Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.

-Me

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

In Our Own Time

I can not control other people. I may try. I may get pissed, irritated, upset, irrational, and freaked out about whatever it is I am trying to control. But there are just some things that are outside my circle of influence.

Case in point. My kids have dance and gymnastics on Monday nights. Gracie this week was pretty darn shy about going back into that dance class. So she is three, I guess dance class with it’s loud music and louder shoes can be pretty overwhelming for my timid peanut. I wasn’t real happy about this at all. Gracie was content to sit on my lap to watch her dance class. I was pissed about having her sit on my lap during a dance class that :
1. I’m paying for, in seemingly astronomical amounts
2. I’d prefer to watch a dance class where she is actually IN the class. It is not nearly as fun and amusing watching other people’s kids look goofy. I want to laugh at my OWN daughter.

So, I tried to force her. I told her that if she doesn’t go in the dance class I won’t pay for it anymore (I’ve already paid for this month, is it too late for a partial refund?), because I’m not paying for a class she refuses to participate in. I tried to put her in there and shut the door. This resulted in screams and the teacher annoyingly giving her back to me with a “She’s pretty upset, why don’t you have her sit with you?” And then finally, I dragged her with me to the other side of the gym amidst kicks and screams telling her that I am not going to watch a class she is not in, and if she won’t participate, I am going to go watch her brother. This didn’t help either as I couldn’t watch Sandis in gymnastics as I had to herd her to a back room where she would be less likely to injure a young gymnast with her flailing arms and legs.

As you can see, I am not the most effective parental pouter. In retrospect, I probably would have done better letting her sit on my lap and watch the class so she can absorb that it really is okay and when she was ready she could hop on in to the class and participate. Instead I was stuck in my “MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEM MONEY MEMEMEME MYMONEYMYMONEYMYMONEY” circular crap. It didn’t get any better when the class switched out to gymnastics, but I did let her sit NEXT to me, and she occasionally threw a half mother of all fits because I wouldn’t let her sit on my lap. Finally, at the end of the class, she ran to sit with her gymnastic buddies, for exactly four minutes, just in time to get her hand stamp.

I grumbled under my breath to the gymnastics teacher to which she simply stated: “They will participate and do it in their own time, in their own way.”

What a lesson to be learned. What a lesson I need to learn. Despite any amount of screaming, yelling, pouting, and threatening I may want to do (sometimes even bribing), she really will do it in her own time, in her own way. And this goes way beyond Gracie, it stretches into all aspects of my personal life. I’ve even learned this from Bob lately, as he has taken steps to reconcile certain things in his life that I have been bitter about for well over a year. In his own time. In his own way. And all my bitterness and anger did nothing to speed the process up. In fact, it probably slowed it right down. Brought the process to a grinding halt.

So what do I do about this? I’m gonna make a point to try and recognize what is mine, and what is not mine. I’m gonna ditch that bitterness and that anger. Because really, just as I approach things in my own life, we are all going to take our great steps and our little steps in our own time, in our own way.

2 comments:

In Search Of Balance said...

That's a powerful thing to realize about yourself, and a healing one. I definitely sympathize with frustration that comes from people not doing what you think they should, and how hard and important it is to learn to let that go. Good for you.

julia said...

Sage advice. That's something I struggle with, too, all too often.