Friday, October 02, 2009

Difusing and Disecting

TGIF! Thank Goodness It's Friday! Actually, I say that because it's time for that weekly event begun a few months back by the fearless blogger, Shelley Tucker of This Eclectic Life. Shelley proposed that on Fridays we should blog only with a positive point of view -taking something that might otherwise have bad or dreary connotations and trying to put an upbeat spin on it. So, if you look at Shelley's introductory post about the "Only The Good Friday" and like the premise of it, then come on, jump in and join us. The water's fine and after all, its ALL good then, isn't it?

So anyway, this is my take for this week on what's good about it!

My day - or yesterday now -Thursday, anyway, didn't start out looking exactly great.

Oh sure, it was a rare thing that happened to me in that I had actually managed to get a pretty darned large amount of sleep by the time I was ready to rise and shine Thursday morning. But even with that -so no excuses of being tired, poor me crap, ya know, in that respect but I realized I was feeling rather antsy, anxious and yes, depressed. Happens every now and again -or rather, NOT feeling depressed sometimes seem to be the rarity of late.

Why is that? Be damned if I know. It's one of the sneakiest little devils though, this darned depression and the anxiety it brings with it. Creeps up behind and smacks you upside the head it does and then, you have to do a bit of regrouping to get back on track once more.

At first, I thought it was just an early attack of the old Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD -that often gets to people during the winter months when they don't get enough of the real sunshine that provides the vitamin D (isn't that the one they say we lose then?). Well, whatever vitamin the sunshine helps out with, I was figuring with all the drab and dreary and damp and just plain nasty rainy days we had this whole summer that maybe I was getting a taste of the SAD stuff a mite early.

One of my blogger buddies, who is also on my Facebook, had posted something Thursday morning asking us what we'd done so far today that was a good thing -aside from getting up and out of bed, ya know. And in response to that, I had said that I had managed to refrain from choking my SIL. Yeah, I've not been overly happy with some of the things he's been doing of late -or for quite a while now, really -like about the past year! So really, I was very proud of myself that I hadn't done anything really bad to him! Yes, that's a good thing, don't you agree?

Ok, this was one time when being a bit on the snarky side did, for a couple of minutes anyway, make me feel a little bit of relief. Just putting those feelings into words somehow did help to alleviate my antagonistic thoughts about him for a while.

Then, I decided I'd best get busy and find some way to relax a bit more. So it was off to open my reader then and start down the list of new posts there, waiting for me to peruse them.

Reading posts about others who were writing about things happening in their lives did help a good bit as I learned there were lots of people who have problems akin to mine and loads and loads who have problems way, way more difficult than mine too! Not that it's nice to read about people having really bad issues of all sorts, but it does help to put one's one issues into a better perspective then too, you see.

But it was when I opened Dr. John's blog today that I really got an eye-opener!

First off, Dr. John always has a nice little blurb at the top of his blog that sets the tone or theme for his post for that day.

Here's what he had there:

We should all have one person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence, Grandmother was that person to me. ~Phyllis Theroux

Now, I thought that saying was pretty cool, really -I did. But then he went on to say that my blog was his "featured" blog today. And in that part of his post, he went on to toss out a lot of compliments my way.

Apparently he thinks I am quite the "real deal" as grandmothers go.

It was nice to read those things he wrote -certainly. Who wouldn't appreciate that? But it also made me think a bit too about more than a few areas in my life in dire need of repairing.

Contrary to Dr. John's thoughts and words there, about the only thing he said that I will fully accept is that I do blog about my two autistic grandchildren who live with me.

Yes, they -and their older cousin (Grandson #1, Alex) -most certainly are the apples of my eye! And too, sometimes life with Maya and Kurtis, in particular, is quite the adventure, to be sure!

It was where he listed the "Kind loving and always there" that got me.

I wrote to him and thanked him for his kind words but also added that this was one time I was really kind of glad that my kids aren't into the blogging scene and don't follow others blogs as I do because I knew if they read his glowing words about me, my blog, etc., it would have them pointing at me and rolling on the floor laughing as they would be trying to picture me being all that nice and stuff, ya know.

Because you see, I am not quite that way!

One of the things I used to tell my kids all the time when they were growing up was that I hoped and prayed that someday they would get married and have children of their own. And when that happened, I promised them I was going to take those very grandchildren and teach them every freaking rotten trick that their parent (aunt or uncle -whatever the case may be) had ever done to me along with teaching said future grandkids every dirty word I knew too! And when I was sure the child had learned that stuff and learned it well, I would turn the child back to his/her parent then!

One day, when my older daughter was probably about 20 or so, my son came to me and told me that his older sister was afraid of getting married and having children. I asked him why that was and he -in his own inimitable style, said "Well it's because of that threat you always made to us about teaching your grandchildren all that stuff, ya know. She's afraid you're really going to do that."

And then I told him, "Clayton, I AM going to do just that!"

And the look of shock, surprise -even maybe a bit of horror -that crossed his face then was absolutely priceless!

But the funny thing is, I've never had to teach my grandkids any tricks of the trade, if you will, of ways to drive their parents just a bit over the edge, berserk, whatever. Seems they come with those talents already built-in!

Then I got a bright idea of a way to work on ridding myself of maybe a little bit of the bad attitude, depressing thoughts, anxieties, I was feeling then.

