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I Pray You’ll Change Your Mind

I consider myself an agnostic when it comes to discussions about god.

It doesn’t matter which god we’re speaking about – I don’t care if you’re speaking of God, Jesus, Allah, Thor, Zeus, Ra or any of the other thousands of gods that have been worshiped on this planet since humans came into being.

Do I believe there is something greater than humans and human intelligence?  Yes.

Do I believe in something greater than humans the way religion (any religion) says I must believe?  No

How can I hold both beliefs?  In my mind, it’s easy.  There is an order to our existence that speaks to something larger than what we can currently explain with logic, reason and science.  I hold every confidence that things that are currently unexplainable now, will have a logical explanation in the future.

One only has to look at history, and acknowledge it, to know this to be true.  For example, at one time, people believed the earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolved around it.  Beliefs that were held only a few decades ago are even now being challenged.  Young teenagers today have no idea what it means to wait for the internet to connect, or the meaning behind the phrase “dial a phone number”, or that remote controls (for anything) didn’t exist at one time.  Imagine what people a hundred years from now will believe about our current beliefs?

Because I’m agnostic, I don’t think someone is going to hell just because they love someone of the same sex as themselves.

Because I’m agnostic, I don’t believe that going to a specific gathering on a specific day with specific people for a specific reason and performing specific actions will ensure my soul rests peacefully in heaven for eternity.

Because I’m agnostic, I will not dismiss your claim of having an “out of body” experience of “seeing the other side” of this life and what it will offer us.

Because I’m agnostic, I find it hard to believe that when I close my eyes for the last time on this earth, that they won’t open to another unknown experience.

Just because I hold these beliefs for myself, does not mean I will condemn you for holding different beliefs than I do.  Just because I don’t believe the way you do does not mean that I won’t think about ways to make your spiritual journey easier for you.

Recently, I purchased a book for a close relative of mine who is just starting on her spiritual walk with Jesus.  Upon seeing the book, I instantly thought about her and how she might enjoy it on several different levels, including the religious one.  The day I gave it to her, her mother saw it and commented to me, “This is a surprisingly thoughtful gift for someone who claims to not believe in God.”

I replied with, “Just because I do not believe does not mean that I’m going to dismiss your, or anyone else’s, beliefs.”

“I know.  Just know that I still pray that you’ll change your mind one day.”

I looked at her for a moment and asked, “How would you feel if I stated, ‘I hope you quit believing in God’?”

She replied with a startled look, “I would tell you that’s not going to happen!”

While our conversation continued, all I could think was, “Ditto.”

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Joining A Mastermind

Earlier this year I joined a Mastermind.

I had never heard of one until I started listening to podcasts at the beginning of 2017.  It piqued my curiosity and I did a little research.  In case you’re curious, here’s the official definition of “mastermind”:

verb (used with object)

1. to plan and direct (a usually complex project or activity), especially skillfully:

Two colonels had masterminded the revolt.

noun

2. a person who originates or is primarily responsible for the execution of a particular idea, project, or the like:

the masterminds of company policy.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/mastermind?s=t

To join a Mastermind in this current day and age, it is basically a combination of the two definitions above – “A group of people who get together to plan and direct the execution of each individual’s ideas, projects or activities.”

Some Masterminds meet in person for an intense, multi-day, session.  Some Masterminds meet weekly, either in person or over videoconferencing, for a specific time-frame.  I’m sure there’s other formats out there, but these are the two I’m currently familiar with.  The Mastermind I joined met weekly over videoconferencing.  This allowed people from around the world to join in the sessions.

The format is simple – each week, a person in the group is the “focus” person.  The focus person brings an issue or project they are struggling with to the group and asks for ideas on how to solve the problem.  Each member of the group asks questions, if necessary, and then offers their own suggestions and ideas on how they would approach the issue or project.

I went into the sessions without having a clear idea of what I would be getting myself into.  I’m not even sure what I wanted out of the sessions for myself.  I explained that in the first session, nervous that they would point at me and declare me an intruder.  That didn’t happen – they, too, expressed that they didn’t know why they joined and only had vague ideas on what they wanted out of the sessions.

