Brain Dump Friday – The Not Funny Edition (sorry)

NOT the last one…I promise. I know I joked a couple of weeks ago, but it’s not over. As long as even one of you reads this, I will write it.

My jeans are too big. I NEVER thought I’d have this problem, but they’re just getting to the annoying point now. I feel like I should start wearing boxers, over-sized, untied, air-filled shoes, and wearing my cap sideways. THAT is never going to happen, so I suppose I shall just stop wearing this pair. I am torn…do I get rid of them in hopes that I’ll never wear this size again, or do I keep them because they’re in really good shape, and super comfy, and I just bought them in June? I don’t know. I am writing a story and I don’t know if I should write it exactly as it happened, or if I should leave out parts. The parts I’m thinking about leaving out are the parts where I said some things I shouldn’t have said. Bad words. I could substitute. But the rest of the story is totally accurate. I’m not sure. Today is the anniversary of the day my Daddy died. 19 years. It’s been 19 years. I can’t believe it. That night, the night I found him, I swore I’d never survive his death, and yet, here I sit, 19 years later. That’s what my story is about. I’m having trouble finishing it. Mostly because it hurts so much to work on it. Partly because I’m not setting aside the time I need to set to work on it. I would like to do it today, but I am too busy. Maybe next week sometime… I cannot believe all that has happened in these 19 years. That’s over half of my life. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. It makes me sad, and I need to stay positive today. It didn’t even hit me that today was that day until I was in the bakery this morning, and I looked at something on my calendar. I was in Walmart earlier today and a customer asked an associate where the curling irons were. The associate told her that she didn’t know (“I don’t know, It’s my first day”) and then went back to stocking. That was it. So, I walked over to the customer (who was still standing there, completely dumbfounded) and told her where the curling irons were located. The customer thanked me and walked off toward that area of the store. The associate then had the nerve to tell me it was none of my business. I said, “Well, if you’d told her where they were, I wouldn’t have needed to.” I then asked her if she’d ever been in the store before today, to which she was snotty in relying “yes”. I told her that things haven’t really moved in over a year, and they were still in the same place they were when she was last in the store. She then threatened to tell the manager what I did. By this point my sweetness was wearing thin, and I said, “You would tell on me? This isn’t Kindergarten. Besides, I doubt very much that you’d like me to tell your boss that you wouldn’t even go to the trouble of asking someone else who works here to help a customer find something, and that I felt compelled to help her.” I felt myself getting riled up, so I told her to have a nice day, and walked away. I have a thing about customer service. I like it. I expect it. And I get very agitated when I don’t see it, or when I don’t get it. I once spent 20 minutes in Target helping another customer find what they were looking for, when they then realized (when I apologized for having to leave because I was going to be late for an appointment) that I didn’t work there. I’m just like that. Overly nice? Yeah, probably, but if I can help someone find what they need, I will. If I really don’t have time, I’ll find an associate who will help them. I’m listening to my favorite version of my favorite hymn over and over today. It’s keeping me calm. It’s way better than the David Bowie song that was stuck in there a little while ago. The next 36 hours are going to be crazy…I need calming things right now. (I say this after I have just consumed my third cup of coffee for the day. I hope that doesn’t defeat the purpose of the calming hymn) I cleaned off my desk last night. I don’t really feel funny today. It’s because I’m trying to get too much done. I’m finally getting over my sickness. I ended up having bronchitis. I’m not contagious and my voice is almost back. I really miss it. I still sound like I’ve smoked a pack a day since I was 10. Well, I have to get back to my life. Sorry this wasn’t funny. I hope it wasn’t too “rant-y” or depressing. At least I didn’t live blog cleaning my desk… You should be grateful. That is all.

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Honesty Is The Best Policy

ALWAYS!

Honesty is always the best policy.

Even a little bit of a twist, and it’s no longer honesty.

