Thursday, July 18, 2013

Keepin It Real

Boy, would I love to write a post sometime this decade that gushes about how fabulous my life is!  Everything's looking up, my future is so bright I need shades, wine and roses, bowl of cherries, you get the picture.  I would love to be able to stay, "Stop! Enough with the blessings already! I can't take any more joy!"  I would love to say to my children (in this exact order), "One day you will grow up, go to college, have an exciting career, meet the guy of your dreams, have beautiful children, and live happily ever after; the end."  But, I can't really say that in good faith because my experiences have shaped my vision of the future, and if we're keepin it real, which ya know I do, the future looks hard as hell.  

I'm not trying to be a Debby Downer; honest, but my forecast of life in general is a whole lot of rain with just enough rainbows tossed in to keep you off the sauce.  Okay, that was seriously, Debby Downer.  Sometimes I look at all of my Facebook friends' postings and think, "Hmmm...maybe it's just me.  Maybe, they are all really happy, enjoying a life of barbeques, a game of touch football with the kiddos, inspirational quotes courtesy of Pinterest, and Sundays packed full of family togetherness." I wonder what would happen if I posted, "F*%$ me! I'm going to run away from home!"  How many likes would I get?  

I worry, in particular, about my babies.  Because they are so precious and innocent.  I, for one, do not want to be responsible for taking any of the light out of their eyes.  They have no concept of the problems they will face as they enter puberty, and then, adulthood.  All they know is that mommy and daddy love each other and them.  That God is good and takes care of us and everything that we need.  That they have nice friends, a nice house, and a big family full of people that adore them.  Oh, if only I could freeze this state of grace for them and place them in a little bubble!  

How can I prepare them for the harsh realities of this world?  I was thinking of writing a series of children's books with a fresh take on fairy tales; you know, make them a little more realistic.  Once upon a time, there lived a Queen, a King, and two princesses.  The Queen was fair and tenderhearted (me, of course) but she had high blood pressure from stress and saw a counselor for her generalized anxiety disorder.  The King was a kind and loving father, a heck of a hunter and gatherer, but worked too many hours and was exhausted and stressed the majority of the time. 

Nice, right?  Just sort of ease them into realistic expectations for the future! I'm kidding, but I do think that Walt Disney has really done a number on the female brain.  Hey, just look at the authentic, original Grimm fairy tales.  Those guys weren't holding any punches. The step sisters get parts of their feet hacked off, for God's sake!  And Rapunzel's guy ends up with his eyes gouged out...not quite the fairy tale ending in "Tangled," right?  I mean, do I need to even mention the whole cannibalism theme in Hansel and Gretel? Gross!

Like I said in my previous post, hope is hard for me.  Life for me today is living hour by hour, putting one foot in front of the other, and pushing ahead.  I have no earthly idea what's in front of me, and I try not to look too far behind me.  I try to take pleasure in the small blessings; the thumbprints that God leaves on my life.  Thanks, Lord, for finding me the perfect seat on the airplane the other day.  The conversation I had with my fellow traveler took my breath away.  She is this beautiful, smart, black woman in her fifties who just happened to be reading one of my favorite books of the Bible, Colossians (or anything written by Paul).  We talked about faith, her courage to leave an abusive marriage after thirty years, the strength it took to step out in faith and start over at 50, and finding her way back to the Lord through the pain.  She was a blessing to me that I will not soon forget.  

If we met in any other circumstances, I would like to think that we would become friends.  I am drawn to strong women, who have suffered and persevered, lost a battle or two, but lived to win the war.  I am drawn to women who tell it like it is, even if you don't like what they have to say.  I am drawn to women who will not shy away from controversy, but do not need to seek it out.  Maybe because I want to be like them? I admire people who choose to do things entirely on their own, but I will never be one of them.  My support system is everything to me and I pride myself on knowing when to ask for help because it is not easy.  

Right now, I could use a little help from my friends.  If you are a praying person, maybe you could pray for some healing for my family.  If you are a positive vibes kind of gal, maybe you could send some out into the universe for us.  We could use a little peace and calm in our lives.  Your happy thoughts and prayers are much appreciated.  I am grateful for every last one of you!  



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