Yesterday afternoon I stopped by the house to check in on my sick boyfriend & then to do two quick home inspections before calling it a day. As I pulled away from the house, I thought that I should throw the address into to the GPS thing on my phone as I know the general location of the homes, but I can never remember the fastest route there.
I typed it in & she starts talking to me. She, my lovely lime green iPhone, starts taking me in the absurd path that requires me to turn around to get onto 17th, when 16th drops me off at the exact same location. 16th curves right into 17th a half a mile up the road. I do not know why she can't learn that I am just going to take 16th until I get to the main road.
I keep telling her "no". No I won't turn around. No I won't take this left. No I won't wait while she recalculates.
I can't prove it, but there are times when without me touching the phone at all, her voice gets louder, almost yelling at me.
After reaching the point where 16th street dumps me onto 17th street, I negotiate my way onto the main road. Here is where things got a little heavy. My lovely phone tells me to get in the left lane. Easy enough, right?
Not for me. I have plugged in the address & now feel the need to quickly check that it looks like she & I were both talking about the same end location, but she has made me pass the left hand turn I would have made if I were in charge, I am worried maybe she is fucking with me since I blatantly ignored her request for me to make any of the 6 left hand turns that would have put me on 17th street. I pick up my phone & try to make it show me the overview of where she is taking me because the left hand turn she wants me to make now will put me on the highway?!?
Being from Northern Virginia, I have no problem merging onto a highway at a proper speed, nor do I fear highways. However in my little town, it really isn't necessary for me to ever get on the highway?
After checking the "overview" of where she is taking me, I tell her that the highway is not the easiest route to get to these houses. I am telling her that the easiest route was to make the left back on whatever that streets name is and then it just winds over to Garden of the Gods, then you make a right & go over to Centennial and then I think it is just straight from there!
Her reply was dripping with sarcasm. "Melissa," she said, "you are terribly hardheaded. My way will get you where you need to be without having to make the two u-turns that you normally make as you notice too slowly that you passed the street you were looking for. If you weren't so vain, you would get glasses so you could read the street signs in advance of passing them."
She continued her rant with, "Just listen to the sound of my voice with both hands on the wheel instead of blindly grabbing at me trying to get me into overview mode to see where I am taking you. Melissa, you know you plugged in the correct address, so trust me to get you there in the projected time I have displayed."
As I turned onto the familiar road of Centennial, she told me in 1.4 miles to make the left hand turn to my destination. After she verified I moved into the left lane, she finished her psychotherapy session with me by stating, "You never take the easiest, most direct path, ever. Given the choice, which you always seem to think there is a choice, you choose the longest, windiest, most convoluted path to where you think your destination is. I am not certain you even know where you are headed most days. I think you lose focus and are missing the needed signs."
Her voice sounded softer when she said, "Things would be so much easier for you Melissa, if you would just slow down and listen to my direction. I will get you there at the projected time if you would just trust me and follow my directions." Then I heard her sigh and groan.
I thanked her for caring so very much & turned her off so I could go in and perform the house inspections.
Inspections complete, I said my goodbyes and headed to my car. I was going to turn her back on to direct me home, but then I remembered that finding my way back home using side streets and scenic routes, like passing Gardens of the Gods park are not the quickest most direct route home, but the meandering scenic path will always be my choice.
I plugged her in since she had used up so very much energy during her rant and I turned her off so she could recharge for tomorrows barrage of telling me to take a left onto 17th street.
For iPhone users- is there a way to change the voice in the navigation system guidance? Just checking!
Most of you don't know me as a Christian. Many of you know that I haven't gone to church since I was 14, nor do I plan to. I need the safety of my own mind for another decade or two, or three. I do however greatly miss the music.