After the first session, I remembered a conversation I had with a family member a few months prior.  We were talking about the insights I had gained about myself earlier in the year – my desires, beliefs, actions; the impostor syndrome I struggled with; and my own lack of self-respect.  They commented, “This conversation is too deep for me!”  THAT is why I joined this Mastermind.  I want the deep conversations.  I want to dig down and find the root of an issue.  I want to know the “why” because the “why” explains the action.

Looking back at the 12 weeks, I have gained the following understandings of both myself and the world around me:

  • We all struggle with areas in our life that aren’t visible to others.
    • This should be a “no-brainer” – but sometimes you must remind yourself of this fact – at least, I do.
  • It is okay to be me and not apologize for it.
    • Using my strengths is not a weakness when others are threatened by them. That is their issue, not mine.
    • Keep doing and being me.
  • There is a solution to my problem/issue.
    • I just need to keep searching and asking until I find the right solution for me.
  • When I find a solution to my problem/issue, seeing the “finished” project in my head does NOT mean that the project is actually complete.
    • I tend to “see” projects in the finished state and when asked about the status of said project, replying with “it’s done”. Only one part – the planning step – is actually complete.  This doesn’t mean the project is complete.
    • This was a HUGE revelation to me! It explains why I have so many incomplete projects lying around in my world.

I’m still gaining insights into myself from things recommended and suggested during the 12 week Mastermind.  I have a list of books, podcasts and ideas waiting to be explored that were suggested, not only to me, but to the others in the group that I too want to dive deeper into.

I now have international friends I can connect with to explore ideas, share wins and encourage them in their struggles while they encourage me in mine.  This is the best take-away from the entire experience.

Would I join another Mastermind if time and money were not factors?  Absolutely.

Would I recommend you join a Mastermind if you are thinking about it?  Definitely.

I’ve spent the last couple of years attempting to make my life easier.  In some areas, I’ve been successful.  In other areas, I’m still a work in progress (I almost typed “failure” – but what is failure?  Just an idea that didn’t work.)

One of the areas I looked at was my wardrobe.  I researched capsule wardrobes and was initially intrigued, and then overwhelmed, and then stifled.

Making my life simpler does not include rotating cloths for the seasons.

Making my life simpler does not include mono-toned colors and patterns and accessorizing with scarves, purses and shoes.

Making my life simpler does not include checklists to make sure my wardrobe is “complete”.

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Don’t get me wrong – I am aware that capsule wardrobes are huge and people seem to love the idea.  I personally don’t know anyone who uses one – but that doesn’t mean the idea is wrong.

It’s just wrong for me.  I live in a location that doesn’t require rotating cloths for seasons (in Texas we have chilly, cool, just perfect, hot, sticky hot, and hot as hades weather – sometimes in the same day!).  I love color and sparkles.  I loathe scarves (I have no idea how to wear them, and with my extra-large girls hanging out on my chest, I don’t need any help accentuating them), I have just a couple of purses that I love and my shoes must be comfortable, yet cute.

I love checklists – so much so that Hun groans whenever I talk about one.  But one for clothes?  Come on!  There is a thing as too much of a good thing (if it works for you – great!  I’m not knocking that or you – it just isn’t necessary for me).

So…I didn’t do anything with my wardrobe except clean it out when Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” stormed the world.  I actually bought her book about a month before it really took off.  I felt like I was on the cutting edge!

Everything that I didn’t love left my closet.  There were a couple of pieces of clothing I had to keep due to work requirements, but everything else that I didn’t love – gone!

Three large trash bags of cloths were donated to charity.  I was left with about 20 shirts, 7-9 pairs of pants/skirts, 4 sweaters/jackets and 2 dresses hanging in my closet.  I could move my hangers freely.  My clothes could “breathe”!

At the point that I cleaned out my closet, I worked in a position that required uniforms – but before that I worked in an office that was business casual.  I kept everything that I could still wear as a weekend/after-hours outfit.

When I switched jobs about a year later, the business casual outfits were once again in use full-time.  I started to panic that I didn’t have enough work cloths.  It bothers me to wear the same thing every week to the office.  It depresses me and affects my mood.  But since I was only working part-time, I could not justify the added expense of new cloths.

