Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Judge You, Judge Me

I hope you're not like me.  I really, really do.  Unfortunately, even if you're not like me, you certainly know someone like me.  What am I like? Well, I judge.  I judge you and I judge me.  Mostly I judge you because I think you're judging me.  And then I start judging me the way I think you are judging me.  Before you know it, you and I have had such a judging debate that we may no longer speak after today.  You attacked me with your judgey ways and it really hurt my feelings.  Then I had to explain all of the reasons that I'm not as good as you expect me to be and even some of the reasons I think your expectations are unreasonable and silly.  I'm sure you didn't like that, but we had to keep going round and round until my brain got interrupted by a real live person.

How much of your day is filled with things that you do because you don't want someone to think less of you?  I'm not referring to things that you would do whether anyone saw or not - like hygiene matters or an OCD methodology.  I'm talking about responses in a conversation that have nothing to do with what's ACTUALLY been said.  I'm talking about weeds in a garden that you don't have time to tend to - but feel compelled because someone might think...might think... might think what?  That you're busy and prioritized your children, your spiritual life and things INSIDE your house first over your flower beds?  Well, yeah I guess.  But that's exactly what I am doing.  I know that people are more important than things.  I know that life is fluid and you must be flexible to ultimately succeed and flourish.  But I get tripped up so badly in trying to please the proverbial committee or at least to keep the you in my head to not judge me.

So, I've made a resolution of sorts today.  You are going to judge me from time to time.  Actually, I'll even give you a heads start.  I hate housework and think our obsession with it is unhealthy.  Yes, every family deserves order and cleanliness, but it's not going to happen every day, in every way, or even the same way.  So, pay more attention to people.  I hate deadlines and pressure.  More specifically my body freezes up and panics. (Don't ask me how taking piano lessons again is going, ha!)  I like slow paces and get resentful when I'm rushed.  And I don't like being told what to do, especially when you've not taken the time to get to know me or even begun to understand what is best for me.  Yes, I have a submission problem, but I'm working on it.  I've got lots of things to be judged about.

My resolution is this: It is not my job, my position or even in my power to control or heavily influence how/where/when/if you judge me or anyone else.  The most I should be doing is consulting what God thinks about things instead.  I will let go of what I THINK others are thinking and instead make as wise a choice I can unless a real life person comes along to question me.

Whew! See, you don't want to be like me - it's exhausting.  But you can know this much, I'm too busy arguing with you in my head to actually be judging the real life you so rest at ease my friends! ha! :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Calling Card of the American Family: Options

Going to school, starting school, finishing school, all things school has been circling around our family like confetti thrown in the air the past couple of weeks.  Some of J's friends are starting school for the first time, Mr. Butler (as of last weekend) is FINISHED with his MBA, I am taking a class at the community college after a several year break, and I'm constantly working on homeschool plans for the kids.  And in the throws of all this, I am struck with gratitude.  Gratitude, for sure, that I don't have to send my kids to school if we decide it's not best for our family.   But the gratitude quickly grows with awareness.

Goofy fun at my brother's graduation last year.

Our age, specifically here in America, but not limited to it, will be known for our seemingly unlimited options.  Yes, homeschool, private or public, but I can work a number of different jobs.  I can learn a new trade.  I can save up money and share with others.  Health care options are ever expanding.  The abilities of my cell phone are insanely expanding.  Travel options are many.  What's for dinner? Instead of whatever survived the drought or didn't get eaten by the wolves, I can drive a few minutes to a story (one of 10 options) and pick out what I want.  Perhaps the health content suffers sometimes with that option, but still - talk about OPTIONS!  Whatever type of life I want to live, I can find an area that is suitable and can support it.  Sporty, agriculture, fast-paced, quiet, artsy, etc.  Housekeeping methods, forms of exercise, modes of communication, reading material - the options seem limitless! I can find a group of like-minded people somewhere, if I look hard enough.

Without grocery stores and ample transportation, what wouldn't even be an option on most days?
Vacations on a cruise ship that don't end in scurvy! 

As a culture, we are not that far removed from time where life was very limited.  What you were born into, you would stay.  Technology limited everything from healthcare to housekeeping to individual freedoms.  There was a time when learning at home was the only option and a schoolhouse was desired to expand learning.  Today, the internet and widespread educational options makes just about anything possible and valuable!

Oklahomans can visit the ocean!

I'm very guilty of acting defensively about something, because I feel like I have no options other than the one I'm failing at.  Mr. Butler is always good to remind me that I can always work smarter.  If there is something you want bad enough and is important enough, there are too many options to say it can't be done! Negativity, complaining,  bickering, comparing and general ugliness is constant it seems, but it doesn't have to be in your house.  Unhappy with your situation? Do something about it.  I'm certain you have a few options at your disposal.  Even when we start out at the bottom of something, as long as we have life, we have the options to go up!

The manner of life I am looking for!