Last week I walked away from church with a page full of sentences that guided me through the week.
This week I walked away from church before the sermon even started because I was aggravated with one of my kids* and I needed to clear my head so I stomped out to the car, put Fiona Apple on shuffle, and drove to Panera for a hibiscus tea. While there, I watched a woman who was clearly suffering from dementia ripping up bagels and throwing the pieces into the parking lot as her family watched her from inside the restaurant. I really wanted to buy a bagel and join her because she looked like she needed a friend, but I didn’t want Jeff and the girls to walk out of church and not have a way home. So, I returned to church where I gave everyone the silent treatment when they climbed into the car because I knew I was probably meant to be ripping up bagels. (Sometimes I’m more 16 than 45, and nobody suffers more than me when I’m acting like an asshole.)
(If you don’t feel like listening to the entire song, just start it at 1:47 and go through 2:10. That’s the part that never fails to move me.)
We went to Costco, where I got some Pyrex bowls, power greens, and long-sleeved shirts to wear under t-shirts.
I baked a sweet potato and ate it for lunch.
I took a peppermint mocha to a friend and watched her baby walking around the room and making snorfle faces, and it lowered my blood pressure and I forgave myself for my moody episode from this morning and now I’m thinking I need to make a casserole or hug my dogs or something to strengthen my core.
*I’m having a hard time finding balance between letting my kids be their own people (they tend to make good decisions and they’re smart and they honestly don’t need much guidance) and gently forcing them to do the things I think they need to do because I did them when I was a kid (piano lessons, being active in the church youth group**, writing in a journal).
**I have mostly good memories from my childhood church youth group. Sure, I felt weird when one of my Sunday school teachers encouraged me to cancel the friendships with my Catholic friends because they’ll never make it to Heaven, but the majority of my experiences were good ones. My youth group friends were the most supportive friends I had, even though I didn’t really speak to most of them because it was easier to look at my shoes than to look anyone in the eye. The church we attend now seems to be designed especially for our family, and I’m trying my best to be patient as the girls figure out a path.
Another weekend is over. The highlight from this weekend was having lunch in Ferguson where I complimented a woman’s shoes (sparkly boots) and fifteen minutes later a woman came over to our table and complimented my hair. Kindness traveled in a circle and it’s once again my turn. Ferguson is not a scary place. It’s a place where you can eat lima beans and baby carrots with other people who like lima beans and baby carrots. (And if you DON’T like lima beans and baby carrots, you sure as hell better stay away from me, and you know that I’m joking, right? (Mostly. I feel pretty strongly about vegetables.))
The girls and I hung green lights on the outside of the house this week for Veterans Day and then I read an article saying that the idiots with the green lights should probably shift their focus to fight for better healthcare benefits for our veterans instead of buying into capitalistic schmuckery. I’m the first to admit that I need to concentrate on being more attentive, but I also believe that people with good hearts need to keep on trucking with their good hearts because we need more good hearts. Don’t give up the fight, good-hearted people! Hang your lights, but keep reading. Give money to the Salvation Army if you want, but also call local shelters and see if they need anything. You will never please everyone, so concentrate on helping where you can and pleasing the folks who might be needing something. A kid somewhere out there will be needing a coat in the next few weeks. He doesn’t care where the coat comes from, and he doesn’t care that you gave money to Big Light Bulb in order to hang weird green lights on your house for Veterans Day.
I’m going to keep doing my best.