Everyone should be perfectly honest. We all make excuses and justifications for not being totally honest all the time. I do it. You do it. Everyone does it.

“Yes, doctor, I’m eating properly and exercising a few times a week.” No you’re not. You ate a banana on Monday (no time for Starbucks) and had to walk twenty spaces at Target rather than the five you wanted to walk because the parking lot was full.

“Yes, dentist, I’m flossing.” No you’re not. Do you even know where the floss is? When they did it at your last check-up doesn’t count.

“Yes, honey, you look amazing in that dress.” Maybe in high school or college. Right now you should just resign yourself to khakis and a sweater set and call it even.

We ALL do it.

We don’t mean to. We don’t want to. We don’t like it when people do it to us.

So what happens when you’re told to be dishonest? Who’s to blame? You’re innocent. You’re only doing what you were told to do, right?

Wrong.

You are responsible for your actions. Whether they are right or wrong…that’s on you.

Wrong is wrong. Dishonest is dishonest.

It doesn’t matter if it’s your spouse, your children, your best friend, someone who’s got a broken heart, or a bit of a shattered image, or your business.

Honesty. Always.

My dad was a wonderful man. He taught me many things that I’ve carried with me throughout my life. He taught me to face hard times and walk through them, not around them. The first time I had a broken heart and I didn’t want to go to church because I knew he would be there, my dad forced me to get up and go to church. I thought I was going to die. I did. That is not an exaggeration. He looked right at me and said, “You’re never going to be strong and learn to stand up on your own two feet if you don’t face this. Walk in. Stand tall. Stop whining. You will survive this.” And you know what? I did it. I survived that day, and every Sunday after that until it stopped hurting so much. That made me stronger. It prepared me for the next time I broke up with someone and I had to go to church and see them. That was a pain far worse than the first. And I made it.

My dad taught me many good things.

(Watch out. This is where I burst the bubble that you probably live in wherein my dad was nominated for sainthood)

He taught me a few bad things as well. Like the time someone called him at home, and he didn’t want to talk to them. He stepped outside the front door and told me to tell them he wasn’t in the house. Well, no, he wasn’t in the house, but he was home.

That was a lie.

Like it or not. It was a lie.

I learned to be “technical” as he called it. “Technically” he was not in the house, so I wasn’t lying, right?

Wrong.

Don’t get me wrong…he was a wonderful. hands-on, always there for me, dedicated father. But he was human. He had faults. Technicalities were among them.

Because of this “gray area”, I can justify a lot of things. I can get away with things because technically I’m not lying. But I’m still lying.

The greatest damage we do by lying is to ourselves. We hurt those around us, but we damage ourselves by diminishing others’ ability to believe us. Without trust, how can you have any true relationships? How can you have a meaningful conversation, a marriage, or run a business? How can you prove that you are an honest person if you cannot be believed in every thing?

You can’t.

I found myself caught up in a “technicality” recently, and I have since asked forgiveness and restored the relationship.

All is well.

But I’m not happy with myself. I was told that this thing would be ok, and when it wasn’t, and it didn’t work out like it should have, I was disappointed. Not only in the fact that it didn’t work out, but in the way I tried to make it happen. While I didn’t technically do anything wrong, I still did something that was wrong by not being strong enough to stand up and say NO. By letting someone talk me into something, I was wrong.

I have admitted to my kids that I’m very good with technicalities. Since they were both very young, there have been times when I would help them to see the three sides of every issue, and let them decide which way they would go. Thankfully, they are bright, honest young people, and they choose right far more often than they choose wrong. And far more often than they choose to use technicalities.

This makes me happy. I’m proud to say this.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes find a bag of garbage waiting right outside the back door, and the excuse of “Technically it’s outside, like I said it was. I was just waiting until the next time I really go out to take it to the garbage can.”

They are right, but still…when they said it was “taken out”, they know I’m assuming it’s in the garbage can.

