The Music of Life

A brief commentary on the nature of human relationships.  

In my day job I spend most of my time trying to convince humans that the majority of our troubles with other humans stems from the fact that we see the world differently. Due to our genetics, our innate personality traits, our upbringing and our culture we experience the world differently at a visceral level.  On top of that, we also are predisposed to assume our way of seeing the world is THE way the world works.  The challenge I face on the job is trying to find examples to illustrate this point.   Here is one such example I came across the other day that might help.

Last week I was meeting someone at a local hospital (it’s ok, no one is sick).   I arrived early for my meeting and promptly sat down in a chair in the lobby to wait. In this particular hospital they have a piano in the lobby that is often being played by an employee. The idea is that sick people waiting in the lobby might be relaxed by some live music. As I waited and listened, I glanced around the lobby looking for my friend who I was to meet.. In the chair next to me was an older gentlemen who looked either homeless or crazy.  He was dressed in sweatpants most likely purchased during the Reagan administration and a t-shirt that was fraying at the collar and both sleeves.  His hair was wild looking; gray and sprouting out from his head in all directions.  His coke bottle glasses had tape in the middle and were bent and crooked.

I glanced over at him and since I am always trying to decipher people’s personality and had a few minutes to kill, I decided to chat him up.  I sat for a minute or two listening to the lovely piano music (I think it was Beethoven being played) deciding the best approach to engage him.  Finally I said, ” The music is beautiful and so relaxing. What a nice gesture by the hospital.”

He snorted and shot back, “Really?  I am a classically trained musician and that music sounds like nails on a chalkboard.  He is butchering that piece so badly I am not sure I can sit here for much longer.”   It turns out he was trained on the oboe and played in Europe for years in an orchestra.  He was not crazy but more like an eccentric genius. 

Our quick interaction  neatly captures the inherent challenges two humans face when they attempt to communicate with each other.   Based on our history (me as a juvenile delinquent and him as a musician) and our DNA (he was a naturally gifted  musician and I was not) we were experiencing a situation in completely different ways.  I only heard beautiful  music and appreciated the intention of the person playing the piano.  My eccentric friend heard incompetence and noise that bordered on offensive to him. 

This goes deeper than simply seeing it differently.  We were experiencing it differently.  I will NEVER hear the mistakes being made by the person playing the piano.  I will always hear nice music and appreciate the effort.  My musical friend will ALWAYS hear a piece being butchered by an incompetent musician.  We can argue till our last breath and will never resolve the argument at that level.  This  is an example of  the most deadly of human arguments, a guaranteed relationship killer –   the dreaded right vs. right argument.   It is an argument where both parties are 100% right based on how they see the world. You can spend years in a right vs. right argument and will never resolve it.

In my piano example, which one of us saw the situation correctly?    What if the underlying criteria  had not been so easy to observe?

Instead of two strangers debating the musical styling’s of a hack in a lobby it had been a married couple discussing the right way to raise children?  Or spend money? 

What if we had been a parent and child discussing how to demonstrate respect to each other?  Or dress appropriately?

Or two coworkers discussing rude behaviors at work? Or what hard work looks like?

The list is endless and the possibilities infinite.   

Watch for the right vs. right argument in your life  It is typically an argument you have had many times with a loved one but you have yet to win the argument.  But you are SURE you are right and they are wrong. After all, surely any idiot can tell when Beethoven is being butchered by a lazy incompetent pianist.  No?

 

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Nature vs Nurture

Greetings from the land of fits and starts, where three steps forward and two steps back is considered good productivity.  Do people change?   Maybe.  But lately I’ve begun to think that life is more a series of workarounds than wholesale change.    I wonder if that would make a good self-help book.  Here are a few working titles:

Stop Trying and Start Bailing

The Last Self Help Book You Will Ever Read

The Road Never Taken

Maybe it won’t crack the top ten on the NY Times best seller list but then again, honesty doesn’t always work in sales.   It’s been an interesting year to say the least.  As the New Year rolled in I had LOTS of free time and not much income.  Here we are in August and I am VERY busy with lots of work but my pesky personality has about as much endurance as a Zip Car on its last (only?) cylinder.

The more I learn about human personalities and work with others the more I am convinced our day-to-day behaviors can be broken down into a predictable formula.  It’s simply a matter of being able to map all the variables of your personality accurately and apply it to your environment.