One day, after about 6 months at my new position, a coworker asked me, “Is that a new outfit?”

Me – “No, it’s not.”

Her – “Then it’s a new shirt?”

Me – “No, I’ve worn this at least 3 times since I started working here.”

Her – “Huh, well…it looks different.”

I thought nothing of her comment at the time other than to realize – people really don’t pay much attention!

But…then something else happened recently.

I’m part of a group that recently issued a challenge – “Lay your cloths out the night before to help you be more productive in the morning.”

I commented, “Hmmm…I already have a system in place for this, but it doesn’t involve “laying clothes out the night before”.  All of my clothes (except for a very few, event specific items) are worn on a 4-5 week cycle.  Does that count?”

An astonished poster commented on my post, “You mean you have a plan on what you’ll wear each day for the next month?”

Not exactly – the closet and my system “plans” the outfits for me.

And that is when I realized that my “capsule wardrobe failure” is actually a success.

Most of my shirts will pair with most of my pants/skirts.  Most of my sweaters/jackets will pair with most of my outfits.

My shirts are my accessories with the colors, patterns and bling/sparkles.

All of my clothes can be dressed up or dressed down – depending on the occasion.

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My solid royal purple shirt goes well with my grey pants, black pants, white pants, jeans, shorts and black and while patterned skirt.  Each time I pair it with a different bottom, it is a new outfit.

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My tie-dyed inspired pink, brown, orange and white shirt goes well with jeans, shorts and either my brown or white pants.  Paired with a brown sweater, it’s a whole new look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wear the clothes that are “closest to the back” today, each day.  By doing this – each item is worn on a regular basis.

Why don’t I just pull from the front?  Because that’s where I hang the clothes that I just washed – pushing the older clothes to the back of the racks.  Isn’t that what most people do with their freshly washed clothes?  If I pulled from the front – I’ll be wearing the same items I just wore this week – and I abhor wearing the same thing over and over again!

Why don’t I just put the freshly washed clothes in the back?  Because doing that would cause my “special occasion” clothes to eventually make their way to the front – where I don’t want to see them when I first walk in the closet every morning (I know…I know…picky picky picky!).  Do you want to see your ski pants or ugly holiday sweater in July?  Besides – I’m usually rushing to hang clothes up just to be done with laundry – I don’t want to think about how to hang the cloths up any more than I want to spend time thinking about what I’m going to wear each morning.

So…how long does it take me to pick out my clothing each morning?  Depends on the day.  I spend more time thinking about what I want to wear on the weekends and my days off than I do on work days.

On work days, it takes me about 30 seconds to go to the back of my closet, skip the “special occasion” tops, grab the first top that was worn the longest ago, pair it with a bottom and decide if I want a sweater or jacket or not (usually yes – our office is FREEZING!).

On weekends, I consider what I’m doing that day, who I might see, where I might go, what I might do, what kind of mood I’m in, what the weather is going to be like where I’ll be, and if there is anything “special” about the above.  Will I need a change of clothes, should I layer, did I wear this to that event last time, and on and on and on.

I’ve spent more time than I care to admit attempting to figure out what I plan on wearing to Walmart than what I wear to work.  There’s something not quite right about me apparently…

So there you have it – my solution to my capsule wardrobe failure…uh…I mean…success!

 

Special Projects

My Mantra for the year is “Accomplish”.

What can I accomplish?

What have I accomplished?

What should I accomplish?

What will I accomplish?

I have attempted to be mindful of this mantra all year.

Whenever I am feeling down, I am attempting to redirect my thoughts to everything that I have accomplished so far and what I will continue to accomplish in the upcoming months.

There are some situations that this process does not work well with.  I’m dealing with one of those situations now at work.

I’ve accomplished a great deal at work in the last 7 months.  Special projects that were assigned to me that were in complete disarray when I first glimpsed them.

Most of the projects are still “works in progress” – they will not be solved overnight – or even within months.  The fact that progress is being made – that is the accomplishment that I’m most proud of.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither will these special projects be completed in a month (or even, in some cases, a year or more).

