The atomic era exhibit at a local museum showed me some fascinating elements of the life of another generation.
We are still talking about guns. The discussion on guns misses the point entirely, in my opinion.
I read about murders and assaults in the news nearly every day. Outside of war, most of them involve only one or two people. The police always check out family, friends, and business partners first. What does that tell you?
Why do people kill each other? Why do they assault each other?
There are a few reasons — including greed — but mostly it comes down to strong feelings that people don’t know how to handle.
I have been reading the stories for as long as I can remember…
A young woman was killed because she turned down a marriage proposal.
A girl’s hair was set on fire by a peer who was not invited to a party.
A man set his son on fire because of a divorce/custody dispute.
The stories are different but they are all the same.
People who cannot accept emotional pain. People who cannot live with having been wronged. People who judge others, who blame others, who want to punish others.
These are the people who commit violence on a daily basis.
Gun regulation is easier to accomplish than emotional regulation.
But…emotional regulation is the only solution.
Teach your children how to process their feelings. Teach them that they are stronger than they think. Show them examples of those who have overcome adversity, those who are happy in spite of all that has gone wrong with their lives, those who are loved when they thought they were unloveable.
Teach them the meaning of the word NO.
Teach them to work through their disappointment, shame, or humiliation.
Teach them that pain is temporary, just like joy.
Teach them that others are vulnerable, just as they are.
Teach them that anger can be productive or destructive.
Teach them that negative emotions are part of life and must be recognized and managed.
It has recently come to my attention that I am not the most spontaneous person in the world.
I thought I was spontaneous, but then my husband suggested an activity in the afternoon and I had to ask questions before considering the activity. He gave up fairly quickly.
I felt guilty when I saw how easily he gave up. Obviously he had been down that road before and knew it wouldn’t lead anywhere.
I thought to myself, ‘I want to be spontaneous…I just need advance notice first — you know, so I can plan ahead.’
I noticed the contradiction. Plan ahead to be spontaneous?
I know I used to be more spontaneous when I was younger. When I was eighteen, a guy told me he liked the fact that he could call me up and invite me out and I would be ready in ten minutes. Now I need to know what is going on, how long it is going to take, and what the weather will be like.
Is it maturity? Is it anxiety? Am I just no fun any more?
I blame children. I see the results of their spontaneity. Chaos, everywhere I look.
Once, a neighbor boy pulled the fire alarm in my apartment building. I think it was the loudest thing I have ever heard in my life, aside from monster trucks driven indoors. We all milled around outside at sundown, children without coats, a woman with a towel wrapped around her hair, waiting for someone to end the horrifying noise.
Another time, a different boy in our apartment complex found a large sheet of glass and broke it. I don’t know where the glass came from, but I know where it ended up: everywhere. In the parking lot where all the kids play Nerf gun wars. In the grassy area where people walk their dogs. Endless shards and shards and shards of glass.
I called out to the boy, ” Don’t you know any better than to play with broken glass?” and he dropped what was left and ran off. I spent the next hour or so sweeping up, filling half a bucket with glass fragments, abandoning the unfinished load of laundry and the boneless chicken breasts baking in the oven. My husband had to come out and ask me what all the timers were for.
Hey, maybe I am spontaneous after all.
Just not in a fun way.
I’ll have work on it.
I hear that snow, also referred to as “winter” in this region, may occur soon. How soon? Who knows?
2. Appropriate Footwear
Clothing is on my mind each time the weather changes — especially now that I live in a different climate. In California, I wore open shoes unless it was raining. Sandals, thong toed footwear (my toes being the only place thongs are allowed), clogs, and a variety of other open-backed shoes — these are what I wore in my daily life. I own one pair of athletic shoes (seldom worn before I moved) and one pair of rubber rain boots. I also own a nice pair of wooden-heeled leather boots which I acquired shortly before the move and which would almost certainly be ruined by inclement weather.
My current plan is to wear my sneakers every day, but I expect this will cause shoe odor rather quickly.
3. Ability to Drive Safely in Snow for Sustained Periods of Time
I am proud to report that my first real snow driving experience, which occurred in a nasty snowstorm in Wyoming during the trek to Nebraska at the tail end of last winter, was a success.
