It is not difficult to look around and see parents trying to live out their thwarted dreams through their children. In fact it is so frequent and so common that I can’t give some examples because they are so close to home. I have even done it myself trying to make up for my husband (he was a farmer and also ran a dairy) not doing “father-son things” with our son. I was a dramatic failure at most of those things. It was almost as if the “cosmos” knew what I was trying to do and was working against me. The stories are “funny” now but not when they happened. They could have made for a situation comedy.
Remember my recent post on this website, “Weeds Versus Flowers”. This gives some background for why this is a problem. I think we all have a purpose in this life and no one person’s purpose is exactly like another’s and no matter how much we admire a person and want to emulate them we can’t as our life experiences and inborn abilities are not exactly the same.
I greatly admire Joyce Meyers; a Christian author and speaker; yet, I probably would not be happy doing exactly what she does and has done to get to where she is . I have learned that as a psychologist. I admired some of my professors. I thought I wanted to emulate them; but I found some of the work boring and unsatisfying and some of the theoretical thinking rather narrow minded. (Yes, I’ve always been very competitive.)
Then when I became acquainted with some of the great therapists, I felt doomed to fail because no matter how much I read and studied about them, I couldn’t get “it”, whatever it was they had. All along the way I (to some extent) ignored what I had to give and enjoyed doing and that I had had some experiences which taught me something which is where I am at today. I once toilet trained a young boy by playing miniature basket ball with him in play therapy.
Back to the subject of raising children to fulfill their life purpose and to use their life experiences as learning experiences while also using their own inborn talents. Many parents did not get to do this themselves and have tried to make up for this by using their children to do this. Either they push experiences on them that are not appropriate for that particular child or they discover some natural talents that their children have and try to develop them so that they ( the parent) can bask in the limelight or reflected glory of their successful children.
You must nurture your child like the particular and special “flower” that they are requiring different amounts of “moisture”, “soil”, “sunshine”, and fertilizer from other plants. Even if they seem to be very similar to you as a child and seem to have the same gifts, no one is exactly the same. Check your DNA!
And you must also continue to nurture yourself as an adult and make sure you get what you need to thrive and be “YOU”. What do “empty nesters” do after their children are gone? (Oops, I know, take care of their elderly parents. But that’s a topic for another post.)
This may not cheer you up and make your day; but you and everyone else needs to hear it! Have you ever seen Bubble Guppies (you would have if you had grand babies the same age as mine)? On Bubble Guppies there was an episode which featured Mr. Grump Fish. Do you know him or is that you some days?
Mr. Grump Fish was not very attractive. That’s not very surprising is it? Oh, he wasn’t particularly handsome and he wasn’t particularly ugly until you noticed the grouchy expression on his face. Also he wasn’t especially good company and prolonged exposure to him was definitely a “downer”.
I have had some people for friends that when I called them, would often tell me the same depressing stories over and over that to them justified their conclusion that the world had given them a bad rap. It was difficult being sympathetic because these people felt that anything they had tried failed and would do so in the future.
Have you noticed that gossip is mostly negative and would do things that would hurt the people’s reputations that were being talked about. Why does saying something bad about or to someone else make people feel good?
Now Mr. Grump Fish, of course, was not very good company; and when he entered a room, he could clear the place just by his mere presence let alone by what he could contribute to the conversation.
Do you feel you would be considered a “goody, goody two shoes” if you did just the opposite. That is said something nice about somebody and/or remarked about how good you felt that day? Remember you feel just exactly what you think. Negative thoughts breed negative feelings.
Yes, bad things are happening in the world, but dwelling on them when you are not being constructive will bring you down. This is just what the enemy wants to do if they can’t kill you or hurt you otherwise. No, we shouldn’t act ignorant let our fears keep us in the dark; but we can keep our morale up and fight the cloud of negativity that the enemy is trying to cover free nations with.
“Sometimes it’s hard to be me.” Do you ever think that especially after a hard day when you feel like you really got nothing done and several things have gone wrong? I tried that out on some people the other day and they had to agree with it.
If you challenge yourself frequently to meet up to certain standards and set yourself multiple goals as well as take on too many responsibilities, you might feel that way.
Frequently I suggested to people I saw for counseling that they set more manageable goals on which they could be better able to focus. Simply the plan is to either to set a time limit on how long you are going to work on a given problem and then go on to something else or to determine what part of the problem you are going to work on and finish before going on to something else.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by not changing your goals when and if you realize that it is not possible to meet them on a certain day. Everybody needs to experience a certain level of accomplishment and don’t be too hard on yourself if you realize that you haven’t set reasonable goals.
For example when I studied for my licensing exam as a psychologist, I set my self a certain number of pages to cover a day during the week and if I reached that goal, I did not have to cover any pages on the weekend to make up for what I didn’t get done during the week. Also I was just starting to juggle my new role as farm wife with that of fledgling psychologist.
Procrastination often occurs because of the fear of failure or doing something wrong. You can never get something done right or learn something that you don’t know how to do without going ahead and trying. Some people avoid doing something because they would rather do something else like nothing. I have had jobs where at times I had to be at work and had nothing to do but I had to stay there.