So, why am I feeling a sense of failure?

That’s easy to answer – on the surface – I have a coworker who constantly questions my method and ability to complete these projects.  She has no interest in taking these projects over – it appears she just wants to nit-pick my methods and point out every mistake she thinks I have made.

That leads me to doubt my process.  I’ve made several mistakes in the implementing of my processes – some pointed out by others; some discovered as a result of just following through steps that I thought would work one way, but reality showed a different outcome.  Weeding out what does and doesn’t work is part of the process as well.  I welcome the process of improving my processes – that helps everyone.

So…why is her involvement in my projects causing this sense of failure?

I’m searching for answers on this and not finding them – at least not an easy answer.

In the past, I have been told that I need to “let go of my perfectionism”.  I don’t believe I am perfect – I do want criticism and constructive feedback on how to make a process better.

I do not appreciate being told “you are wrong – because I said so”; which is what I’m hearing from my coworker.

So – how do I change what I’m hearing from a place of negativity to a view of positivity?

Telling myself, “She’s trying to tell you your process needs improvement – she just doesn’t know how to say that in a constructive way” helps, but falls short of the mark for me.

Trying to read between her lines is tiring and exhausting.  I like to tell people, “I failed mind-reading class.”  Attempting to clarify what she is saying has backfired in the past as she responded as though I was attacking her and I’m hesitant to try again.

I cannot change her, I can only change myself.  So…how can I accomplish this?  Something new to add to my list of special projects.

I Am Learning

It’s been three months since I posted last.  I’m not even sure what I posted – just that it’s been that long ago.

I’ve had a lot going on these past few months.  I joined, and have now completed, a twelve week mastermind group.  I’ve completed several projects and goals – both personal and professional.  And I’m continuing on my journey to figuring out who I am.

There’s a lot to be said about looking inward and figuring out who you are.  Plenty of people with more verbal wisdom than myself have been able to express it more eloquently than I have.  I know that for myself, digging deeper into who I truly am versus who I actually show to the world, has been eye-opening and transformational.

I am learning to say no when I need to.

I am learning to say yes when I want to.

And I am learning that the only person who should care about my answers is me.

I said no to my boss at work recently.  She was suggesting I volunteer for a project that has no direct impact on my job and one that I have no interest in (and gave me the opportunity to decline the project).  I thought about it for several days before giving her an answer.  I considered all sorts of angles – political, organizational, networking, potential knowledge gain and experience.  None of the angles had any benefit to myself that I could discern.  At least, not enough benefit to outweigh the fact that I had no desire to do the project at all.

My working world didn’t end when I told her no.

When I said yes to the mastermind – I had no idea what I was in for.  I compare it to a group therapy session where you’re putting your personal problems out there and listening to possible solutions to those problems.  The problems our group had were both professional and personal – help with email organization, how to make time for ourselves, how to say no without sounding like a witch, how to leverage our strengths while still working on our weaknesses.

I learned that I love to create.

I learned that I love to help others think through their problems.

I learned that I need to love myself for who I am – regardless of what others think of me.

I learned that I have a lot to offer the world just by being me – imperfections and all.

When someone tells me “quit trying to be so perfect” – I now have a new response of “I’m being me, nothing more, nothing less.”  They’re the one who is intimidated by my “perfectionism” – not me.  Being self-assured is not the same as being arrogant – although I understand why people confuse the two.

I know who I am and I know I’m a work in progress.  I’m not going to dim my light because someone else doesn’t want me shining a light on their own darkness.

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Filling The Void

I’m in a weird spot at the moment.  Weird for me anyway.

My mind is blank.

There’s nothing in it that is causing me to stress, worry or plan.

I’m at a loss for what to do with this emptiness.

There are no future plans for me to work on currently.

There are no external events happening for me to stress over.

Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.

So…what do I do with my time?

Nothing productive – I can tell you that!

I should be studying.  I’m not.  I should be planning the next home improvement project.  They’re already planned.  I should be stressing over what to do with Monkey over the summer vacation.  She’s 16, she doesn’t want to spend it with us, so will end up going to her mom’s house for most of the time – her mom will have to take over the stress this time!

