You know you’ve done it right when your beautiful, brilliant, wise, all-knowing daughter parrots back to you some of your bestest lines.
I made a statement the other day and maybe, just maybe, it might have been a wee bit on the dramatic side. The 12 year old human that I live with immediately came back with “Mom, quit being so melodramatic.”
That stopped me in my tracks. I realized that ok, yes, kind of, maybe, I was waxing poetic and entered into the realms of exaggerated melodrama. As is my wont. On occasion. Many occasions.
I realized after a bit of reflection that I can easily get to that state these days. I also realized that I routinely use that same line on the aforementioned 12 year old. I think I’m hyper attuned to wanting to raise a daughter that is strong, self-confident, level-headed, intelligent, even-keeled, rational, wise and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. I want her to not meet the world with the emotional turmoil that I experienced during my high school and after years. I want for her all the peace and calm I so desperately sought and did not encounter until well into my 4th decade on this beautiful planet.
For whatever reason I experience the extremes of emotion. I always have, I do now, I forever will (I expect)–world without end, awomen. (A shoutout to my Catholic upbringing.) My husband, on the other hand, is pretty even keel. It takes A LOT to shake that tree. He is forever telling me “don’t look behind you, keep your eyes ahead of you.” Now, he’s talking about when I’m driving, not looking in my rear-view mirror so much, paying attention to what’s in front of me. But every time he says this I am reminded of how it applies to life as well. I can easily get stuck in remorse and regret about what has been and then jump right into worry and fear about what might be. Forgetting to be in the now. Right here, right now.
Living in the moment takes away the melodrama. Living right here, right now doesn’t afford the time to spin in circles, creating a whirlwind of chaos and worry.
I have wanted to teach my daughter how to greet life, each day, each minute, with equanimity. With a sense of peace and calm and acceptance and gratitude. Some days I think I get there and I think I’m doing ok getting that life lesson through.
Or at least I thought I was doing a fine job of that.
I realized, after her comment to me last week, that I’ve let the last two and a half years affect my psyche. Who hasn’t really? I don’t think we can just put our heads down and ignore the drama and the chaos that is our current government. That would be an abdication of our responsibility as citizens of this democracy. So I’ve kept us in the fight, in the ring. We’ve marched, we’ve written postcards, we’ve bought t-shirts. Well, I bought the t-shirts. Her pajamas include an HRC campaign t-shirt and an Elizabeth Warren “Nevertheless she persisted” t-shirt. The news is on most days (luckily no television here, but my trusty satellite radio beams cable news shows easily.)
We are saturated in the daily hijinks of the man-baby running our government, as well as his minions.
I am fast approaching enough, to be honest. I am starting to change to the jazz station more frequently. I scan my Twitter feed in the morning for the updates and then log off. There is nothing new to learn. Every day is simply a rinse, lather, repeat episode. He does or says something outlandishly outlandish, followed by general outrage and disbelief (as if we could possibly be surprised anymore by anything) and then we move on to the next one.
I’m tired. I’m exhausted. I’m being melodramatic because I’ve lost my center. I’m not on an even keel and I don’t like feeling this way.
The chaos and drama and hate and fear-mongering of the last two and a half years have been truly mind-numbing and exhausting. They have all collectively affected our spirits and if you’re like me, they have drained you of your essence. We are better than this. I am better than this. I am more than a whole bunch of f-bombs. I am more than the melodrama.
I am the mother of a 12 year old girl fast growing up to being a young woman who will embark on adventures yet to be told. I have the formidable task of preparing her to meet those adventures with a clear head, loving heart and indomitable spirit. (And that’s not being melodramatic.)