Saturday, May 30, 2015

Nostalgia 101

Otherwise known as my own personal self-indulgent sniff-fest. 

I think it's been tough, harder than I can really say, to adjust to a new life. Even if we hadn't moved, I think I would still feel most of this, post most of these pictures. 

Here goes --

I miss when my kids were happy just to go to the park for a couple of hours.

I miss having hand-me-down furniture that I had to fix once in awhile, and cheap Ikea lamps. And spending time with hubby before he left for his shift.

When my brothers and sisters were all getting married and there was a wedding every couple of years. This was at Craig and Becky's December wedding, waiting for the reception. 

I miss picking up this angel from his crib, all warm and sweaty after a 3-hour nap.

When the kids played together, and with their little cousins (this is at Becky and Craig's, thanks Becky, haha)!

I miss when Dylan and I actually did something to celebrate our anniversary and weren't lame and much too busy. This is up at Whistler in August of 1921 or something. 

I miss our cat having ridiculous amounts of beautiful sweet kittens, and watching them play on the deck. Outside kittens. 

And our stick-dumb, loving-us-to-pieces dog, Cinder. Town is no life for a dog. 

Fort building. Takes me back to my own childhood when forts were a major part of the fun we had. I can still pound in a nail like nothing. 

I miss living close to the cousins. A brat-pack like this on the tear after a birthday party, fuelled by chips and sunshine. These are a few of my sister Carla and sister Laura's boys, plus Tonto.

A few blissful summer moments in the hammock. Also having a place to put a hammock. Also my Starbucks mug, which somehow was lost/stolen/given away the summer we moved. 

First day of school pictures with kids actually smiling!! Yay, school can be fun. 

Teaching high school. I know, I quit of my own free will. But those were some good days, most of the time. 

Seeing my son looking like this when I look up from my desk. "Can I just play a bit longer, mom?" 

Flowers!! Just a step or two out the front door. 

And as you all know, my love affair with trees. I've really got to plant a few on this barren lot. 

You know how the last picture looks enhanced? Maybe a touch of a filter? I kid you not, it's totally natural. Taken on my iPhone. There's the color green, folks, drink that in. 

Quad trips!! Complete with mosquitos galore!! 

Alright, so I don't miss this, at all. None of us do! Unless you were jumping in it or throwing it or tossing the cat in it (Dylan!!!), these huge dumps of snow weren't much fun at all. 

It was great having that old red Chevy. I can't count the times we've needed a truck in the last 10 months. Plus it made cool sounds, rumbling and roaring down the driveway. 

Well folks, I think that about does it for today. I'm trying hard to make memories here in Three Hills. Lately it seems I'm either working, or driving, or sitting in emerg with a sick kid, which isn't terribly fun. Things should get easier as the school year winds down and we all have more freedom. 

Thanks for taking a short stroll down this mostly recent memory lane with me. Other people's pictures are pretty boring, I know, so if you made it this far, wow!!

I know looking back can be foolish sometimes and the memories seem brighter and more awesome than they actually were. It's just a thing I had to do today. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

You Think What??!

Newsflash - I'm extremely opinionated.
I know, it's hard to take in. 
I've simply learned to be incredibly nice. 
Any family member knows this all too well. Am I incredibly nice, or terribly fake? I'll let you be the judge.

It dawned on me, as life progressed, that no one wants to hear a strong opinion; in fact, the backlash can be downright painful. I told some young friends once that if they actually thought for the briefest of seconds they would realize Santa doesn't exist, and to give their parents some credit, for crying out loud. I may be forgetting the exact words. I was treated to (well-deserved) stony silence and hurt looks for weeks afterward. The school yard (who am I kidding, we didn't have a yard)...the school parking lot...was awkward for awhile. 

   One time my well-meaning grandma and step-grandpa wanted to take me to the local Santa Claus event, complete with prizes and Christmas goodies, you name it. I won a stuffed Scooby-doo! (Yayy...y..!)  Everyone was so excited and thought it was so cute, and the whole time I was thinking "I hate this. Please, get me out of here before something awful happens". I was terrified and disgusted about climbing on some man-in-a-suit's knee. I hadn't the slightest idea who Scooby-doo was; I didn't know for many years actually, not having TV. The day I finally realized what that brown stuffed dog was all about was a truly enlightening day. When my kids were younger I watched all the episodes of Scooby-doo and the gang with them, marvelling that at one time, completely unknown to me, I was in possession of an icon of pop culture...
So did I express my angst and bewilderment at any point in the evening with my grandparents?? Not a bit. I oohed and aawwed at the correct times. I smiled. I smiled bigger if they kept looking expectantly at me. I said I had a fun time. I said thank-you to Santa. I was four years old, and a dyed-in-the-wool people pleaser.

Not having access to therapy at this tender age, my people-pleasing mentality  grew, year by year. I just didn't want anyone mad at me. I wanted my friends, my family, random feel happier because they talked to me. I became super-skilled at looking for signs of displeasure, apathy, frustration - and heading them off at the pass. It was not  healthy and still isn't. 

When you are a people pleaser your boundaries disappear. The best good is to keep the peace, to make others happy. If your own needs and desires get trampled or even annihilated in the process, it's a non-issue. Better yet, if you aren't aware of your own needs, you don't really notice. What needs? But sometimes you do notice. And the cumulative affect of denying your own needs can be similar to an avalanche. Layer upon layer of soft snow falls. Settles. The weight increases. Then something triggers a shift. Boom! The mountain rumbles and chaos roars down. 
As you can imagine (shaking head), I'm really, really tired of pretending I don't have an opinion about things. 
Like Santa. 

(At this point I listed several things I have strong opinions about, and then had to delete them because for every one I thought of a person who might be offended. It's a disease, I'm telling you.)

People are important to me. I like them a lot. I do care a great deal, but it gets confusing. Which brings me to ponder two questions. 

How do I know when I've stopped caring about them, and began caring more about their feelings toward me?

How do I know when I've stopped caring about me, and began caring only what others think of me? 

How does one know when the lines are crossed?
How do you know?

If I could figure this out I might actually be able to relax and enjoy life. Which would be amazingly helpful, if I may say so.