Let’s go to the film…

Environment  = low stress

In January I was recovering from a series of kidney stones procedures and a work transition (court orders prevent me from discussing these details further).  I had almost two months off with hardly any client contact.  I needed to get healthy and reinvent my business.

Variables = Lots of Free Time

Results: during this stretch the liabilities of my personality gradually became shored up.

Examples:

I am easily overwhelmed by the physical world with very little ability to organize and navigate the challenges of putting clothes away, finding my keys and keeping track of all my crazy ideas.  As January and February unfolded  in a relatively stress free environment and I found myself with reserve energy and more focus.  I actually got in touch with a desire to organize my life.  I cleaned my office, my closets and even organized my computer files.   I consolidated my 1,000,000 sticky notes into a single “Idea Notebook” and began attacking extremely neglected areas of my surroundings like the garage and my bathroom (recently declared a bio hazard by the government).  I did not have to force my behavior, it happened naturally.

I began writing more.

I started dieting and eating better and was exercising regularly.

I was nicer to Lynn, more attentive, relaxed and no matter the situation I was calm and understanding (It’s True!)

Before you get too excited, I hadn’t changed one bit from the nutty, inconsistent, overly creative, self-centered person I had always been but the environment was such that the cracks in my personality were not being exposed or pressed upon.

Fast forward to today.  As I said, I am very busy.  Lots of work, speaking engagements and so forth but my stress level has increased dramatically.

( Side Note –  I have an extremely low tolerance for stress.   I once went on a golf trip with my so called friends in Bend Oregon which can be found at the very edge of the world.  Its 9 hours by car and to make a long story short our car broke down while we were there.  I had to get back the next day to start work with a new client which was going to be a big account.  I was so stressed about not making it back that I couldn’t golf the last day.  I simply sat in the hotel room smoking cigarettes waiting for the tow truck to come and try and fix it.  My friends thought this was hilarious.  I heard about it for the next year every time we got together until I simply stopped golfing with them.)

So with stress high and recovery time stretched thin here is where we stand now.

My room is a series of piles; clothes, files, scraps of paper, empty plates and coffee mugs.  Really, anything that has been taken out in the last 3 weeks is sitting where I left it.  And if you set foot in my garage or bathroom there is a good chance you will never be heard from again.

I am smoking cigarettes again after  18 months of being smoke free.

My diet consist of pop tarts, Doritos and chewing gum.

The only exercise I get is jumping to conclusions.

I am cranky and snappish at home.

I am writing less, whining more and generally a real pain in the a**.

Oh joy.  But there is one big difference from the early years, I am no longer judging myself as good or bad.  I simply acknowledge that my personality has some built-in inefficiencies, and this has allowed  me to conserve the mental and emotional energy I was wasting by beating myself or by trying to defend myself to others who often feel compelled to remind me that I am less than perfect.  You think?

It allows me to recover much faster when down, too.  I am no longer trying to “Change” myself.  I am simply trying to manage the lows more effectively.   And I know I will only get better at it.  I will be able to go longer and recover faster simply by understanding the real working mechanics of a personality under stress.

And you can too.   Next time you have regressed in some area of your life, think about the amount of stress you are under.  Go back in time and compare it to other times when you were excited, full of purpose, stress free or TWENTY YEARS YOUNGER.

If you have an issue or habit you are trying to change you might find some extra motivation by switching your mindset.  You are not bad or damaged, you might simply be reacting to stress and when you falloff the metaphoric wagon, don’t waste time mentally bashing yourself.   First off it doesn’t work and secondly, it’s not accurate.

So there you go.

For the next post we will start some case studies because I think we are all tired of my life…

 

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The Birds and the Bees

Well now, it’s been awhile since I wrote a blog post but life often offers up little pleasures when one least expects it.   I woke up this morning to find the following article on our local news website.

http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Health-textbook-too-explicit-for-some-East-Bay-5670660.php

The article is about a group of parents outraged…OUTRAGED…because the health text book  Freemont high school is using for 9th graders is too explicit.  The text book covers things like oral sex, sex toys and orgasms (sounds like a good class to me).

I think the parents of Freemont need to get with the program.   Kids in ninth grade are in HEAT and have access to the internet.  My 14 year old has probably watched more porn than a  traveling salesman.   When I need sexual advice these days I go to him.

