Life’s challenges, that is. You can also beat eggs, rugs and illnesses. You cannot beat your children or your spouse unless you are playing a board game. Be warned – if you choose to beat your loved ones at a game, there will probably be pouting, and there may be screams and tears. Telling your spouse to “stop acting like a baby” and/or gloating over your win is uncalled for (posting about it on social media, however……)
I realize that it’s August and I am still working through July’s Daily Gratitude Challenge. I’ve skipped days, skipped challenges, done things out of order and haven’t always followed the rules/have gotten distracted and off topic and taken on completely unrelated challenges and topics. I’m slowly working through all 31 topics. I hope you stay with me while I do.
Where was I? I skipped over challenges 6&7 to list the books I’m most grateful to have read. After I posted, I realized that I’d completely missed Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series (actually, I was reminded by a friend). If you’re a fan of historical fiction, romance and time travel, her series is not to be missed…and if you’re a fan of men in kilts, you should be watching the series on Starz. I have to admit that Sam Heughan didn’t quite measure up to my image of Jamie MacKenzie Fraser, but it didn’t take long for me to change my mind (excuse me, I just drooled on my keyboard).
I know, I know – I’ve veered off topic again, and I feel guilty about it – I do! I feel guilty about skipping ahead. I feel guilty that it’s the first week in August and I haven’t made it past the first week of the July challenge. I feel guilty that I’m in the fourth paragraph and I still can’t think of a title for this post. But I’m a lapsed Jew, which means that I come by guilt naturally. For those of you who’ve never dealt with Jewish guilt, it’s very similar to Catholic guilt (same guilt different food).
I skipped over it, but I’m back to Day 6: What challenge are you most grateful for overcoming?
I think we could all agree that we’ve been dealing with a lot of challenges
lately for months since 12/31/2019. 2020 is one for the record book. We’ve been faced with the challenges of learning to work and learn from home (including the joys of setting up a home office on the dining room table); teaching for non-teachers; quarantining for the highly social (thank you Zoom) and Zoom meetings for the technically challenged. I’ve decided to pick a few challenges that are a little more personal.
I’m stealing the first item on Suzie’s list – The fear of saying no. As she says “As a natural follower and people pleaser, the prospect of saying no has always been a very daunting concept…It took until I reached my 30’s fore to start saying no, and while it hasn’t always been a smooth ride I will stand up for myself when I need to.” I WISH I had learned to say no in my 30’s. It’s taken me much longer to learn the power of the other N-word, and I still struggle with using it, but I’m trying.
Being mean to myself. I don’t know about you, but the voices in my head have always been mean (What? You don’t hear voices? Umm….neither do I). I realize that teenaged girls are their own worst critic, but it took me forever to get past the “you’re fat/weird/stupid/nobody REALLY likes you” feeling. I have days when I slip, but I’ve learned that being as nice to yourself as you are to others is an important part of living my best life. Besides, weird is the new cool.
Writer’s block. I’ve been working on a middle-grade fairy tale for at least fifteen years. It’s based on a bedtime story I told the girl when she was a toddler, but (much like my daughter) it’s grown and evolved into something independent of me…and it’s finally finished (she says, crossing her fingers and spitting for luck).
My fear of rollercoasters. No, not literal rollercoasters. I’ve always been a bigger-faster-twistier is better kind of adrenaline junky. The girl was not. I blame myself – she was tall enough for Disneyland’s Matterhorn when she was 3, and she spent the entire ride calling for “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” I’m happy to report she’s finally over her fear. She’s so far past her fear that her favorite ride is X2. I have to admit that it made me cry the first time.
I’m talking about my fear of my rollercoaster life. The challenges of the past few years – loss of job (not my own), health (sometimes my own) and life (again, not my own) haven’t been fun. Actually, that’s not true. The challenges of the past few years have put the f-u in fun, but somehow we’ve made it through. Every time we hit a “dip” we’ve made it out. Our road to where we are has been filled with dips and twists, climbs and drops – but we’re still here. As a stereotypical perfectionist Virgo with control issues, learning to “let go and let God” (or let go and let God/Goddess/life/the universe/the flying spaghetti monster) has been one of my most difficult lessons. I have finally learned that life is a rollercoaster, and that some days, the best you can do is get in, sit down, buckle up and throw your hands in the air – it’s more fun that way.**Trying not to throw up on your neighbor is important as well
What challenges are you facing? What challenges are you most proud of overcoming?