Free choice

I always assumed one basic premise about myself. Happiness to me is being calm and peaceful. But calm and peace usually ends up making me feel antsy, bored, and depressed. So is it really my key to happiness?

I told you how I was feeling depressed last week. To be honest, a lot of the reason besides the end of summer was because I felt hurt that I was no longer invited to the family reunion next month. Our household, which is pretty reflective of our state and country, has a 50% vaccination rate. All unvaccinated family members are no longer welcome to be a part of the family. I confronted my mom about this. I asked her why she didn’t say something as none of her children besides Matt (who isn’t even going) will be able to participate in the family event. I suggested an alternative of getting tested and wearing masks, the response was vaccinated only. I am no longer upset with my mom as she did try.

You see, I would’ve brought 6 people to the family reunion. Now my mom doesn’t want to go either. So 7 people aren’t going that would’ve been going. That means the cost per person is going to go up significantly for the people still choosing to go. Now another aunt and uncle may not be able to afford to go because he has to pay a crap ton of money every month for insulin. He told me that he doesn’t even care if I go because he is trusting his shot will protect him which actually kind of scares me.

When I went up north with my mom last week, she was invited to her sister’s cabin nearby for cards. My mom told me that some family members were even wary around her because of our family’s vaccination status. I talked to my aunt and she said that she had her grandbabies to worry about. Seriously!! As if I was going to sneak into her kid’s house (which I have never been to) and cough on some innocent sleeping babies (one of whom I’ve only seen once) which will end up killing them (which I’ve never heard of a baby dying from COVID). As if I’m a filthy leper out to kill babies and infect grannies. But hey Alissa, no hard feelings. Yeah that makes me really want to get vaccinated. NOT! Why bother getting vaccinated anyway if you are going to push away your family and live the rest of your life in fear? That’s not living.

Now before I go any further I want to say that I am happy my mom got vaccinated. She is living in a lot less fear than before. But I strongly believe that getting vaccinated should be a CHOICE. If you don’t believe that than this post is not for you. Don’t even tell me how pro-choice you are if you feel people shouldn’t have control over their own bodies. As you probably now realize by the tone of this post, I am not the calm and peaceful person that I say I want to be. I am not going immediately to get a shot to keep the peace to belong to a group that really never helped me through any hard times in my life anyway. To put it very mildly compared to the thoughts in my head, screw them. Bub-bye!

I feel bad for my kids because they really don’t have any family. My mom is the only person I consider family now. I had to really examine my relationships with others in this process. I don’t even consider my brothers close family anymore. They are Easter and Christmas brothers. I only see or talk to them a couple of times a year. Besides his step-dad, my husband doesn’t have any family either. My kids don’t even know any family members with our same last name besides my husband and I. It’s sad.

Through this experience, I learned I am not calm and peaceful. I can’t just let it go like my kids said I should. I still have a lot of fight in me. It gives my life purpose and strangely I don’t feel all that depressed anymore. Everyone should have free choice. They should even have the freedom to make the wrong choices. If I am wrong, I am willing to live (or die) with my choice.

YOU should make choices for YOU. Not me, not your family if you are an adult, not your employer, certainly not your government, and not even your church.

YOU.

Locker room talk

I’ve spent a lot of time at the gym the last few months. I have become well acquainted with the locker room.

The locker room that I use at the gym is for adults only. Of course, rules aren’t necessarily always followed. It really drives me nuts when a mom brings in screaming toddler. They have a separate parent child locker room for that. Seriously, I work out to relax!

Or better yet, when a mom brings in a little boy that gawks at the naked ladies. They have a separate locker room for that too, mixed gender parent and child.

Seriously, I get it. I was once the mom that anxiously awaited outside the boys locker room and men’s bathroom for my son to emerge. It was scary the first few times…Is that your little guy in there? I helped him reach the paper towels. Don’t worry, he should be out soon..

It has become a pet peeve of mine when these rules are not followed. Frankly, it doesn’t bother me if teens use the women’s locker room. Of course, it may be scary for them to view a real woman’s body. I have yet to see anyone that looks like a Victoria’s Secret model stumble in. And these are the women that work out at the gym!

Not that I sit around and look or anything…

I’ve always wondered why when the locker room is totally empty except for one person that I end up having the naked lady using the locker next to mine. It happened last night. Uncanny…no, not really..lol.

Of course I always use proper locker room etiquette. I look with my eyes to navigate to my locker. If I happen to see someone naked, I drop my eyes to my feet like I am in an elevator. I may even hum elevator music softly in my head.