Here are a few quotes from the article which had me laughing out loud.

“I want to let everyone know, if you think sex isn’t happening with your freshmen, you need to take your blinders off,” she said in public comment before the board’s June vote. “It’s happening, and it’s happening in the corners, in the bathrooms, in the cars, in the parks and even on the 50-yard line in front of everyone.”

LOL. Yes it is. IT is the SINGLE STRONGEST MOTIVATION WE POSESS.   You can’t possibly stop it. Didn’t Twilight teach you anything?

Here is another great quote from the article:

“Still, many parents complained that the book did not adhere to the family and cultural values of the community.’

WHAT? What community are they referring to? Freemont is a thriving city near the heart of Silicon Valley with a population of over 200,000. I assure you the sexual mores of the community include farm animals, ben wa balls and 50 shades of adultery.

And if that doesn’t convince you to sit down TODAY with your teenager and talk about sex instead of leaving it to a bureaucracy that still teaches CREATIONISM, keep in mind that your kids can and will find it all on the internet…in 3D.  Trust me on this one, I have done extensive field research.

The job of a parent is not easy because it is not what you say that will have the greatest impact on your children but who you ARE. One of my all time favorite quotes about parenting came from a Jungian psychologist writing about the psychic bonds between parents and their offspring, “Children will spend the first half of their adult lives unconsciously carrying their parent’s unresolved baggage.”

Woa.   The author (James Hollis) went on to say that this was the root cause of midlife crisis – kids taking on the unfinished business of their parents. According to Hollis, we spend first half of our lives trying to unconsciously fix our parents issues and when we get to middle age we gradually begin to realize it is not who we really are.

So remember, if you have sexual hang-ups and are feverishly trying to repress some deep dark desire, I got even money that says there’s a good chance one of your kids will take it on. Or perhaps I should say “get it on.”

sex ed

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Stuff Happens

So the other day I got a little feedback on my blog from a close friend who said, “Gee Tim (this is how they talk), your blog is a little dour”, and if that wasn’t enough he felt compelled to add, “And you seem to feel sorry for yourself a lot” (these were  my good qualities). This got me thinking and motivated me to put a few things into perspective (or what we humans like to refer to as “rationalization”).

We now know that we are born with a “happiness set point” and research indicates that our mood will not change much over the course of our lifetime.  Life’s wins and losses will toss your moods around like the S.S. Minnow on a three hour tour but overall, we humans tend to settle back into that same happiness set point.

What this means is that some of us are born with a sunny disposition that fixates on the positive and makes lemonade out of bankruptcy and jury duty while others will sink slowly into despair weeks after hitting the lottery.  Furthermore, there’s not much we can do about changing our happiness set point short of medication or a frontal lobotomy.

It is no secret that my happiness set point hovers just above “What’s the point?” and consequently, my overall mood tends to guide my attention to the darker shadows of life.   But I believe that any fixed mood brings with it a set of advantages and challenges.    Fat, drunk and stupid is clearly no way to go through life but regardless of your mood one must learn to recognize and manage your mood or else you may find yourself  meandering down a dead end road wondering how you got there.

One of those dead end roads is the societal belief that life is always about being a winner.  Our society is fixated on the image of success and “feeling good” and this relentless pursuit of achievement has got us all pretending to be someone we are not.  This can cause problems.  The belief that everyone out there is living the dream only further isolates us as people and traps us into believing our failures are indications that we alone are somehow defective.  Furthermore, this can cause us to bury feelings of shame and failure because we view them as defective emotions.  This buried baggage piles up and before you can say “middle –age” we can find ourselves diverting a good deal of our physic energy to keeping those demons at bay.

Let me share a story that can perhaps illustrate this for you.  A few weeks ago I was asked to give a motivational talk to a group of unemployed professionals.  This was a group of people just like me and you only by fate, bad luck or poor choices they suddenly found themselves unemployed during one of the worst job markets in history while simultaneously living in a part of the country where affordable housing means houses priced at $300,000.

I got to the gig early and mingled with the audience for about 45 minutes and their stories were heart breaking.  Some were 50 and 60 years old with kids in college while others had been canned after more than 25 years on the job.  Many believed their prospects looked grim and most carried with them a sense of shame and embarrassment.

