Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box…

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.

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10 thoughts on “Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box…”

  1. Angela,

    I just liked Neil’s comment on your FB status, linking to this post. I’d literally that minute finished reading it through my own RSS feed reader (hai! longterm reader since 2006). As we’re not friends in that space, I couldn’t comment to echo his words, but that’s just brought me back here again). Like a big ole’ loop of love. Keep doing what you’re doing. Your best is the best.

  2. People are so funny. I wish we could all focus on the good – whether the good be small things like green light bulbs and peppermint mochas or big things like all of the big things that people do. No more good-deed-shaming, folks! And I agree with the previous poster – keep doing what you’re doing.

  3. I really like this. I find it so frustrating when you try to do something good and then see 5 articles on Facebnok about why your good thing isn’t the right good thing. Also-these articles seem to brook no recognition that not everybody is going to :fight the power, join a march, avoid Christian connections, forswear politics, undertake nonviolent activism, etc. I think if your good thing helps someone, even if it’s not in the prescribed way, it’s worth doing.

  4. Sing it, Sister (or not, because after all, you probably weren’t in church for the singing)

    The things is, it’s their path, not ours. But man is it ever hard to stand back and keep the pie hole shut (or, come to think of it, keeping it stuffed with pie, might actually be the solution!) My current struggle is to let my grandchildren’s parents make the decision about what school their kids will go to. *I* of course, in my infinite wisdom, know for SURE what choice they should make. It’s clear as day (and boy would it ever mean a lot to me, if their family’s path turns out to be the same as our own once was!) But the kids are theirs, not mine. The choice is theirs. And will it matter in a thousand years? Probably not. So yeah…their path. If only I could join you for some hibiscus tea and a good talking to (you to me, that is).

    Sigh.

    Also, Costco on a Weekend? They should give out really shiny medals for that!

  5. I get where you are coming from with what you want for your girls. I’ve been there for many years now. A very wise person just made a post in one of the groups I belong to, and he made a very good point. He was told that he only had two weeks to live, back in 1978 . He said he suddenly felt peace come over him. He then realized and this is what resonated to me, “Our life is not our own. What we have is to be given away, shared freely.” I have without a doubt that your girls are going to become someone very brilliant, talented and giving. They are young, try not to let those feelings you are having rob you of the goodness and joy of today (even if it was rather shitty, from the sound of it).

    I feel as if I need to be more attentive also. I’ve just learned that we have a “tent city” in our little town. I’m going to try to find more info on it. On Friday evening, I was grocery shopping and overheard a lady saying that her house had just burned down, she was 30 weeks pregnant and had a toddler in her cart. I hurried to checkout and bagged my groceries to find her. I felt compelled to help, for many reasons. I know what I gave her isn’t going to change her situation that much, but she started crying and said that she didn’t know how she was going to get to where she needed to because she was out of gas.

    I will ALWAYS help others. I choose to do it close to home or within my family. My few dollars isn’t going to amount to much in the big world, but close to home, I think it does make a difference.

    I’ll get off of my soapbox. Your post just reminded me of my life and my weekend.

  6. I agree with Kim (Hi, Kim!) – what is with the good-deed-shaming lately? A good deed done is a wonderful thing. If you feel strongly about some other good deed, perhaps you should go do that good deed and kindly encourage others, rather than… this is going down a dark road so I will just say Well Done! to all the do-gooders out there.

  7. You get on with your good self. And about your girls and their paths? We teach and we preach, but most of all we set an example*. Maybe you had a bad few moments in the morning, but you dealt with it all — and the other millions of moments your girls have spent with you will continue to inspire them.

    *From my husband, the retired psych nurse who specialized in teens and kids. So true.

  8. I am sorry you had a hard day! My mom was a little crazy from hormones and whatnot for a while when I was a teen and I was totally crazy from the hormones for a lot longer, so let us just say sometimes there were issues. But she finally figured out her hormones and I grew up (and sorted mine out too) and everything is good. Things will be good even though I know there will probably be more Sunday morning conflicts. Things will be good.

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