Virtueless

Patience is a virtue. It is one that I do not have.

I have no patience. Well no that is not true, I have patience for certain things but alas there are two things that can send me right around the bend. I will be cursing and tearing my hair out (mentally not aloud). People who do not do the speed limit and slow walkers.

Of late, I seem to get stuck behind the slow drivers. Tuesdays, around 9:20 a.m. I have learned to remain in the right hand lane until I have passed him. Yes him clutching his steering wheel, staring straight ahead, doing 40 km (24.86 miles for my states friends :)) in the 70 km (43.50 miles) portion of the highway. He is driving in the left hand lane, all the time, not to pass people, but holding them all up.

I forgot about him one Tuesday morning until I saw the lane of cars crawling along and I glanced at the dashboard clock. I whipped into the left lane and zipped around him. Worse is the man is a regular customer and I have to bite my tongue. I mean really it isn’t as though I can explain to him how what he is doing is not only dangerous but makes everyone else around angry, because he is in his 80’s and would not listen to reason. Least of all from a woman. (That is a total other story)

This morning, I am on the way to the city to pick up my contacts. There is this pale blue car in front of me doing 30 in a 50 zone. And than she/he decided that I was too close so they slowed to 20. Thankfully this one pulled off within a moment or so because I was gnashing my teeth and saying some rather unpleasant things.

Here’s karma for you, coming back home the same damn car pulled out in front of me in an 80 zone doing 60. And again felt I was too close so slowed to about 55. I could not pass because I was in the passing lane and the right hand side had a steady stream of cars passing me. Again thankfully, one of us turned off and it was me. This time I chuckled to myself and shook my head.

When I got to the city I did a mad dash to the bathroom, cursing the fact I had had those few extra sips of coffee before leaving the house. I was actually afraid to get out of the car because I thought if I stood up I would have an accident right there. Thankfully there was nothing and no one to impede my gallop through the hallways.

Now the stores at St. Vital mall do not open until 10 which saved me some extra money because I was going to busy some candles. (Damn Bath & Body, sending me email flyer 3-wick candles $12.99 plus a 25% off coupon.) I was texting and walking which I am rather accomplished at (use to always walk home from library reading and walking so I have the quick head bob to check surroundings down pat) when suddenly there they were.

Three across, two deep, strolling along, the dreaded mall walkers. They are the folks who walk around the malls before the stores open to get their exercise. Me? I am the opposite of a slow walker. So there I am, walking behind them unable to find an opening to pass. The middle is filled with kiosks and the other side goes in the opposite direction. I was giggling as I walked behind them. Finally a break appeared and I dashed passed.

The other area where I have problems are shoppers. Saturday. In the store I work at. Our aisles are narrow. You can barely fit one person going west and one person going east (to give you and idea) and I am a flier. When I am getting or looking for something for a customer. On occasion I can slip through sideways but majority of the time I get frustrated and either dart up to pharmacy and get around that way or down the cleaning aisle.

Which leads me to the whole point of the blog. Patience. Something out there is trying to teach it to me. The slow drivers are a more recent occurrence but the slow walkers are not new.

The lesson I need to learn: Slow it down. Stop barreling ahead. Blinders on, my view narrow and focused. Slowing down allows me to finally see what I have been missing. Joy. Wonder. Beauty. It may take me a bit but now that I realize what lesson I am being taught I can actively work on it. (Except for slow drivers those I can always pass except when I can’t.)

 

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Mixed Bag

I have learned a lot in the last month.
I am still learning.
I am changing.
I am becoming braver.
I am being honest. With myself and others.
I am responsible for my feelings and reactions.
I am working very hard to slow down and think before I speak when I become annoyed with T or for that matter, anybody. This is hard as it is a habit/learned trait that I must consciously break. I will have to carry this technique over into the work place.
I am present. Working very hard to not plan. To not fret over the things that I cannot control.
I am looking after me. No more of this shit putting everyone else first as though they are more important than I am. I will not do that anymore. I do not need to bend over backwards to make people like me.
I am a wonderful woman with a wicked sense of humor, smart as hell and damn sexy. I will not allow anyone to undermine the foundation that I am building beneath me.
My definition of projecting:  Reading a statement and because of something that you fear within yourself, you color a person’s response/words to you with that fear.
Ex. I was explaining to a friend something that I had noticed she had a bad habit of doing. We are intensely honest with one another. After I was done she  thanked me with an exclamation point. I know how dare she be excited and show it with an exclamation point because yes I helped her. Yet I fear that I am going to annoy her because of all my advice and experience. But than I stopped myself and realized what I was doing. I was projecting my fear into her typed words and thought she was being sarcastic. She was not being sarcastic at all. Once I realized that and changed my mind set the fear was gone just like that. Bye bye.
I am learning that once you can recognize what you are doing, you being to pick up on it when you are doing it. Once you are aware that you are doing it you can change how you think, feel and respond. Once you begin twigging to when you start projecting and figure out why, you conquer that fear.
I am a mixed bag of thoughts and ideas.

Lessons Learned

This was a week of lessons for both myself and T. I think too that it has been a hard week for him as the amount of time the Ex has spent with him has been minimal. I cannot even work up anger. I am resigned. I am sad for T. I cannot make him change. I cannot make him see the young man who is growing up right in front of our eyes. T is playing Farming Simulator as I sit here typing this.