We had a rough car ride to school this morning. My daughter chose not to eat breakfast since I wanted to limit the number of Girl Scout cookies she could have for breakfast. Mind you there is oatmeal packets, cinnamon rolls, pop tarts, cereal, frozen chocolate chip waffles, eggs, tortillas for quesadillas, cheese sticks, peanut butter & toast. I am listing everything off to ease my mom guilt for letting her go to school on an empty stomach. About 10 minutes into the car ride she asks if I can take her to Starbucks. As we had this conversation at home earlier, I reminded her the answer was "no". She then proceeded in a very sweet & weak voice to let me know in advance she was very sorry if she barfed all over my car. I told her I felt very bad for her in a similar sweet & weak voice. These morning power struggles always make me weary and are so difficult for me to shake off. Today was no exception. I did not make eye contact in the mirror, nor did I initiate any further conversation so it wouldn't escalate into a pissing contest. Massive guilt swarmed me. I try to make my kids happy. However, some days it becomes very clear that I am reaping what I have sown. Catering to their needs and whims is tiring.
We made it to school and while she had to take extra time and effort to get her physical body and school supplies out of the car, she was able to find the strength to get out of the car. She also waved at me twice before entering school. I exhaled. The day stood a chance at being ok. As I was pulling out to head down to work, a song popped into my head. Totally weird and random, but completely normal for me and my angels, now that I listen for them.
To many of you, it is going to seem that I am born again. I am not. I am just settling into my power again where I can relax and believe and explore and breathe again.
My family and my faith were mocked by my husband for our entire marriage, 16 years. This was done openly in front of my children. He doesn't believe, he is a man of science. That is how his children would be raised. He didn't want me to teach our children about God, but I did.
Slowly & quietly along side of Greek fables, children's stories about the Buddha and other classic literature.
Because my ex was absent four to five days a week, I was able to help my son through his Protestant Merit Badge in Cub Scouts without protest. It brought me so much happiness to teach my son about God and share with him the stories of how to be a good person. My son loves reading and loved the bible studies in the workbook. For a while he even borrowed my bible for a time to read on his own. I didn't present it as anything other than a historical collection of stories.
It is fascinating to learn about learned hate and prejudice. Children don't come in to this world with hate and prejudice in their hearts, this is a learned skill, passed down by parents and trusted adults.
For most of the past 3 years of divorce, my son has also opening mocked people of faith. It was hard to hear and hurt my heart to hear him parrot so much of his father's belief's. While I don't feel organized religion is right for me, I want my children to understand there are bad people in walks of life and faiths. Bad people do bad things in the name of religion, they always have.
My daughter has more of her own mind in this area. I believe she has a very strong connection with spirit. She is very receptive to prayer and community.
I have tried to show my faith, more than speak of it for the past two years. I have a strong community of women who share their families with mine. I try to make sure they see us caring for our friends and neighbors in their times of need and lending our prayers and good thoughts to them too. I make them aware of the tribe of people who have taken time out of their busy lives to help us over the past few years as I have struggled to make ends meet. I try to let them know daily how blessed I feel and specifically why. I want them to be able to find something, everyday to recognize as a blessing.
I want them to know about service as more than anything as I believe that service is where our lives come alive. Service provides us opportunities to find out passion and connect.
While I do not ask them to participate in my daily spiritual practice, both of them sit with me in the mornings throughout the week and watch me read, meditate, write and pray. They ask questions and enjoy the calm of the quiet time with me. On weekend, this time has the added benefit of snuggle time too!
While it is understood in my divorce process, that I cannot, on my own start taking the children to church or force religion upon them. I can allow them to see me and my practice everyday I have them. Initially this restriction pissed me off, but then I realized the blessing in showing through my daily life, how these tools help me cope and flex and stand strong in the face of the harshest of tornado's. Every day I have something thrown at me that I am not prepared for. New bills, unexpected bills, regular old bills, school items needed, scout items needed, a quick one, two punch comment from their dad or from my kids in their dad's voice.
While my daily practice is ever changing due to my stress level, it has been a constant in my life since January. I just couldn't take one more day of stress. Stress and illness took me back down to my knees.
This is one of my favorite Oprah stories. It is one of my favorite songs.
This year one of the many struggles I have had to focus on is surrender.
This is way harder than people make it seem. Every day I have to remember to surrender my wants, fears, desires and needs. They are too heavy for me to lug around with all that I have to accomplish each day. I have asked and am daily doing the work that keeps me moving forward.
I know I will receive all that I want because I am actively pursuing my passion.
God can only do for you what God can do through you. Iyanla Vanzat Peace from Broken Pieces page 102