I often spend more time avoiding something than it might actually take to do it and then either fail or succeed. What would happen if you did something when you saw it and/or thought of it? Might you save time and energy and/or actually learn something about something you are afraid to do for various reasons. A coward dies many deaths, but a hero dies but once.
How much clutter do you accumulate because of the fear of throwing something away and needing it later however so slight. In the long run would it be cheaper in terms of time and energy to redo or replace something or hunt the information you didn’t save up again on the internet. I got a bargain individual serving coffee maker that did not have the instructions and it really was no problem as I found them on the internet and printed them out?
I have always heard that if you live in New York City where rents are extremely high and space is extremely limited that you have to learn to do this and that people who have amassed collections of stuff over the years sometimes feel relieved when they no longer have to keep track of them and or maintain them.
Another problem is the “I can’t” response. Have you ever really tried and at the same time remembered that other people have been able to do it and they had to learn sometime. It also improves your self-concept and makes you less dependent on others.
Either farm the job out on a regular schedule like most people do that with their trash or do without. For example get a duvet and a duvet cover which is washable to replace your top sheet and blanket and simplify a bed making job and/or wait until just before you go to bed to straighten the bed up and now you won’t need the bedspread and fancy extra throw pillows. Whoever thought a bed had to be dressed up and often didn’t kings and emperors hold court from their beds and I guarantee that their beds weren’t made when they did that.
I once solved a patient’s problem with organizing and submitting paperwork so he could get what would amount to a very substantial amount of money refunded when he got all done. I gave the patient a time limit to get it done in and if he didn’t meet the time limit he would have to agree to throw all the paper that he had saved away so he wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.
Sometimes we take more time ensuring that we not do something than it would actually take to do it. We sometimes are so busy ruminating about something that we don’t realize this until it is too late. One thing I am doing is fixing up a standard card table to use only for the current paperwork that I am doing and it is removed from the TV and the the refrigerator and the company of any human beings (haven’t pledged yet to keep my pets out as the cat likes to sleep in the middle of my paperwork and/or stand in front of my computer screen and paw at it. He can no longer sleep on top of the monitor (because it was warm) as it is now a flat screen. No, I don’t know why he does this?
Somewhere we learn early on to drag our feet this way to get out of doing something (going to bed?). As I have said in another recent post, some people spend more time in the workplace avoiding work than working. I don’t know how or why they get paid for this? At least when I do this, I am usually only cheating myself. Now when you think of it, it seems awfully stupid when we take these things into consideration.
Ever wonder about the differences (if any) between the sexes in childhood and in adulthood? Sometimes I wonder if my husband is blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other. What strikes me constantly when I pull in the drive or come in the back door is what needs to be done. There is trash in the yard and trash in the house that needs to be picked up and/or disposed of! There are things that are completely worn out and that need to be replaced. Things that need to be finished that were started several years ago before they completely deteriorate and fall down and have to be torn down and probably never replaced. A lot of wasted money and energy have gone into those things. I never miss seeing these things and it frustrates me every time I see them. It is like I have a huge “to do” list that I can never even start let alone finish.
Don’t think that men don’t notice things. They are always noticing things that you have done to cope with these problems that they don’t like and complain about and threaten to tear down or throw out. Some men (oh, my) even cuss about these things as though you really deserve a cussing out rather than some appreciation for trying to do something about the problems. Doesn’t it seem here that there is some attempt to not take responsibility for all the problems you have to live with and cope with everyday and to shift the blame onto you.
There is an idea going around that men are more able to focus on things and ignore what is not relevant. The idea is also that women are more able to multitask and get more done because they can’t as easily let things go.
Men also can also divert themselves by horsing around and talking about what other people, not them, are doing or not doing. Men also can pull pranks on each other and then forget about how awful they were to each other and even laugh about it. Women take things more personally and like an elephant they can never not forget.
For example, I remembered being pranked by my room mate’s future sorority sisters who tried to throw me in the shower clothes and all I fought them like a wildcat. I still am mad at them for tearing up the room including dumping out my things and attempting to haze me as well as my roommate. I was not a pledge of theirs and didn’t deserve that. Now if it had been guys they might have forgotten it and /or even thought it was funny after the fact.
Guys can get angry at each other, even fight each other physically, and apparently forgive and forget the next day. When in training for something that they must complete and reach a certain standard of excellence, they expect to be treated badly and brag about surviving and even plan ahead as a group how to outwit their trainers attempts to subdue them. To them, it is part of the game. Is the mistreatment of women trainees partially because they don’t understand this or can’t or don’t want to participate in this? It’s a guy thing? Do men think “Why doesn’t a woman think like a man?” like in the musical, “My Fair Lady.”
The next part of the problem is whether or not men think of it as a problem that they should have to do something about? Or do only women do? Do they find it is more impossible to live with than women do? Or do men think they have already done something about it when women can’t get them to notice the problems let alone do anything about them? Do they feel that hurt feelings don’t count and should be forgotten as easily as they forget them and/or don’t acknowledge them and/or pass them up as not counting for anything. I guess if you can forget about a guy socking you in the face the next day and go on about your business with him as if nothing has happened, you can do it. As a woman, I may still have a bruise or injury that reminds me of what that person who hurt me owes me and which can not be forgiven easily if at all?