thinkingBorn into this life as women, we take a unique position in the lives of those who are a part of our life. As young girls, we are the doll babies in our families lives. We are dressed in ribbons, bows and lace. We are encouraged to play grown up with play kitchens, play houses and princess tiaras. We are encouraged to conform, with lessons on “What girls do?“ and “How girls act?“ We are “ooo’d” over as we sing and dance. Many times out of tune and out of step. We learn to perform as expected and believe in “fancy“, a happily ever after.

As teens, we learn to interact with boys. We learn to dress to please, to listen intently (the perfect audience) and take our position as their biggest supporter. We are the never-ending fuel supply to their needs. We eagerly take our place in their system of beliefs and wait our turn. We learn to lie during sex and satisfy their needs. We continue to learn to perform as expected and believe in “fancy“.

We move into womanhood with our first child. Once again we adjust. We become the nurturer, the teacher and the protector. We love and take care of our child, willing to sacrifice anything for their good. We continue to learn to perform as expected and now dream of “fancy“.

Then as our children grow and create their own lives, we adjust again into the role of grandmother. And with the addition of this role, comes the most demand. The hats in our closet are now many. Wife, mother and grandmother now, is the happily ever after here now? Our roles are many, the expectations of us vast. But we flourish, driven by the challenge, judging our happiness by the success and happiness of those we love. We’ve become the expert performer and have forgotten the “fancy“.

broken heartedBut should we always adjust? Should we always sacrifice? When is enough, enough? When do you pull back the hand that’s always been there? Do you sacrifice your health and happiness for those you love? Can they alienate your friends and take your memories? Should they be able to take your money, threaten your livelihood or pawn belongings? Can they threaten your safety or have you live in fear? Do you give up your sanity for them? How many times are the allowed to break your heart?

If you find the courage to pull back the helping hand and say no, how do you live with yourself? You can never stop loving. You think about them and worry about them daily. And as you go through your days, you divert your eyes from the un-approving glances, faltering under the guilt of not helping just one more time. You’ve failed to perform as expected and there will never be any “fancy“.  There will never be a happily ever after.

But St. Peter, It’s in my other pants…..

id cards - nol2meThe other day I was standing in the check out line at my local grocery and a fellow line stander made the comment, “Oh, I see you work for xxxx.  Is that interesting work?”  Did this person have ESP?  Had I crossed paths with her at work?  The confusion must have been obvious, since she immediately followed up with, “I am so sorry.  I noticed on your badge……”  And there you have it.  In the rush to get my errands run, I had forgotten to take off my work ID Badge.  After some awkward small talk, I checked out and nearly dropped my groceries trying to get my ID badge off while on the way to the car.  And as usual, that got me to thinking.

How many of us can remember the day we were inducted into the “Got to have an ID society”?  I can.  I was proudly standing in line for my first photo ID, my driver’s license.   How many of us can remember the same experience?  As our lives became fuller, we added to the collection club id’s, trade id’s, military id’s, etc.   All of them photo id’s proudly showing our affiliations.  But they were all kept private, in our wallets, rarely seeing the light of day.

school ids - nol2meNow everywhere you turn, people have their ID either hanging from their neck or pinned to their shirt.  I understand times have changed.  Security is now a major concern for all types of organizations.   But, remember when if you saw someone with identification handing from their neck, you considered them an odity.  I did.  After all who would want to move through their daily routine with their name hanging out there for the world to see.  Today, children wear ID’s to go to school.  Employees wear ID’s in order to enter their place of employment or conduct business.  Everyone has to have their identification out their for the world to see in order to prove they belong where they are.

membership cards - nol2meTo expand on that thought, add to it all the membership cards.  I have to carry a separate wallet to contain all the different cards.  If I want a few cents off, “points” added to an account, or entry in a members only promotion, I have to present a membership card.  Have we all gone overboard?

upc code tattoo - nol2mWhat are we trying to prove?  An ID or membership card is not going to secure who we are, where we belong or what we deserve.  With very little effort, I found a web site proudly advertising the ability to reproduce any ID or card.  If we truly need our identification verified and our memberships confirmed, let’s take a chapter from the science fiction world.  Let’s all get implanted with micro chips or tattooed with a UPC code.  As we move through our lives and gain more memberships and affiliations, change the programing of the damn thing.   subdermal microchip - nol2meIf we get a speeding ticket or go to jail, throw that in their also.  Include our credit score, annual income, family status and deductions to make it complete.  Now with one form of ID, permanently attached to our person, anyone can verify all the useless information that makes us who we are in today’s society.  And Big Brother can manage the data base.  This would benefit the ecology, less paper.  It would create jobs, people to collect, input and edit the data….. Sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?

You may agree it sounds silly, but my opinion is that we are heading in that direction.  Everything about our lives is in a data base somewhere.  We eagerly hand over more information in order to get an ID, membership or discount.  We are feeding a monster with an insatiable appetite.  So when the day comes and I’m standing in front of the pearly gates, when St.Peter asks what I did with my life, I hope I can find my membership card.

Hear Me Roar! after I clear my throat

Self Doubt - NOL2meHello world!  Here I am in front of my computer typing my first post on my internet podium.  Under the banner,  “my opinion will be heard”, I’m ready to shout it from the mountain tops!  And here I sit.  Hold on a minute, let me go get something to drink.  I know I’ll be here a while…  Over the years I know I’ve had some real gems yet when I reach into my memory my hand is coming back empty.  What was I thinking?  What made me think I had anything worth publishing?  Was this all a mistake?

Self doubt, I wrestle with it on a regular basis.  Self judgement and self criticism all for the fear of making a mistake has crippled me in the past and still lines my current path with pot holes big enough to swallow a Volkswagen. 

Self doubt has plagued me since childhood.  The experts say a lack of a positive environment and an acceptance that everyone makes mistakes, plays a big role it our ability or inability to have faith in our decisions.  (Thanks Dad.)  Because of a lack of faith in my decisions, I would let others make them for me.  Another poor decision made.  This seemed to reinforce my self-doubt instead of removing the decision-making pressure.  A self-perpetuating negative circle, how am I going to break out?

It’s been a long, hard journey.  I’ve been trying to get off the path of self-doubt for nearly 30 years. I’ve slowly started having a little faith in my decisions, accepting compliments, believing I can do it on my own.  I am accepting the fact that everyone makes mistakes and have started forgiving myself.  This simply said and hard to institute piece of advise is freeing me from that part of myself that wants to keep me trapped inside that self-perpetuating circle of blame, guilt and fear.  My spirit, yes spirit, that free, creative, loving part of myself is beginning to breath.

Now that I’ve started forgiving myself, I find myself forgiving others.  I’m no longer holding grudges and hatred towards people who I thought had wronged me.  Things people do or say, no longer cause gaping caverns in my believe in self.   I’m not saying I’m made out of granite now.  Every decision is not quick and decisive.  It’s worlds better though.  Maybe I’ve graduated to limestone.  Here’s to wishing for only light rains.

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