Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Sun and the Wind

There's an Aesop's Fable that goes something like this:
The sun and the wind were having an argument about who was the stronger. The wind finally saw a traveler on the road below and said to the sun that he knew how to settle the disagreement. They could see who could get the traveler to remove his coat. The sun agreed and hid behind a cloud so the wind could go first. The wind blew and blew, but the traveler only held his coat tighter. At last it was the sun's turn. The sun gently warmed the traveler, gradually making him warmer and warmer. The traveler opened up his coat and finally removed it entirely as the sun shone gently upon him.

I love this fable; I think it's my favorite of all the ones I'm familiar with. The lesson is so perfect in so many situations from parenting to politics. As a parent, sometimes you find yourself blustering at your child, but that doesn't really work. You only butt heads and set up power struggles when that happens. Instead, shine gently on your child. Let them know where they've gone wrong and correct them calmly and with firm compassion.

The lesson also holds with politics. I have a friend who is full of passion and energy and believes in many of the same causes I do. I mainly communicate with her through Facebook and she is constantly forwarding links for our causes along with strong posts about the actions we should take. That's a great thing, and I love the information and links, but it's caused her to burn out. Instead, in the future, I'm hoping she'll regroup and be more like the gentle sun, in it for the long haul. There are many fights to fight and it's going to take a lot of work to get things to change.

Anyway, that's my thought for the day. The sun and the wind....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Surviving High School

I resisted Facebook for the longest time but finally caved when my best friend from college/maid of honor at my wedding sent me an invite. I can't even remember how long ago that was, a year or two? Anyway, I'm now hooked. I "friended" the moms from the Girl Scout troops (Martha Jr.'s and The Eldest's), relatives, a few friends from college, and so forth. I found a couple of people I knew from high school but didn't go any further with looking for high school friends for the longest time. I recently found my drama teacher, Mrs. L., and connected with her, and that led to connecting with more high school friends just within the past week or so. It's led to quite a wave of nostalgia!

My high school drama teacher was so amazing, probably the most caring, compassionate teacher I've ever had the fortune to know. She saved me in ways she couldn't know at the time. Here's why- during 10th and 11th grades I was involved in an extra curricular activity under the coaching of one of the P.E. teachers who was horrid; she was verbally abusive and cruel. I was never good enough- she called me fat all the time (when I wasn't) and constantly belittled me in front of other students. (Including my boyfriend.) She caused a lot of wounds, but Mrs. L. took the sting out of that hurt. She believed in me and encouraged me. She guided me through costuming our production of "Damn Yankees", a HUGE responsibility, and entering my costume designs for "Oedipus" in a Thespian competition. Talk about confidence builders! She cast me as Judy in "Rebel Without a Cause" (a shared role- I played Judy one night, another student played her the other night). I couldn't wait to get to her classes; it was a relief just to enter the "little theater" (her classroom) during the school day. I wasn't the most talented of her students (by a lot) but she still had faith in me. I went on to a drama/psychology double major my first year and a half of college but I wasn't resilient enough or driven enough to handle the rejection when I didn't get the roles I wanted so I finally dropped drama.

Mrs. L. had a huge impact on my life by offering me the shelter of her warmth when things were rough in high school. I don't know that I would have come through those years of abuse from the P.E. teacher with my self worth intact if not for Mrs. L. A fellow drama student from my class has become quite famous, starring in a couple of TV shows, and has since honored her with a really huge award. I can't nominate her for any awards, but she'll always be a winner in my heart.

(And as for that famous student, I can say I was one of the first to shine a spotlight on him- literally! He was Tevye in our production of "Fiddler on the Roof" and I ran the spotlight. Hee.)

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Introvert me- I'm turtling again. With the fibromyalgia, sometimes my schedule gets out of control and life gets overwhelming. When that happens I retreat into my shell, like a turtle, and avoid as many outside commitments as possible. I have to- it's how I recharge. Since I'm trying to control my fibro by managing my lifestyle, with the goal of avoiding medications as much as possible, it's essential for me to manage my time well. That's only one component of my fibro management program but it's a big one and the most difficult. Try as one might, life gets messy now and again. Children wreck cars (she's OK but I had to drive her around until I could get her another one), appliances break, (luckily DH can usually fix them, but not always), appointments made ages ago come up on the schedule at the worst times, (dental appointments, check ups, etc.) and so on and so on. Just... life.

So, I hope my friends understand. I still love each and every one of you, I just have to take some time and refresh so I can get back at it. If I don't my fibro flares and I'm bed ridden; not very pleasant. I'll get there, I'll get there, it just takes me longer.