Friday, February 27, 2009

Lemonade, anyone?

This morning at 8am I decided to quickly input the data to complete my income tax for 2008. Somehow I owe nearly $4000. While I am pondering how this is possible I am also accepting it without question. What's a girl to do?? Can't exactly fight with the government.

Upsets like that have a tendency to push me over into the 'negative self talk' part of my brain. I spent my entire 20s with this sense of darkness and doom, believing that no matter what I did, no matter how hard I worked, no matter how hard I tried, life was pretty much going to kick me in the teeth at every turn. And it did. Pretty much consistently.

Of course, it didn't help in those days that I had hitched my wagon to a sinking ship. How's that for a metaphor? If misery loves company, then I sure was pulled into the quagmire to be companion to a wide assortment of losers and pessimists.

Although my authentic self is basically happy, I really do have to fight with myself to not let the dark voices inside of me take over. They convinced me for 10 years that I don't deserve to be happy, that I am fundamentally unlovable, that my work is meaningless, that in spite of all my efforts people will always turn their backs on me.

I hate being a pessimist, but is sure is easy. As long as I believe that no good will ever come to me, I can stop trying, right? It's a lot less effort to do nothing than it is to keep trying to do better. I'd love to walk away: sell the house, get a new job, start over. I'd also love to spend the next year in bed. Or with my chair pulled up to the fridge. Or at least cry for a day or two. Doing nothing would mean I could stop trying so hard to do my best for my kids, right? I mean, other people's kids cry themselves to sleep and get left at daycare and eat non-organic hotdogs, and they turn out just fine. Right? And they go to public school and get bullied and labelled and have low self esteem and they turn out just fine, right? What if I spend all this time and effort on being my best and doing my best for my kids and they grow up angry and lazy and stupid anyway?

The problem with choosing to embrace the life of the pessimist, is that it really won't serve my children very well at all. I could do all those things, but it would never feel good in my heart. Now that I have children, it is truly my responsibility to be optimistic. Happy. Positive. Joyful. Realistic. I have to model for them that I can handle it when life doesn't go my way. So I unexpectedly owe $4000 in taxes. Is this much different from when Anna unexpectedly can't play with her friend because the friend is sick? Or when Holly unexpectedly can't have a popsicle because we're all out? Disappointments happen. A disappointment is not a death. It is not a cause for despair. It is a reality, we deal with it and then we move on. This is me doing better. I'm just trying.

Following the upset, I decided to start getting the kids dressed and fed. Gotta go on like normal, right? Jasmine put up a huge fight about her diaper, so I decided to let her be naked for a few minutes while I got breakfast. She instantly made a bee-line for Anna's bedroom where she peed at least a gallon on the floor. Right onto the basket filled with all the Disney princess dolls. Within seconds Anna was hyperventilating. Jasmine was so proud of her new splash pad that she laid down in it and splashed around while I comforted Anna and tried to wring out a very soggy and unpleasant Snow White. And Cinderella. And Tinkerbell.

So the princesses ended up in the bathtub and Jasmine ended up in the sink. What's a girl to do?

I tried to insert a super cute picture here of Jasmine in the sink, but I unexpectedly discovered that the USB port on my computer is broken and so I can't export any pictures off the camera. When life gives you lemons.........

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