This has been on my mind a lot. Thankfully this situation in my life has been dealt with and is over. I have learned a lot from it.

And now, so have you.

Tragedy, Privacy, and a Broken Smile

(I am really sad today, and this is a less-than-happy post. You have been warned.)

Tragedy is a funny word. Not funny “ha ha”. Funny in that it is so often misused. So often people say, it casually. It is not a casual word.

It is not a tragedy when the purse you want isn’t on sale.

It is not a tragedy when someone embarrasses you at school.

A tragedy is losing both of your parents before you’re 37. A tragedy is my kids growing up not knowing their grandparents. A tragedy is those grandparents never knowing my kids. A tragedy is losing a parent just as you are finally getting to know them. Having them finally move close to you (after 16 years of asking) and then you find out they have cancer, and then they die a year later.

THAT is a tragedy.

A tragedy is devastating.

I lost my father when I was 18. He died of a heart-attack. He’d had one before, and my parents kept it a secret from me. I came home from school one day, and he was dead. I sat with him for what felt like hours, crying and begging God to save him. To wake him up. To please not take my daddy from me. Did He hear me? Probably. Did He fix it? No. My dad died. I was devastated. That was a tragedy. I didn’t get over it. I still think of him all the time. I still hurt. I still feel his loss. His loss, to me, to my family, is still and will always be a tragedy.

Privacy is not lying.

Not telling someone everything about yourself is not lying. It’s keeping the private things private. That’s a big deal to some people. So, if someone doesn’t share every single thing, or every milestone, or every sadness, they’re not deceiving you, they’re being private. Private is, for some, a necessary thing. Not everyone looks at privacy as secrecy. Privacy is safety. It’s a way to not remember the parts of themselves that are broken or hurt. It’s a away to keep those parts safe. To allow them to heal. To help the pieces learn to function again.

I don’t talk about my dad’s death, because part of me is still broken. I still protect that part. I’m very private about that part of my life. Especially that day, and the days surrounding it.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I don’t talk about my birthday. I don’t tell people the date. I will not be celebrating it at all. In fact, I’ve been given an opportunity to work. I will be at a health fair all day, promoting my company.

I would like the day to just go by. I would like it to be unnoticed.

My family will do something because they cannot do nothing. Otherwise, I hope to just live in peace tomorrow without any fuss.

I’ve always hated birthdays…that might be explained at another time. That is a private thing because of the pain that is associated with my past birthdays.

I was going to try to leave it up on Facebook this year. I was going to try to leave it there, so that if someone wanted to acknowledge it, they could. But I couldn’t do it. I made it private at the beginning of this month. I don’t think I will put it back on my Facebook page. That way it’s not an issue.

It might seem trivial to most people. Maybe it is. It’s not to me. If no one ever noticed another of my birthdays, it would be just fine with me.

I’m really sad today, and I’m probably not making sense.

It hit me this morning that this birthday will be the first of the rest without any parents. No phone call at 6:32pm (Mountain Time) from my mom telling me the story of my birth. How she got a speeding ticket on the way to the hospital from Officer Lamb. How he wouldn’t let her off with a warning. How he made her get out of the car and stand on the side of the road while she was having contractions in the summer heat of Arizona, waiting for him to finish writing the ticket so she could get to the hospital to have me “come into this world and make it brighter”. How my daddy wanted a girl so badly, and how he cried when he found out.

As many times as I rolled my eyes hearing that story, I’m devastated to know I will never hear it again. That is a tragedy.

Facebook status for today:

Tragedy: An event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress.
It is not missing a sale. It is not feeling embarrassed. It is pain. It is incredible suffering. It is a loss that cuts so deep, that you may never get over it. It is, more often than not, a word wasted on meaningless, trivial things. It is a loneliness that grips your heart and threatens to tear it out of you. It is falling and never stopping.

I am sad today.

I am sad because I have known tragedy.

I am sad because I have not recovered from it.