Thankful Thursday: Witness the Joy, Resist being a Jerk


The best picture of the day award goes to this extremely happy Kindergartener. This little one was delighted to be eating a Golden Delicious apple, to be riding a hay wagon attached to a tractor, to be witnessing a farm, nature, fellowship. I sat across from her on the ride and just tried to breathe in her happy. I teased this friend and my seatmate a lot, I was feeling cheeky.

I was present with them. I was 100% there, thinking about pumpkins and fall, and autumn colors and sweaters and plaid and rubber boots and apple cider. It is my absolutely favorite time of year, the time that makes all of my happy cozy lovely come out and I’m able to just focus. Eh, but only in small doses. I’m not perfect.

I was not 100% today. I was lovely to my students and we had a great day. But I was sullen inside and full of frustration from last night. I was unable to give Tom an ear last night and didn’t want to listen to his stories. He’s taking a class that has him out late in Salem until 9 PM 4 nights a week. He’s busting his ass. However, I was irritated that he wanted to complain. He’s complained about this thing before. He really just needed to vent and I was unable to be there for him. I just didn’t have any venting patience. I wanted to be folded up into a burrito of hugs and just fall asleep, and I acknowledge I was being completely selfish. I felt like such a jerk and selfish all day today, for not just being there for him. And then I was pissed off at him for not accepting my apology in the way I wanted him to! I had all these expectations, even unconscious ones, that he was going to be all heart emojis and happy flower dancing about my apology for being a jerk last night.

Texting as I was riding in the bus to the pumpkin patch:

Me: I’m sorry I didn’t want to listen to your stories last night.

Tom: It’s ok.

Me: 15 emojis and pumpkin patch pictures of Kindergarten and hearts and flowers

Tom: [silence]

Me: (not texting but getting more and more irritated)

-2 hours later-

Tom: Do you get your truck liner done tonight?


Tom: [stunned] I just wanted to see if you’d gotten it done. I know you were planning on it and excited.

Me: Oh.

Oh dear. I can be such an asshole.

Who cares that he vents about the same thing over and over? When people are ready to change things, they change them. Until then, they vent about them. I can just let him figure out solutions to the venting issue himself. When people are venting they are just blowing off steam and want to be heard. That’s it.

So sure, my guard dog stayed calm today and I used my prefrontal cortex. But I was not as nice as I could have been and made someone I love that is especially busy right now feel frustrated and unseen. Ugh.

I’m going to go ahead and forgive myself for this. Because if I don’t, it will likely lead to me feeling even more frustrated at him, for something he has nothing to do with. I can just see my mind swirling,

“Oh, I’m so stressed about this because Tom was so not stressed about that other thing and when I was upset the whole next day he’d already forgotten about it and that made me mad that he wasn’t mad now I’m all worried and I have this weird neurology thing and my brain and who knows why and blah blah blah.”

You get the picture.

I have to tell you, that Frozen “LET IT GO” song is a work of genius. I mean, I know Elsa is singing about letting her freak flag fly, but really, I’ve used that song to illustrate for children (and myself, let’s be real. I own the movie and I don’t have young children…) that you can let emotional shit GO and it will be revolutionary. Just let it GO. STOP. Just let it out, move on. Let it go.



Trying to let go of being right all the time and demanding that everything is orchestrated the way I want it to be. But alas, it won’t ever be that way. I’ll be fine.

I’m lucky I have someone in my life that has as finely tuned bullshit monitor as me. He’s unwilling to not be honest with me about my shit, and for that, even though I HATE IT sometimes, I am eternally grateful. If I manage to make it to my personal nirvana, a lot of it is due to the people along the way that made me really grow. Tommy Ray is one of the leaders of that pack, the mad rabid eyed dogs of “get Jennifer out of hell” pack.

Thank you my love.



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