At 9 AM the talk began and the host stepped up and introduced me.  I took the stage and for reasons still unclear to me, I decided to scrap my original talk and began speaking about failure to the audience.  Fifteen minutes into the talk I had them laughing and feeling better and I knew I was connecting with them.

I have many issue of my own and am far from perfect but one thing I do very well is speak.  I knew, as the talk progressed, that I was appearing to the audience to be a man of great talent and accomplishment.  It was at this moment of my presentation, when I was feeling the love and admiration of the crowd that I decided to do something I had never done before.  Having built myself up in their eyes as an expert in my field and a man of considerable talent and success I disclosed the following.

“I want you all to know that I am the king of failure.  I am 48 years old and the only picture of me in my high school year book is me sitting in detention. I flunked out of college earning a 0.0 GPA my last semester. I have been fired more times than George Constanza and was dumped by my wife on 3 separate occasion while stalking…errrr…I mean dating her.  And now I want to share something I have never shared before with anyone except with my closest family members.  In 2010 I filed for bankruptcy.”

I went on to explain the risks of owning your own business and being bad at math while running headlong into an economy that imploded in 2008. I then conclude the story with the following:

“I felt so ashamed of myself.   I felt like such a failure and didn’t want anyone to know.  I was certain that I was the biggest fool and failure walking the planet.  And it was these same feelings that caused me to sit in my basement playing Barbara Streisand records instead of doing what I needed to do to get back out there.  Eventually, life forced me get moving again because in the end I had no choice.  And here is what I learned from all that.  Don’t waste time beating yourself up. I assure each and every one of you here today that you are no different than anybody else out there, rich or poor, successful or homeless and you have no idea of the strength you possess inside yourself.”

As I was saying these words I could feel the emotion in the room.  It was pouring off people.  Heads were nodding, people were getting misty eyed (ok, some were asleep) and the room felt, for those few precious minutes, as if we were all in this crazy game of life together.

After the talk an amazing thing happened; people starting coming up to me and sharing stories of their failures.  Like Catholics in confession they unburdened their perceived sins to me. (note to Catholics – I don’t believe in sin)They approached me, thanked me and said things like:

“That happened to me last year”

“I lost my house and business”

‘I went through a bad divorce”

And

“I like to wear women’s’ underwear” …ok, maybe this last one didn’t happen.

I don’t know what compelled me to bare my soul like that in front of those people.  I frequently don’t know why I do these things.  But the effect was transformative for the audience.  It took their private failures and dragged those bad feelings into the light of day where they could be acknowledged, discussed and consciously processed.  You must feel it to heal it folks.

Talking about my failures created the space for people to look at their own failures differently.  It allowed the audience to shift their perspective from “I am a failure” to “Shit happens.”   It had a cathartic effect for them (and me) allowing them to release their feelings of shame and worthlessness that had been buried alive and dragging them down. It drove home the point that we are all the same.  We all win and lose, laugh and cry, live and die.

It was an awesome moment and one that I will not soon forget.  This blog, from the very beginning, has always been a vehicle for me to tell the truth about life as I see it.  I do consider myself to be challenged mentally and emotionally by this world often times, more than I wish.  However, I believe I am not alone and I assume we all harbor secret thoughts of our own inadequacies.  It is my hope that my honesty and humor and sometimes depressive view on life can offer, in its own zany way, comfort and hope for others and help ease their burden.

As I always say to all my clients, I get a lot of ideas, some will be really good and others you should never attempt.  Take what works and ignore the rest.

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Status is a Fickle Friend

Hello out there, a short but important post today to remind everyone that status and image are fleeting objectives that will ultimately leave you feeling lost and forlorn.  First let’s define status and image a bit more.

Image and status are important tools humans use to attract a mate and  gain influence over the community.   Look around your circle of friends and neighbors to determine what is valued and what is considered bad behavior; cars, clothes, jobs, weight, looks, your kids achievements, the amount of guns you own and your income are all forms of status symbols in our culture.

The community also spends considerable time policing and talking about the fluctuating status of member families or what we like to call gossip.  Gossip is a key function of keeping community members in line.

All well and good, but even though chasing and building status is wired into our DNA, it is also a recipe for unhappiness if we don’t’ learn to recognize that the endless pursuit of status will ultimately leave us feeling hungry for more.  This is one of the reasons why people who become financially ruined sometimes jump out of tall buildings.

