guess what? I wish I looked like someone else, so stop comparing. (Yes, I hear my own contradiction.)
“I wish I looked like you,” is dangerous. What if the person you are saying this to is actually sick and wishing they actually felt like eating? Still comparing?
“I wish I looked like you,” is nosy. What if this person you wish you were finally traded a dangerous addiction for a healthier one? Still wishing? (If this is you, I’m incredibly proud of your changes!)
The challenge- Find a soul to imitate. Try replacing “I wish I looked like you,” with
I wish I were as kind as you.
As selfless as you.
As thoughtful as you.
As good a listener as you?
And try being that person.