As part of our Daddy Date our 4 year old and I went to the Denver Botanic Gardens. The garden is huge and we didn’t even scratch the surface of the place.There is an outdoor amphitheater with grassy slopes, and all she wanted to do was run up and down those grassy slopes and sing “Let it Go” at the top of her little lungs. I was cool with that because it was just our time to just hang out. I had a hard time taking quality pictures and keeping track of a 4 year old. However, we still had a great time. But I need to go back one day and just focus on taking pictures.
Recently I have become heavily involved in 12 step groups. I’m outing myself a little there. I’m a friend/family member so there is Al-Anon. I’m also a boarderline addict myself with family traits for addictive behavior. In the big book, apparently these stories are called “They quit in time,” or something similar. I did 12-step when I was in college with a group. We just went through the steps to find out what they were. Now I’m in another group that is doing something similar and I’m talking with others who are addicts and have gone through the steps or are going through them and it’s quite interesting. Everyone should do them. Really. I know I’m advising the world there but it’s the kind of study of ones self that can be done over and over and never get old.
However, in the context of a small town, the idea of an anonymous group is, well… difficult. Never is it truly anonymous. Maybe that’s a good thing because we aren’t all worried about what we are going to say or who we are going to out but also, it can be hard because if you are talking about issues and someone in the group is intimately acquainted with someone you have a grievance with, is that going to affect their relationship? Is my issue with a person and my discussion of that issue in my 12-step group going to be a reason someone else sees that person so differently they can’t get back their relationship?
One of the things I have been told is that there will never be a time when you are able to confront and accuse those who have hurt you. The 12 steps aren’t about that. They are about cleaning your side of the street and leaving their side alone. You can’t change other’s. You can only change yourself. Therefore, confrontation and the attempt to make someone understand their part in your break down is futile. It is something to be let go. THAT IS HARD! Especially in a small town setting where you are bound to see and interact with your issue people on a regular basis. But that makes it no less true.
How then can we rebuild relationships after issues or fights? Discussion for another blog I suppose.
Our 4 year old has been wanting to take a trip somewhere anywhere. It’s all that she could talk about. “Mommy and Daddy” when can we go on a trip on an airplane together just you and me. Finally I took this past Tuesday and we flew to Denver for a Daddy and daughter date. We went to the Children’s Museum, lunch at Olive Garden, and we took advantage of a free day at the Botanic Gardens. It was such a fun trip, and I hope she will remember these special little trips.
There is something about living in a small town or going to a small church or whatever that seems to give the older generation a feeling they have a right to have expectations of us younger people. Not only can they have these expectations but they can voice them whenever they feel the urge and dole out unsolicited advice. Ok, I’m all about learning from those who have gone before but there are some things that I think should change.
For example, why are we expected to get married? Why is it that every little lady in the church feels the need to set up anyone who is single? Have you thought maybe we like being single? Maybe we want to be free! Or maybe there is pain that cannot be explained and needs to be left alone. If we want to be set up, we’ll ask.
Or how about when we do get married and at the reception we start getting the question, “When are you going to start a family?” Excuse me… I thought I just did. I just got a spouse. What if I don’t want the responsibility of kids? What if I can’t have kids? STOP PRAYING FOR ME TO HAVE KIDS!
Or how about after we actually do produce offspring and everyone wants to know when you are going to have that kid a sibling?! REALLY?!!!!
If you think society has changed, great but there is definitely a generation that thinks this progression is the only way to live life and frankly, it’s not.
I’m a wife, mother and I chose all that but I know people who want to be single. I know people who choose to not have children because they want to have a career. I know people who have no choice.
People in small towns expect their kids to take over the family business, they expect their young people to play on the football team, and especially in this agricultural area – to farm!
Should all these expectations really be put on our young people? Should we really be asking them questions like, “When are you going to settle down?”
Sometimes you have friends… and then they aren’t friends anymore.
Maybe you lose that friendship over a huge fight. Maybe it ends in disagreement so deep the friendship can’t recover.
Maybe you lose that friendship because of distance. Facebook acquaintance doesn’t necessarily constitute a deep friendship.
Maybe you lose that friendship over life changes. You switch life groups – maybe from single to married or married without children to married with children or something like that.
Maybe you grow apart because of differing growth and ideals.
The question is, how hard should we fight for these friendships that once meant so much to us and then either are strained or falling by the wayside? Something I’ve been pondering today.
Because life isn’t like Friends or Big Bang Theory or Grey’s Anatomy. You can’t have betrayal and then rebuild relationships. More often than not, people don’t make up and they don’t stay friends forever and your wife or husband isn’t going to be ok with your best friend being of the opposite sex (gay or straight). So people will change circumstances and relationships will change and friendships will end sometimes slowly and sometimes in fiery flames. I don’t know how to combat that or even if I should try.
If you don’t know what HIPAA is you are totally missing out on a very interesting rule of healthcare. Basically, any medical records that you are privy to because of a work reason must stay confidential. If you work in healthcare, more than knowing that a person was in your facility (and even that is iffy) is barred from being revealed. However, in a small town, putting the pieces of someones life together can be very easy.
My encounters this week included several conversations. The UPS guy came in the other day to say that he was thinking about quitting his job because the owner of a food truck had dropped dead and he saw that as an opportunity to get some nice equipment. An EMS worker had a bad weekend because of someone dying in the ambulance. A church lady was needing support because she was in shock over the death of her friend at a birthday party. THEY WERE ALL TALKING ABOUT THE SAME PERSON!
This is life in a small town. One death (even if it’s a homeless person) is noticed by everyone.
It’s hard to die alone and unnoticed in a small town. Your life is like a string in a spiderweb. If it moves, everyone feels it. It’s a little scary but nice all at the same time.