Sometimes I even use the locker room when the group of developmentally disabled come in from the group home. It doesn’t really bother me. Although it was a little uncomfortable when the first naked lady came up to me and complimented me on my  physical attributes or articles of clothing as I was putting it on. Hello, I don’t have any pants on and you’re naked.

Seeing the very nice group home ladies always reminds me of my brother…This is where the story gets very twisted…I’m in the locker room naked thinking of my brother! It makes me sad to think that my brother could be standing in the men’s locker room doing the same thing. It bothers me that his responses are not socially appropriate…like farting in an elevator. These ladies are probably someone’s sister…They don’t know what they are doing, but we can see..As a special needs sibling, I understand. I feel compassion and respect for them although it hurts me that they act that way. It’s a strange feeling..

It reminds me of other times…my daughter’s high school play…Matt in the bathroom using the urinal…grunting (Tourette’s) doing pelvis thrusts to dry himself (sensory issues)..a classmate freaked out…laughing…a weird man in the bathroom..hitting on me?…odd behavior…should I call the cops?…wouldn’t be the first time…my brother…no dignity…it hurts.

Sometimes the locker room is the hardest part of my work out. It elicits feeling of annoyance or sadness. I never expected that..

Another late night visitor

I received another late night knock on the door this week. Surprisingly, it wasn’t for my son. It was the neighbor girl Abby who was crying bearing gifts of cookies and a handwritten apology note for my youngest daughter Arabella.

I found out there was a problem when I picked up the girls after school. Arabella wasn’t talking to Abby and Abby had no idea why. Arabella mentioned something to me later about the girls having friendship issues due to their extreme differences in body shape. Abby is in 7th grade and is very tiny. Some of the kids were teasing her saying that she looked like a kindergartner. Arabella is in 8th grade and is on the hefty side. I can see a future of her always struggling with her weight.

It is open to debate, Abby may or may not have said something about rather being small than fat. Arabella may have found this offensive.

Abby’s mom sent me a message wanting to know why Arabella was upset with Abby. I responded that they were having a discussion about body image. Abby’s mom replied that Abby admitted to saying some not very nice things to Arabella. In response Abby’s mom said, “I can’t believe this. I’m incredibly sorry. I’m just mind blown and upset. Abby has always been so sweet and considerate and I have no idea where this came from. I sincerely apologize.”

Then Abby showed up at the door crying offering her apologies.

Wow!

Abby’s mom was very stressed out by the whole situation. To be honest, it didn’t really phase me.

Abby is the oldest child. They are going through this whole middle school yucky time for the first time. Arabella is my youngest child. We have been down this road several times before. We have received worse knocks on the door.

Abby is a good kid. I didn’t want them to get worked up too much over this. I told them that sometimes people say things they don’t mean or that they regret later. No hard feelings..

I remember my middle school days. It is a terrible time for kids. It seems like everyone has to fit into the same cookie cutter mold.

When I was in middle school, I was the smallest in my class. One day I wore my green stretch pants to school and everyone called me frog legs. I bemoaned the fact that at 13 I was still asked if I was under 10. The adults all said that someday looking young would pay off for me (it did).

Some of my friends had braces and glasses. For awhile, I wanted that too. I remember walking around the house with a gum wrapper held on my teeth by an opened up paper clip. I also wore my babysitter’s glasses and looked at myself in the mirror which she said would cause me to need glasses. Apparently, she was wrong. (Why do I remember such crazy stupid things??)

I think the middle school years are the hardest. Especially if you are really short, really heavy, have a big nose, can’t afford to wear the right clothes, or are different in any way.

Woe to the popular kids too. They have to jump through a lot of hoops to stay popular.

I am soooo happy that this will be my last year as a mother of middle schooler.

 

27. My favorite body part

  

Day 27: What is your favorite part of your body and why?

Listen up everybody! My favorite body part is my ear. Sounds kind of wacky, doesn’t it?? But hear me out…

My dad is a very large man with small features. He has small blue eyes, with tiny little ears and nose. The only large feature that he has is big full lips. He has given me all of these features along with his wispy wild not straight nor curly hair.

For a very long time, I had long hair that covered up one of my best features. My best endeavors to control my hair left me with comments of ‘did you stick your finger in a light socket?’. It has been so much easier since I cut my hair. But anyway, back to my ears..

I think I have the perfect ears because they are so tiny. They don’t stick out or have a weird shape to them. I have only met one other person with smaller ears. This can be an issue finding ear buds that fit, but that really is my only complaint.

What I like most about my ears is how they function. I can hear sounds in ranges that most adults can’t hear. I also have the ability to voluntarily shut off my ears to sound. Both of these gifts are pretty rare from what I’ve heard. As I mentioned before, I can hear a pin drop in my neighbor’s house. This has given me a great ear for music and singing.