I joined and was accepted into the Mastermind Group.  We’re two weeks in to the 12 week course.  Next week is my week to share what I am struggling with and what I would like help with.

I can’t figure out a good answer to that right now.

I’m happy with my decision to not change jobs – however, my current job’s management is getting on my nerves.  I have a coworker that needs help, but refuses to allow me to help her (I’ve offered multiple times); causing chaos in the office when her work is less than stellar.

Hun is stressed and depressed – but I don’t know how to help him in a way that will allow me to help (we don’t have the money for what he wants – a new boat).

We should be filing for bankruptcy – Hun and I have decided to hold off on that for now – we want to explore another avenue that won’t be available until August.

So…what to do…what to do…

I seem to thrive on my schedule being just a tad bit hectic – almost not enough time to finish everything – but just barely.  Now that it’s not, I don’t know how to fill the void.

I now know my passion is to create – but how do I handle the lull between projects?

Maturity

While everything in my previous post was happening, I also had a couple of more things going on in my head and mind.

My mind is always a constant whirlwind of thought and ideas and schemes.  Analyzing, considering, rearranging and running through scenarios of what could, should, might happen if XYZ or ABC happens instead.  I see patterns and trends and can intuit things before most others even hint that the event may happen.

Because of everything going on in my mind, sometimes it’s hard for me to step back and allow myself time for just me.  I can see the patterns in everyone else, but reflecting on my own joys and desires is difficult.  It feels selfish, even though I know logically it is not.

So, I have considered and finally agreed to join a mastermind group.

My understanding of the group is that it is for personal growth and accountability through sharing ideas, hopes, dreams and struggles.  As I have never done anything like this before, I am excited and a little nervous to hear back on whether I have been accepted or not into the group.  Stay tuned for more info!

I’ve also been considering what I could do for Rowdy for his birthday coming up.

He will be 19 and is still living with his mom, Jetsam.  He’s been through several jobs, none of them long-term, and still does not have a driver’s license or vehicle.  He has to rely on Jetsam, LaLa or friends to give him rides to work and this has partially played a role in his work history.

I sent him a text asking if we could talk.  He responded and we figured out a time frame that would work for both of us.  I picked him up on my way home from work and we talked while I was making dinner.  We actually laughed and joked through several things and while not completely relaxed, it seemed comfortable to me.

We talked about what he wanted for his birthday – and he was quick to point out that he “wanted” a lot of things, but that he “needed” a driver’s license, a vehicle and a job.  I was proud of him for making that distinction on his own!  I pointed out that while his dad and I probably couldn’t buy him a vehicle, there may be other things we could do to help him out.

We did a little research and found out due to his age that he could do online driver’s education course for only $50.00 and about 6 hours of coursework.  He could then qualify for his permit and/or go straight to the driving test and hopefully pass and get his license.  I offered to pay for the course and allow him to use our computer at any point to work on and finish the course.  He seemed thankful for the offer and stated he would let me know when his schedule was open for working on the course as he already had several prior commitments.

We talked about many things that night.  One of the things Rowdy mentioned was that he was a “dumb know-it-all teenager who wouldn’t have listened to our concerns, even if we had expressed it in a way he would have understood.”  I had to bite my tongue to not comment that he was still a “teenager”.  It wasn’t what he was trying to convey in that moment.

I heard something entirely different.  It was the closest I have ever heard him come to an apology for how he treated us when he lived with us before.  I will probably never hear an actual apology from him for how he disrespected me through the years.  Hearing a true apology will probably make me cry.  At this point, I don’t need to hear one to be honest.

Watching and listening to him mature, speaking about things that I know he learned from us, is all that I need or want from him.  It is all I ever wanted from any of the kids.  To know they will be able to take care of themselves as adults and be safe.

I’m so proud of Rowdy!

I Am At Peace

I’ve had many things happening of late that I want to write about, but it’s all so jumbled in my mind that I haven’t felt like it would be coherent to share with you.  I think I’m finally ready – but if it doesn’t seem rational, just know that I warned you!