My Mom always told me that for some reason, if she was feeling uptight, or down in the dumps, just not quite right, it always seemed to help her to bake some bread. Something about all that kneading of the dough she felt was what helped her then to kind of work out some of the bad stuff and insert something good there in its place.

So, that's what I did then. I got out all my flours (wheat, white) and the other ingredients and mixed up a batch of whole wheat bread. Got it in the oven and baking so that it was ready have the first loaf sliced and on the table with our supper tonight.

And you know what else happened too? Apparently my Mom was right about kneading and pounding a batch of bread dough because as I did that, with each push of the dough against the hard counter, I could then name it with whatever animosity I wanted that was lurking deep inside me.

And by baking the bread, it made that stuff just dissolve then, dissipate right before me -or so it seemed anyway because as I bit into the first piece, loaded with good sweet REAL butter and tasted that great flavor, it really did warm my body and soul!

Gave me strength then to try to start anew with the issues within the family that are pulling away at whatever little bit of harmonious life we're trying to get going here.

And I don't know about you, but I do think anytime we can find a way to put the bad thoughts away, to knead them, work them out like kinky muscles or something, to pound them down a bit, and then, to be able to enjoy something good, sweet and delicious as a result of that -well, that's a pretty darned good thing in my book, you see!

Now, I still have to work on cleaning up the vocabulary a good bit.

I wonder if I started baking cookies and more sweet things like that if it would maybe mold me more into the "nice Grandma" image? I already have a large assortment of aprons to at least look the part for that.


lattégirl said...

Oh, that last line was a gem! ("I have aprons! See? That makes me a sweet grandma!")

Your mom had a good idea. The kneading of bread can be considered a form of meditation. It's an activity that focuses and directs energy and, in its own way, soothes. I find that watering an outdoor garden (lawn, shrubs, flower beds) has a similar effect. Pulling weeds can do it for me, too. For some people, nature is the calming force; for others, perhaps like your mom, baking or cooking is the trick. At its purest, of course, meditation is sitting quietly and emptying the mind. Not easy to do. Probably impossible for you, Jeni (lol... I know you won't take that the wrong way). When you get down in the dumps, or irritated or restless for seemingly no good reason, it can also help to practice sitting quietly and getting to the root of the problem. The answer is there, somewhere. Once you pinpoint it, reflect on this: is it something you can control or change? Then take steps to do so. If it is something out of your control, accept that, give it up, and move on. You'd be surprised at how well this works!

wendyytb said...

I LIKE your style! This is quite a humorous post, and I recognized some of your threats. I actually made a wish and directed it at my three when they were old enough to understand. They had been fighting in the car,and i told them that I hoped that when they grew up they all owned 6 children and a Volkswagen and that they had to drive very long distances with them in the car to visit their nana. I kind of feel sheepish about that now...

Jocelyn said...

This is a beautiful post, Jeni. The way you are honest about feeling depressing and angry with the SIL (how could you not? Even if I were living with a saint, I think some family situations just have to get untenable, eventually)...and then you determine to turn your attitude around...well, I was worried you'd go all Hallmark card or fakey in the effort. But making bread like that? How genuine and real and heartfelt.

I loved this.

TechnoBabe said...

I gave up trying to be the perfect grandma long ago. I love my grandkids and I am not a bad person so they have to take me like I am. Or not. Their choice. I figure if I can put up with some of their bad behavior and still love them so much, they can love me and appreciate what I do for them. I like your idea that you got from your mother. I won't make bread from scratch today, but I will make biscuits from Bisquick! Hubby and I have colds and not feeling so good the past couple days. So today is for warm comfort food and plenty of rest and liquids. Take care.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

You are a wonderful grandmother...AND you are authentic and real!!! That's a rare combination!!! And I, for one, thoroughly appreciate that!!! God bless you, my friend! Enjoy your baking ;-) ~Janine XO

RuneE said...

Nice idea, but since I don't write much, It would have had to be a positive photo... :-)

Dr.John said...

Glad I read your blog today.
It is not what we were but what we are now that counts.
God has washed away past failures and given us new life.
You are better than you think you are.

TomCat said...

Isn't it wonderful that you get to get to spoil your grandkids to get back at your kids. ;-)

Glad we're back in touch.

Shelby said...

I adore that you adore your grandkids so very much. You absolutely have to be the coolest grandmother ever. Thank you for your kind comment today..hugs!

Anonymous said...

I made the same threat to my children and you're right, I too discovered that the "annoying your parents" gene is inborn! I love it and I loved this post! Your Grandmother was absolutely right! There is something about the whole bread making process that just gets "it" all outta' ya', whatever "it" may be..
God Bless you and your beautiful family!

Marguerite said...

Hilarious, Jeni! I too, made those same threats to mine and although I don't have any grandkids, yet, I am looking forward to the "poetic justice", as I call it. My Mom used to say that it was "history repeating itself". I think that certain genetic influences do carry over and sometimes that can be a double-edged sword. Ha! You are a wonderful grandmother and they are lucky to have you! Wish I had a few slices of that whole wheat bread, right now. :)

terri said...

Must be something in the air. I got hit with that depression bug this week too. It's been rainy and cloudy for a week. I'm sure that contributes. I like your idea of baking bread to help relieve the stress. Sounds like it provides you the same therapeutic effect that my running does for me.