Status can help us find a suitable mate and create opportunities for advancement but status, by its definition, is dependent on outside factors beyond our control. Any pursuit of status not tempered by wisdom and some semblance of intrinsic self-esteem is destined to leave you with an existential crisis.

Consider the article I read today about bad neighbors in Northern California because they continue to have lush green lawns in the middle of a drought.    The weather in Northern California has tunred the green lawn from a status symbol of wealth, success and community conscientiousness into a symbol of low character and selfishness.

And there in lies the risk of hitching your self-esteem entirely to the outside world’s approval and admiration. If you look throughput history you will see that fads and status symbols vanish faster than an Iraqi security force.

So be careful out there.   Its ok to pursue status and image if it helps you establish yourself or score a hot chick (or dude) but learning to feel good about yourself regardless of your lush green lawn and perfect teeth will help you sutain your happiness into later life.

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Random Thoughts

Today I am cleaning out the corners of my mind; some random thoughts and impressions from the last few weeks.

Evolution is Random

I am a little depressed since I recently read that evolution is not about evolving.  We don’t evolve, the theory went, but simply go round and round with  no apparent purpose or direction other than to stay two steps ahead of our competition.   Good times.evolution-cartoon-photos-27

The Power of the Family Cult

About a year ago I wrote a column equating growing up in a family with living in a cult and I stand by that argument (http://motivationaccordingtohoyle.com/2013/03/31/the-culture-club ).  I read the below news item the other day about a woman who was stoned to death by her family because she brought shame to the family honor by stepping out on her prearranged marriage.   The father who participated in the stoning was quoted as saying,

“I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it,”

WOW! Now if you think it’s just a story about a crazy family from Pakistan think again. We all have been conditioned EXACTLY the same way except the value coding is different in the U.S. and we have indoor plumbing. But our conscious choices about our behaviors are mostly a mirage. In Pakistan they have been conditioned to stone you to death for infidelity while in the U.S. you get half of all the marital assets.

no_cult_your_mom

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Pregnant-Pakistani-woman-stoned-to-death-by-family-5506227.php

Science is Chipping Away at the Meaning of Life

I read two articles recently about scientists that are working on electric brain implants. The first team is creating an implant that will make the brain more efficient. It will make our brains faster with greater facility to switch between different brain functions such as analytical thinking and playing candy crush. The team is being given millions of dollars which is confusing since there is already technology that has the same effect and it costs only $1.95. It’s called Starbucks.

The second team is creating an implant that will override the electrical impulses that cause Depression and PTSD!!!!!! Read that sentence again and think about the slippery slope this will put us on.   We already possess implants for butts, faces, breasts, male appendages and hair. We can whiten our teeth, suck out our fat, tan our skin and change the color of our eyes.

Now we will be able to speed up our brain, eliminate ANY Behavioral impulses that society deems unsavory (like stoning your daughter to death and skipping out on jury duty.) Take that technology to its logical conclusion and eventually we will be able to program the human body to look and act any way we want. Hmmm….what could possibly go wrong here?

And consider the debate that will ensue when world leaders meet to vote on which religion will ultimately be programed into everyone.   Like they said in the movie Highlander, “there can be only one”

My vote is for Humanism.

imagesMSSSWTFV

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/garchik/article/UCSF-neuroscientists-peer-into-the-brain-5302097.php

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/UCSF-team-wins-26-million-grant-to-build-brain-5505946.php

Parents are Stupid

Folks, if you are offended by the above headline then, as Jeff Foxworthy likes to say, “You might be a redneck.”  Or in this case, “you might be a stupid parent”.  Of course “stupid parent” is a redundant expression.

I was at a track meet last week and actually saw a parent yelling from the sidelines giving their kid instructions on how to run better.  The instructions were as follows:

“BREATHE!”

“C’mon BREATHE!”

“STRIDE and BREATHE”

Now I don’t mean to be cynical here but if your kid doesn’t know how to breathe and run, winning a track meet might be the least of their problems.

Haha. Good one.  Except after a few minutes of feeling superior I realized that I am that same parent.  I have been “coaching” my son in baseball for years shouting things like “finish your pitch” and “swing the bat”.   Wow.    Parents, we need to back off and let our kids sink or swim (or breathe or not breathe) on their own.  That is what coaches are for.