Hun and I went on an honest-to-goodness vacation several weeks back.  It was wonderful, blissful, (mostly) non-stressful, and relaxing.  We went on a cruise with another couple, cousins from my side of the family, and just being the 4 of us, it was great.  We did what we wanted, when we wanted and with whom we wanted.

Before leaving on the vacation, I prepped my work and coworkers on what I needed them to do while I was away.  I actually left my job at “Inbox-0”.  I had NOTHING pending in my work email that needed my attention or would hold a mental distraction for me while I was away.  This is the first time I have ever left work without feeling like I was forgetting something or that my work would be more stressful when I returned due to unfinished business.  This added to my relaxed feeling while I was away.

When Hun and I returned from our trip, he came down sick – bronchitis with a vengeance.  And I received a text from a previous boss asking if I could meet with her.

She proceeded to tell me that she had a part-time job opening and she wanted me to be in the position, that I was the first and only person she considered hiring for the spot.  I was/am honored beyond belief that she feels this way.  I asked her for the chance to talk with Hun and to think about the offer.  She readily agreed.

The next day, I talked with HR – I suspected and it was confirmed by them – the new offer would affect my current position and there would have to be negotiations between the two departments for my time.  This wasn’t a surprise to me, but meant I needed to think through my options carefully and proceed with care – for my own mental health and well-being.

Before I could return home that evening, the start of a tickle on the back of my throat alerted me to the fact that now I was coming down ill.  My former boss is not one to wait and she texted the next day, while I was ill, wanting to know if I had an answer for her.  I let her know of my illness and asked to wait until after the weekend before speaking with her, hopefully I would be better by then.

Three days in bed allowed me time to think through my options.  There weren’t many that didn’t lead to increased stress on my part, in some cases enormous stress.  Hun’s one request of me regarding the job offer was that I not go back to the dark place I was in several years ago.  I’m just now coming back to “normal”; I don’t want to go back there either.

On Monday, I let her know of my “conundrum”.  We walked through all of the scenarios that I could potentially foresee.  I laid everything out, honestly, where the stress points would be and why and for how long.  She agreed, it was a conundrum and one that she could tell wouldn’t have an easily solved solution.

She finally commented, “So, if I want you to work for me, I have to be able to offer you at least what your current job is already giving you; so you would leave them and solely work for me, is that an accurate statement?”

I thought about it – yes, I guess so.

Without realizing it, I had negotiated my own terms into the job offer.

I had no intention of doing that – that isn’t me.  But it is something that brought me satisfaction once I realized that is what I did.

I’ve since found out that my old boss is unable to give me what I need to quit my current job and come back to working with her.  In the past, I would have moved heaven and earth to make a move like this happen, regardless of what my gut was telling me.  While I am disappointed (I love this boss!), I’m also relieved that it didn’t work out.  Not because I don’t want to move – I would in a heartbeat if the terms had been agreeable and met – but because I know the move isn’t going to bring on increased stress.

I am at peace with the entire process – so I know that this was the right decision for me at this time.  There are no worries, no wondering if I made the right choice, no wondering if I’m disappointing someone and what they think of me.  This is a new feeling for me.

I like it.

Learning to Love Myself

I’m on a mission of self-discover this year it seems.

One of the themes that appeares in many of my previous posts is learning to love myself for who I am.  Acceptance of myself doesn’t come easy for me.  I’ve had years of practice where I was constantly and consistently attempting to change who I was to fit in to the society around me.  It led to repeated frustration and heartache.

Embracing who I truly am has been a struggle.

Would people like me still?

Should I care?

Would others understand why I’m doing what I do?

Would they care?

How do I go about loving myself?  This is a hard question to ask myself.  Some days it is easy – others, it’s a struggle.

I failed to love myself this weekend.

Hun and I went camping with family.  Hun and I were the first to arrive at camp – the first for us!  We’re usually the last – setting up camp in the dark, tired and frustrated from the day.  We began setting up and my sinuses rebelled against the Texas bane of existence – mountain cedar.  I sneezed, I dripped, I hacked, and I coughed – non-stop.