I was excited because I am able to listen to my music on my notebook while writing and also watch T play Farming Simulator. I believe I have explained before? Long story short you build up a farm. People create maps and you go farm. Drive around. It is a popular game judging by the amount of Youtube videos I have been subjected to. At the moment I am sitting here with our shared headphones on (the ones that cover the whole ear not inserted buds that would be gross) listening to Florida Georgia Line. Basically I load the entire album and start at the beginning. Today may be the first time in a long time that I get through the very long list.

We had two rather comedic episodes that left me gasping for air I was laughing so hard.

Yesterday morning I was about to wash the bathroom floor and asked T if he wanted to go use the bathroom before I did. He said yes. As he is climbing down his ladder I stand there  and tell him he is not to pee on the floor, the seat, the side, nowhere but into the toilet as I had just finished cleaning it. As a matter of fact, I suggested that he straddle the toilet and push it down to pee straight in. With hand pantomimes. T stared at me in absolute horror and as I turned away informed me that that was the absolute worst advice ever. And if I had one I would totally understand why. I giggled again typing this up.

Later in the day as I was driving him to the Ex’s for his night with him T was muttering away about what an absolute boring evening it was going to be. That none of his friends could come over. It was going to be dad, grandpa and grandma. I

I am trying something new. We are all programmed to notice the negative, the absurd, in other people’s pain. We mock others to make ourselves feel better about our own selves. When T and me had our long conversation the other week I told him that we needed to change. That we needed to look for the positive no matter how hard it is going to be. And it is going to be hard. I mock others. I make fun of them to others. I am no saint as I told K and P. It is a habit, a trait, who knows but it needs to be changed. Now the other day when I dropped T off at school I mocked the bright color of one of his classmate’s snowsuit. I tried to recover by saying at the very least we would not lose him in a snowstorm. Told him that he was not to make fun of the boy to which he emphatically told me he would never. I told him I was sorry. That I should never have made a comment and about a child’s snowsuit nonetheless.

So back to T and me, driving to the Ex’s. Grandma and grandpa are visiting. T is going to be bored. I suggest that he could hang out with grandma. And glanced over to see him looking at me like this. Yes I pulled over and took this picture. Mom, he leans forward his arm on the back of the seat, that male posture when they want to tell you something really important in the car, Grandma is old. And she is annoying. The laughter escaped me and I tried to stifle it. I looked at T and explained to him that grandma really loved him. That she wanted to spend time with him. As he is muttering away, frowny face on, arms crossed. That was when I learned something new about T.

I suggested (I am great for suggesting things) that he might want to spend some time with grandma because she would not be around forever. And he said no that was not true. Um yes, unfortunately we all die someday. Nope, we get another life. I looked over at T and said you think after we die we get a different life. Yep. So you believe in reincarnation. Yeah like having past lives and all that. We get to be together in the next life too. There are times when T reminds me how so very special he is. He also believes that had he been born a girl, the Ex and me would have still been his/her parents. The life would have been the same just pink. He expanded my mind right there.

Today he was annoyed that I had picked him up from his friend’s so early. Had thought that he was going to be staying there until 5 p.m. He was angry with me and refusing to talk. So I thanked him. I could have argued until I was blue in the face with him about his attitude but again I am trying different things to find what works for us. I want to stop that cycle I have seen myself falling into. But no, I thanked him. And waited. Finally he asked for what.

I told that I had taken his suggestion and had started writing a story the night before. Wanted to know what it was about so I gave him a quick a synopsis. Explained that what had started off as a short story about one thing had morphed into something else totally different. My main character had a story to tell we were just figuring it out. I thanked him again and he said you are welcome. I felt it was a small victory and we chatted and laughed all the way home.

Once home with chores taken care of I went to grab the headphones and T was loading his game. Asked where the headphones were. As if I didn’t know, he had taken them into his room one day watching Youtube and left them in there. He fought with me. Told me I had taken them and put them somewhere and it was not his fault that I could not remember. I took the remote for the XBox and sat down on the couch explaining that he could have the remote back once he checked his room.

He argued with me and I kept my cool. I did not yell. I did not let my temper get the best of me. I spoke calmly and repeated that he would get the remote once he had gone to look for the headphones. Finally I said that if he was sure they were not there could he please just humor me and go take a look. Stood in the door and said looked. Uh-uh get up there and look.

I heard him climb up into his bed and silence. After a few moments I got up and double checked the table and counter just in case I was being a hardass for something I had in fact done. I stood watching him from the doorway as he climbed down and threw the headphones at me. I think he thought I was going to crow and say I told you so. Or some form of that. Instead I said thank you I really appreciate that you looked for them. Warned him I might sing and was that okay? I was informed that it was most definitely not cool to sing out loud. I made no promises. He giggled.

I need to be his example. I cannot expect him to act one way and for me to act another. I will slip. I am sure that I will make a mocking comment about someone, and snort giggle when reading memes on FB again I am no saint. But I will actively work to do this. For both of us. And in a world full of negatives looking for the positive is hard. And that is when I learned my second lesson.

What I do now is easy. I am in my home. Being a good example is not hard when I am not interacting with others for extended time periods. I will be going back to work. I will be around toxic people who are going to attempt to shame me. Those who are going to judge me. Not celebrating with me as I recover from this bout of depression. That I am emerging a better stronger woman. And it is going to be hard to not to give in. To not laugh at that little aside about a coworker. A dis about an employee. An irate customer. Being tired. I could come up with a thousand reasons why I slipped back and forget what I was doing this for in the first place.

Yes in part this is a step in my mental health and realizing that I was following a cycle that my father got from his mother. I was yelling at T and several times during the week I cut myself off from phrases he said. I need to break it here and now. But this is for Tember. Our children are our future, and I want to encourage T to see the good first before having to process the bad.