ParentsCartoon

It’s What You Say

Was at a party the other day and met a fellow guest who was introduced to me as a pilot from a nearby air force base.  He stated that he flies a plane that technically I will refer to as a “big one”” around and around the bay area for training purposes.  He was a very analytical thinker by my read.

To be friendly and build rapport (cause we were at party you see) I said energetically and with a big smile, “wow, you are the guy up there above my house all day.”

My message contained two communication pieces that humans need to decipher to effectively communicate with each other.

  1. The literal content –  “I see your plane above my house a lot during the day.”
  2. The emotional content – “Hi, I am being friendly and playful as a way to signal I want to be friends and am inviting you to do the same.”

His response to my playful statement,  “Sometimes.”

Breaking down his message further:

  1. Literal content – “Sometimes its me in the plane but its not always me in the plane because we have other pilots too.”
  2. Emotional content – “you are incredibly stupid as all civilians are but your wife is hot!”

Of course,  I am only assuming he had emotions.

Listening-Island-Cartoon

And Finally

My own daughter (soon to be twelve) seems to hate me and I am at a loss as to why.  I know, all girls go through it you will say, but I am not so sure on this one.    At her best she ignores me and on most days she actively loathes me.   I know it shouldn’t bother me but recently I have been feeling she is bringing shame on my family and perhaps I have finally found a use for the rock pile in the back yard.

Two birds with one stone?

cartoon1502

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Proper Procedure for Boarding Airplanes

This little tribute is dedicated to my wonderful mother-in-law who is winging it around the world as we speak.

As some of you know I do quite a bit of traveling and I truly hate the airlines.   I read this funny little blurb in a Dave Barry book about the proper way to board an airline and I thought it hit the mark

“Most airlines board by income level, starting with the wealthy people and working down the income ladder to the homeless.  Make careful note of your boarding group, which will be printed on your boarding pass.  Shortly before boarding time, a gate agent will make an announcement telling passengers that to facilitate the boarding process they should not approach the jet bridge until their group has been called.  This is the signal for everybody within two hundred yards, including people who are not even on that particular flight, to charge toward the jet bridge as though the plane is the last chopper out of a city being overrun by zombies.  You must join the charge or you will not get an overhead luggage space and they will have to check your suitcase and you will never see it again.”

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The Short History of Medicine

2000 B.C. – Here, eat this root
1000 A.D. – That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
1850 A.D. – That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
1940 A.D. – That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
1985 A.D. – That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic.
2000 A.D. – That antibiotic doesn’t work any more. Here, eat this root.

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Blog Talk Radio – Open Phones Today

Open phones today at 12 noon PST so call in with your question or comment.  Call in number 619.924.0757

http://tobtr.com/s/6290907

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My Bad

If you have read his blog on a regular or semi-regular basis then you know I have been a bit hard on my parents.  But if you have read this blog on a regular or semi-regular basis then you know I also spend a great deal of my time being wrong.  So it is with great humility and emotion that I sit here before you (virtually) and admit that, once again, life seems to be reminding me that there is very little I really know.

I spent time with the old man yesterday and was marveling at his perseverance and the fact that he never, ever, complains or makes excuses for himself.  He has also willingly stood in the line of fire taking every shot from his kids while trying to be accountable for all past behaviors. He is one of the toughest people I know.

I am also learning that my mom and I share a lot of similar qualities and perhaps I was just a tad quick to judge.  I told my mom the other day on the phone that the older I get the better she gets.   I think if I were her back in the day I would have told my kids I was going for milk and never come back.  She has the heart of a warrior.

Me?  I have the heart of a worrier and the brain of a mad scientist.   I hope my kids will forgive me.  With each passing day I am stunned by how hard it is to be a parent.  And hold a job.  And remain gluten free.

For the rest of you, this much I believe.  It is not good for us to carry around anger and hurt feelings towards our parents.  We must do what we can to get to a place of peace and acceptance.   If not for them then for our kids because whatever emotion you harbor and carry, your kids will have to pick up that burden.  All unfinished business you have with your parent will manifest somehow in your kids.  That’s not opinion, that’s physics.

So from this day forward I will no longer be bashing the parents and will have to look elsewhere to vent my spleen.   Lucky for me there are still politicians in the world.

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