Family showed up – I was quickly nick-named Rudolph.  And then they saw how miserable I was and the teasing stopped.  I was offered and took so many different allergy medications that I was beginning to worry that I might over-dose on them.  I was in bed by 8pm – hours earlier than anyone else.

I woke the next morning, feeling the same as the night before.  More medicine and right back to bed.  When I finally awoke, I felt better, but wanted nothing to do with camping any longer – and I love camping!

Hun took one look at me and asked, in front of everyone, “Do you want to go home?”

I shook my head no, “I’ll be fine.”

The rest of the weekend was just as miserable, if not worse.

So why did I not say what was in my heart – “YES!  I want to go home!!”  Hun asked me that later – and I finally admitted why I said no – because I wouldn’t have been able to help pack up – not like I usually do.  Because everyone else would have felt compelled to help Hun while I just sat there, trying not to sneeze and wheeze.  NONE of my family would have minded.  They knew how miserable I was.  They know I’m the first to help, whenever I can.

But in my head, I couldn’t accept their help.

I don’t know why and I’m trying to figure it out.

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I received a text this morning from one of my cousins that went camping with us.  They’ve planned another campout and informed me of the plan.

Even though I had been sick, I heard about some others (not family), that might be attending.

There’s some tension there between me and another.

I texted back that I would have to think about the invite, a vague why I was hesitating, and that I would get back with her.  She was surprise to hear of my hesitation, was unaware of the tension, but gracious in her answer.

So I have to ask myself – why am I hesitating?

Am I avoiding making myself uncomfortable or am I trying to love myself enough to avoid the pain this other person has already caused me?

Should I confront the problem or avoid it?

What will bring me the most peace?

I don’t know.  And it’s maddening to be in this position for me.

Monkey came to me the other night to ask me an important question.

She waited until I wasn’t distracted by one of my favorite TV shows, “The Walking Dead”.  However, she did ask during a commercial break, so I did miss part of the show.  It doesn’t matter.  I’m honored that she came to me.

Monkey is now 16.  Apparently, she’s been having some “woman issues” that has her concerned and asked me if I could make her an appointment with the doctor.

I asked her several questions to make sure I understood the nature of her concerns.  I’ll admit, my first thought was she is pregnant and I asked her if she thought she was (her boyfriend, while sweet as can be, is 18, so Hun and I have been insistent on chaperones and expectations – but they’re kids – they’ll do what they’ll do).  She insisted that she was not.  Other than being concerned that a pregnancy test at the doctor’s office might involve a needle, she was unconcerned that the doctor would require one.

Monkey is usually a horrible liar, so I’m as confident as I can be that she doesn’t believe she is pregnant, so I currently choose to believe she isn’t as well.

At one point during the conversation, my show came back on and Monkey pointed that out.  We weren’t done talking (the sound was already muted, but I didn’t think about it till later that I could have just paused the show on our DVR – duh!).  I told her that our conversation was much more important than any silly TV show.  I can’t be certain, but I think that made her feel better.

Towards the end of our conversation, I asked her if she had talked to her mom about these concerns.  She quietly said no.  When I asked why not, she just shrugged her shoulders and looked away.  I encouraged her to talk to her mom about this.  I reminded her that her dad and I only wanted her to be safe and healthy and the doctor may want to do some things that her mom didn’t agree with.  She nodded her head and we left the conversation there with me promising to make her an appointment.

This may end up being a battle with Jetsam.

Other than routine doctor appointments, she fights us on everything else medical related.

I suspect that one of the treatments the doctor will suggest is for Monkey to go on birth control.  Not because she is sexually active (although, she might be), but rather to help control her hormones.  If that happens, I am going to highly suggest an option that doesn’t require remembering to take pills.

And anything I suggest is automatically wrong in Jetsam’s opinion.

Once I have the appointment made, I’m going to set Monkey down and talk to her some more to make sure I understand why she hasn’t talked to her mom about this.  I’m also going to explain why I need her to talk to her mom about it.  Why she needs to be able to confidently stand up to her mom if she disagrees with her mom’s opinion, especially in regards to Monkey’s own health.

It’ll be an interesting next couple of weeks.