The snowfall was such that I was unable to see the road. I drive a white car, which also happens to be low to the ground. On the plus side, I (accompanied by a child) was driving behind a very tall rental truck driven by my husband (accompanied by another child), and I was — fortunately — able to see the top two feet of the back of the truck’s cargo area. I followed the roof of the truck until the rest of the world eventually reappeared and my sanity was restored.
I exaggerate. I was sane while driving. In fact, remaining calm in stressful driving situations is one of my specialties. I will, however, admit to a case of nervousness in the above situation. If I had been unable to see the truck roof, I would have been altogether uncertain whether to continue, or to simply stop in the middle of the white oblivion and hope that people (wearing appropriate footwear) would say nice things about my son and me at our funerals.
Again, I exaggerate. I think I would have continued to drive very slowly into the white oblivion, hoping to stay on the road I couldn’t see. I shouldn’t joke about snowy burials because my husband reads my blog and he won’t think it is funny. He worries, you know.
4. What People With Appropriate Footwear Will Say at Our Funerals
Just kidding, Honey.
5. The Location of My Camera Cord
I’m sure it will turn up somewhere, and then I can post digital photos again. In blog posts, for example.
6. Many Other Aspects of My Life
Life is always “to be determined”.
My life has undergone significant changes this year. So has my body. Most of my clothes are two sizes too big.
I can’t afford a new wardrobe. I was smaller and then I got bigger. I thought I would never be smaller again, so I got rid of my smaller clothes. Now I am smaller but I can’t get rid of my bigger clothes. This is a problem.
Who wants to hear someone complain about losing weight? Not very many people. Of this I am certain.
I am happy to have a more active lifestyle, which is cheaper than a gym membership and more effective.
I have stairs in my life. I have a job where I can’t sit down or stay in one place. I have laundry facilities outside the home. I don’t know where various things are at home, so I spend a fair amount of time walking in circles, looking around and inside and through and under and behind. I am using all of the prepositions I can think of.
Months after moving, we still have Mystery Boxes. If you have ever moved, you probably know exactly what Mystery Boxes are.
We also have a shortage of furniture. We left things behind. Big things. Things that held smaller things. Where do the smaller things go when they are no longer held by the bigger things? They go on the floor. I can’t afford to get new bigger things to hold the smaller things. This is a problem.
These problems are not big problems.
I have loose clothing. I need to step over things on the floor.
These problems are small.
This week, my husband and I and our two children moved from the West Coast to the middle of the country. Goodbye California coastline, hello cows and corn!
We packed in one day.
We drove our two vehicle caravan through California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and Nebraska for the next four days.
On the first day of driving, we made an unscheduled restroom stop at a gas station in the Truckee area. My husband climbed out of the 16 foot truck and noticed this:
Unfortunately, the nearest roadside assistance was over an hour away.
However, our long delay actually turned out better than we could have expected.
We were lucky, not only because we noticed the tire problem before we had a blowout on the road, but also because there was a restaurant next to the gas station. Donner Pass Pizza, owned and operated by a native of our home area, kept us warm and made us feel at home while we waited nearly two hours for our tire to be changed.
We enjoyed pizza, minestrone soup, sourdough bread sticks, and some of the most delicious homemade french fries I have ever tasted. I would have taken a photograph of the fries but they disappeared pretty quickly and I didn’t get nearly enough of them.
There was a pool table, which saved our children from getting too bored. We even saw some of our first snow there.
Thank you, Donner Pass Pizza!
“Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it.”—Unknown
Could some of your clothes make you happy by leaving your closet? Would the disappearance of that pile of papers put a spring in your step?
If the glass hummingbird figurine your grandmother gave you when you were in grade school suddenly took flight through an open window, would you breathe a sigh of relief?
Imagine that your clutter wants what is best for you.
If only the expired coupons had hands, they would toss themselves right into the waste basket. If the shoes that hurt your feet could walk on their own, they would have shuffled off to the thrift store ages ago.
Those old VHS tapes regret taking up your shelf space. They don’t want to stand in your way. They want you to be fulfilled, to live the life you have always dreamed of.
Make it an amicable parting of ways.
Let go of your past (what was and what wasn’t)
Let go of those years of clutter
Let your fears fly away
Live your life as if it were new