So, I had the opportunity to tune in to myself today. We’re on a road trip and, naturally, there was some squabbling. About two hours in I was getting a little irritated. The kids were being noisy with their loud talking, squealing, and sound effects, and it began wearing on my nerves. I could feel myself being stretched thinner and thinner in anticipation of them nodding off so I could have peace and type away. That moment couldn’t come soon enough. I tried to taper off because I wanted the kids to be able to have their fun, but then a noise came that had me turning around and barking at them.
I listened to myself as I spoke and was hit with a profound thought. I was a fun sucker… They were just having a jolly ole time, but here I was completely not okay with that. I wanted them to have fun my way (the quiet way). Why couldn’t I just sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of their play? Instead, I was being a Fun Nazi and doing everything I could to squash their good time. Rules, rules, rules, and more rules. What a freaking drag!
I was left in shock as I absorbed this. I couldn’t believe how I was acting. I’m a parent! My job is to guarantee the well-being of my children. Laughter and playfulness is a clear and blatant sign of that! It’s my responsibility to teach them how to live happy and productive lives. Why would I suppress their fun and creativity? What the hell was my problem?
Looking at it now, I guess my issue is that I’d rather think about what needs to be done in the future or what I should have done in the past. I can’t enjoy the life passing by me each and every second because my mind’s too lost to consider what I could be doing right NOW. That’s something most of us are guilty of. We’re always thinking of what has yet to be done. There’s always a task just out of our reach that consumes our attention and creates our present identity (i.e. stressed out, busy, and so on). We’re just running’ the hamster wheel to nowhere, where there is a never-ending to-do list and happiness is always ahead of us and beyond our grasp.
I’m not pleased to realize that I’ve been such a whiny, self-absorbed ass. I’m embarrassed to be setting that kind of example. More than anything though, I’m ashamed. I can’t believe I’ve been pushing down my own children. I’ve cut off their joy, creativity, and self-expression. Is there anything shittier?
I’m not happy with myself. I grew up in a rather miserable environment, and I promised myself that I’d give my kids better. My behavior appalls me. It strikes a chord at my very core, and I’m not about to allow myself to continue this. I’ve had my head up my ass, and it’s due time I pulled it out.
I’m determined to create a new definition of family, so this requires immediate action. As awful as I feel, I can see that the resolution to this is actually ridiculously simple; be present. Instead of getting caught up in thinking about the to-do list, I can focus on what’s happening NOW. Even more, I can actually participate! Would that EVER be fun?!
It’s hard sometimes, especially this very moment (experiencing the joy of relationships right now). But… It’s the only way. I mean, how else am I going to get what I want? No one likes being around complainers, and I know I myself am far more interested in slapping a whiner than I am in helping them. Their whiny tone is as enjoyable to our ears and sanity as sandpaper is to the face.
So, if I’m unhappy about something, there’s clearly but one and only one possible solution. (Hint: it’s NOT to feed my unhappiness) The only answer is to be happy! I mean, duh! Right? Being angry comes naturally, and throwing logs into our burning fire of prissiness is what we do best, but it doesn’t solve anything. Not EVER.
Long story short; If I’m pissed off then there’s a reason. If I know what the reason is, then I can do something about it. Simple! So, I’m off to figure out exactly what I’m needing. Best of luck to me, you, and yours!