Friday, November 13, 2009

Gratitude Challenge - Day 13

Assignment: Pick three friends or family members you see regularly. View their actions and gestures through a positive lens, assuming their goodness and witnessing their best intentions.

This is a little hard, since - for the most part - I already DO try and see the good in people and give them the benefit of the doubt that they're not TRYING to be mean or whatever ... It's like that saying, that one that's to the point of "Never attribute to malice what could be caused by stupidity."

I only learned that one in the past couple years ... and it's helped a lot (except when I'm driving and it seems that a person is just TRYING to cause an accident. *sigh* Sometimes I really hate driving. Bring on the teleportation!!!)

First, I'll go with the family member that I've had the ... roughest relationship with. My dad. Don't get me wrong, I love my dad ... It's just ... different. I know that most kids know that they can count on their dads to give them lots of advice and guidance. Whereas, for me, I found a good deal of my early teenage years distancing myself from my dad. Because I felt really betrayed that he had divorced my mom ... that he was willing to turn his back on her and the Church ... and me. or, at least that's how it FELT.

My dad, Lord love him, can be such a people-pleaser that he'll TELL you what he thinks you want to hear. Sometimes, that can drive me a little crazy. I try to be honest ... and, if I think it's going to hurt someone, I'll change the subject or really pad what I think. But I try to tell nothing but the truth.

It killed me when he was with his first girlfriend after my mom. He hadn't even waited for the divorce to be finalized ... so that felt like even more a slap in the face.

I went through a period where I really didn't know if my dad really cared for me. It wasn't until I was in my car accident (and I called Dad to let him know that the truck might be totaled -- and he wasn't upset about that. In fact, I was a little shocked when he told me, "We can replace vehicles. We can't replace you.") that I really KNEW that he loved me. He's not the type to readily show his emotions. (Sure, he can gripe with the best of them. However, those other emotions ... you have to really know how to read him.)

I was recently looking over pictures of Bruise and Bucket as babies. And I went through the ones of when Dad and L and my Nana came up to meet them. And, as Dad's holding Bruise and Bucket in his arms, he really looks as if he has no idea what to do with them ... and such a bewildered look as he's trying to smile for the camera. It's really cute.

I know that my daddy loves me. I know that he's working to be a good grandpa. I also know that it's really hard for him. But I know that he's trying.

I think I've also figured out that he tries to please people so much so that he'll have someone to talk to. Like I've mentioned before, with his declining vision and his hearing loss, I think he's really lonely.

The other family that I can write about will be my children. Because, as much as I love them, I sometimes find myself getting a little annoyed with how NEEDY they are. But that's MY issue, not theirs. It's not their fault that I was born an only child and am still learning how to be less selfish with my time and privacy. ^_^ (I could write about Michael, but, really, he's just too easy to live with. I'm spoiled. I know.)

And, I know that someday sooner than I'm ready for, they are going to want to distance themselves from me. And then I'll be so, so sad and miss them so terribly.

Besides, truly, it's a little flattering that I have my little entourage that WANTS to hang with me, watch shows with me, tell me (not-quite-right) knock-knock jokes, and things like that.
Even if they're always begging me for food. And won't eat a bite of the dinners that I make them. Good thing they're so cute. ^_^

I could focus on how dramatic Bucket's tantrums can be or how much she whines ... or I can say that she's got a strong sense of self and remarkable amount of empathy for others.

I could gripe about how Bruise never eats dinner (unless it's Mac & Cheese) and how he uses that darling grin of his to try to get out of trouble ... or I can choose to think of it as his being very aware of whether he wants to eat THOSE calories ... and that he exercises a vast amount of charm.

I'm still working at being better. ... And I'll try to work at not getting irritated at other drivers who don't watch where they're going or who don't seem to possess the slightest amount of knowledge about basic road etiquette. Because, I'm sure that when they're not in their cars, they're most likely very lovely people. (I hope. :P)

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