Things I can’t change? Let me name one. Other people.
Not just how they act and what they do (obviously), but what they think of me. Too much personal growth “training” had me believe that the right words could melt or transform any person, any relationship. What a load of crap.
My time would be better spent learning to not give a shit.
Seriously. Tabby has been helping me cultivate a thicker skin. She yells at me in British all the time, just to get me used to it.
The thing is, I am so used to being yelled at and blamed that I can usually skip the step of them yelling and jump internalizing what they might be thinking. I’m all about efficiency.
I like to complain that people don’t give me the benefit of the doubt. The truth is that I don’t give myself the benefit of the doubt which is why people get under my skin so easily.
A sideways glance, a catch in the breath, a question, perhaps a sharp tone is simply validation of what I already know about myself: I am the worst person in the world with only selfish motives.
… Which is why I go to ridiculous lengths to win people over even if that means selling myself short, so I can have PROOF that I am an okay person. Not that it matters. Not that anyone notices. Not that it will change anyone’s mind if they are set on being upset. It doesn’t work that way.
What I need to get good at is not caring that someone is unhappy and choosing to blame me for it. Even more, I need to stop believing my own, nasty self-talk.
Sometimes people get mad or disappointed in how things turn out. Does it mean I was the architect of their doom? If the answer is no, then no. I carry other people’s happiness or lack thereof like a five-foot disco ball on my back.
Another thing seriously fucking with my serenity right now is the goddamned Rainbow Loom.
Haven’t heard of it? You must not have kids. It’s all the rage right now and I both admire and detest the guy that created it.
Yes, all of their youtube commercials and tutorials feature kids which only pisses me off more. If some kid is smart enough to figure out how to braid together microscopic rubber bands AND create a tutorial, why can’t my kids just make a friggin’ bracelet without crying?
I first saw one at a friend’s house. Her son was patiently and methodically making bracelets and my boys expressed an interest. Naturally I perked up, seeing a marginally productive (i.e. not involving a TV or electricity unless you count youtube which I don’t does that make me a bad mother?!?!) craft that I could set the boys on and maybe buy myself a little peace.
Buy is the operative word here.
I did not buy one so I could become an expert on weaving friendship bracelets. I have better things to do, like …
OH MY GOD! Lonny just shrieked like a girl! Apparently we have a mouse. And it was on the counter. Great. AND the sink is blocked up and Lonny just huffed in here all put out because his favorite plumbing tool isn’t in the junk drawer I organized months ago but OHO! Here it is, in a box labeled “Plumbing.” Suck it, Frye.
This video is going to take the cake for “slow news day” posting.
Back to the loom. I remember making stuff like this when I was a kid but I never had a loom to do it on, therefore they were a lot simpler. According to urban legend they carried promise of sexual favors. Which they never did, for your information, at least not when I was a kid.
These new bracelets quickly go from being very simple to unbelievably intricate. Like instantly.
Like, what does one plus one equal? Two? Great.
Now what does 2.769 times 10 to the negative third power equal? *
And you don’t know whether you grabbed the third or the fifth band on the peg and pulled it over and not through until you pull the whole thing off the loom and it falls apart in your hands.
And the crying! Oh the crying. And gnashing of teeth.
The boys get so frustrated by the fucking thing and I think that’s okay. It’s a life lesson. You have to stick with it. You have to keep trying.
But they are all: ”Waaaaaahhhh! I can’t do it. It’s impossssiiiiiiibbbbllleeeee!”
Me: “What do you want me to do? I’ve never done this before.”
Crybabies: “But can’t you learn how and then teach us?”
Me: “Why would I want to learn? I don’t want rubber bracelets.”
Crybabies: “You are better at this stuff than we are!”
Me: “That’s because I have a modicum of patience, except for now because I want to throw this thing off the fucking roof!” (I didn’t say fuck)
Crybabies: Tears rolling down cheeks. Fits of impotent rage.
Then I cave because I feel bad for them but I quickly realize the only way for me to know how to do it is to do every step myself because, let’s face it, they totally suck at it and will instantly fuck it up and start crying and PLEASE! JUST MAKE THE CRYING STOP!
Breath in. Deep cleansing breaths. Serenity prayer.
Now I am quite adept at making Rainbow Bracelets. Isn’t that great?
Time to cut the crap.
So you know all the crap Lonny had to pull out of the cabinet to get to the pipes? I’m gonna put ten less things back. Trust me.
*I have no fucking idea what the answer is.