Dare to Breathe Deep

January 19, 2007

Susan over at A Slice of Life, in this post, Double Dog Dared me to create a “theme” for the new year; something realistic and do-able, and better than a resolution. It sounded like a good idea; “choose a little theme and apply it to all aspects of my life.”

Great thought has been given to this topic. In fact I have thought about it so much that it is closer to February than December! Sometimes it happens that way. If I am not careful, I tend to musterbate and awfulize until things are deep, dark and gooey. When channeled in a positive way, some would call this “strategic thinking” and consider it a strength. For me this has to be a conscious effort and it starts by stopping long enough to breathe. Most times I can think my way out of the paper sack, as long as I stop and breathe.

So, it will be my theme for 2007 to go slow enough so I can see the abyss before I fall in; to stop short and Dare to Breathe Deep.

Here’s to mole hills, lemonade and glasses that are half full!

In a Nutshell

A place set aside to answer
201 autobiographical questions

from a mother for her daughter.

This may take awhile…
join us if you like.

5. I remember getting in trouble with my parents on this occasion: I don’t remember getting in a whole lot of trouble, particularly with both of my parents at the same time. Most times when I got in trouble the punishment was self-imposed. Come to think of it, that is probably why I tend to over-analyze and beat myself up over things. Guilt is a very interesting thing. At any rate, this is another time when I got in trouble but nary a word was uttered by my parents.

Buffy was my friend during junior high. Our friendship only lasted a few short years. She grew up much faster than me. I wanted to be like her so badly. She lived across the street with her mom and three sisters, two older and one younger, and had a lot more freedom than I did. Among other things, her mom would let her walk to and from school. My mom said I had to ride the bus; come hell or high water. We had this discussion many times.

One bright and sunny spring day I decided that I, too, would walk to school…even if it was by myself. I planned and plotted and made sure I had some fresh batteries for my transistor radio. Remember, times were much simpler back in the day. I left for the bus stop and kept right on walking. It was so cool. I had my tunes and I was walking to school; out of the subdivision, down Broadway, right on 73rd Avenue. Almost to Catherine Street, I felt the presence of a car coming from behind. No problemo. I would just move over a bit. There it was to my left and slightly behind me, just chugging along, not in any hurry to be on its way. Finally I stopped in my tracks and looked over my shoulder just in time to see my mom watching me through the passenger window as she drove right on by. I worried about it all day long, period after period, and all the way home on the bus. My mom gave me “the silent treatment” when I got home, which was far worse than anything she could have said or done, or anything I would have done to myself for that matter.

As I think back on some of the really stupid things I did growing up, I realize how fortunate I am to have come through unscathed. Often times I thought my parents had no clue, but now I wonder if they weren’t following behind me all the time, watching out the passenger side window.

10 Responses to “Dare to Breathe Deep”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    It is important to slow down and and kind of take a step back every once in a while. And just let things sit for a minute.

  2. Tink Says:

    I self punished A LOT… My Mom was really good at guilt trips. It got to the point where expecting a guilt trip was no better or worse than actually getting one. I would feel and act as if I’d already gotten one.

    Parents have more power than they know sometimes.

  3. Maya's Granny Says:

    They can really get you when they don’t say anything, can’t they?

  4. gawilli Says:

    Jay, I agree wholeheartedly however this it not one of my strong suits. I am working on it though!

    Tink – Guilt trips are the pits. I really do not see any useful aspect of them at all. In fact I think they breed an awful lot of contempt.

    Maya’s Granny, I hated it when my mom wouldn’t talk to me. For someone who enjoys talking, that is probably the worst!

  5. marnie Says:

    My mother’s silent treatment was, by far, the worst punishment ever.

    I love your “theme” so much.. I think I need to set one for myself.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Our parents following behind us watching from the passenger side window and God holding us in the palm of His hand…..

  7. daddy d Says:

    Thinking through most any event or action is a good thing. At times we must just move ahead because we are already on that track as a lifestyle. In other words, our core being has some basic meaning that allows certain outcomes.

  8. susan Says:

    I never thought I would work your brain so much with my little dare! I’m glad you took it though.

    As for guilt, it stinks! My husband grew up with major guilt, and even now, he KNOWS that everything wrong in the world is his fault…I’m glad I wasn’t raised that way.

  9. mjd Says:

    Gawilli, I love your writing not just what you write but how yow you write. Reading all of your entries, I think that you have carefully selected an endearing topic and then you write magnificently about that topic. I am so happy that you are willing to edit some of my stuff.

    Here is to year of deep breathing followed by a lifetime of molehills, lemonade, and glasses half full. Down with musterbating and awfulizing…I understand what you mean about “until things are deep, dark and gooey.”

    Interesting story about your mom, I am not sure that my mother could be silent about my misbehavior, but maybe my misadventures were more extreme. However, “watching out the passenger side window” does seem like an effective and unobtrusive way to raise children to adulthood. Your mother did not prevent you from walking the tightrope, but she provided a net if you fell.

  10. gawilli Says:

    Marnie – What I really like about the theme idea is that it is like a big picture frame that kind of smooths over the rough edges and helps bring things into focus. I hope.

    Oh, Songbird! I couldn’t have said that better myself!

    Daddy D – I think what you’re saying is that it is best to accept things and move forward, right? I agree. Sometimes my car stalls out trying to get over that hump and I need a jump to get going again; sometimes even a tow. For me the trick is not to tear the engine apart on the side of the road when what I really need to do is let the motor cool down, the traffic subside, and then turn the key one more time.

    Susan, I loved your little dare! It came at a really good time for me. So, thanks!

    As for the guilt trip thing, it is good not to be raised that way. I have made a real effort not to do that to my children and hope I have succeeded.

    Geez, Mjd. *blush* I can’t think of what to say. I write the words like I would say them. Thank you for your more than kind thoughts. What is really fun is when you and I write things together. We should try that again some time.

    I know you understand deep, dark and gooey. Thank you.

    My mom did not prevent me from walking the tightrope; what a good description that is. My mom loved me very much, almost to a fault. As an adult it became quite a fete to find balance on that tightrope carrying all of the mom baggage. But alas, life is a balancing act and as long as we can reach the perch at the end of the day we are in good shape, right?

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