Monday, June 27, 2011

If Only, I'd Be

I read such an interesting article in O magazine. The author was saying that unconditional love is loving someone no matter what they do. Or, not caring what they do. Instead of saying, "I would feel more secure about our relationship if he would call," say "I will feel more secure about our relationship." Basically, that what other people say and do should not be the basis about how you feel about yourself. I love this, because I think it is true. However, when emotions, expectations, etc get in the way it can be really difficult to do this.

My dad has kind of taken my son under his wing in the area of baseball. This is the first year my son has played, and he is ten years old. My son comes from two parents who are not athletic. But he wanted to play, so I signed him up. He actually showed some promise, and my dad must have seen this, because he asked if he could start practicing with my son on a fairly regular basis. I allowed this, because as I said before, neither myself nor my ex-husband are athletic, I'm not dating anyone, so where else would my son get this training? Plus, it filled a void in my dad's life after the defection of his son and grandson (which is a whole other story). And it was a win-win situation.

The last couple of games occurred after summer had started. My kids and I had our vacation time together, and we were pretty busy. So, my son didn't get to practice as much as he had in the past. Consequently, his last couple of games didn't go so well for him. He was frustrated, and my dad stated that he wanted to keep practicing through the summer so that my son could keep up these skills. I was great with that, and my son was too. So, Saturday came. At 10am, I still had not heard from my dad. He was supposed to practice with my son, but there had been no set time that he was coming over. I called him, and he was at a barbeque contest, where he was a judge. He said that he wouldn't probably get home until after 3pm, but he would call then and he and my son could practice then. So, I took my kids to the movies. The movie got out a little before 3pm, and I told the kids that if my dad hadn't called by 3:30pm, we would go to the pool. 3:30came and went, and we had not heard from my dad. We got ready for the pool, and my dad calls at 3:40. We agreed that it would be best to practice at 7pm, because it was really hot. My kids and I went to the pool, then we ran to get something to eat. We pulled into my driveway around 6pm, and my mom and dad were in my driveway. They had brought over some of the barbeque from the competition. Then my dad asked my son if it would be okay if they didn't practice that night. My son it said it would be great. He said he was tired too.

Now, it has to be understood that my son tends to be a little slothful. He sometimes, a lot of the times, has to be made to do things. If fact, this is a trait that runs in the males on my side of the family. So, he will always say that he doesn't want to do something if he is given the chance. It also has to be understood that there is a lot of history of my dad not following through with the things that he says he will do. There is also a ton of history of him always doing the fun things that he wants to do for himself instead of sacrificing that fun for his family. My sister would attest to this. MAYBE he sacrificed these things for his son, but definitely not for my sister or for myself. I have come to grips with this for myself. I never expect him to do a thing for me, I am frankly surprised when he does. I honestly, at this point, would prefer that he not even attempt to do things for me. But when he starts to do this with my son, it tends to make me angry.

So, now I should try to apply the principle that I mentioned at the beginning of this entry. "I would feel less angry if my dad would put my son before himself and his desires." What I should say is, "I will not be angry." And the fact is, I will not be angry. My dad is never going to change. At 64, I just don't see him and his slothful nature changing-not even for my son. And just as I have let my children see their father's true nature, staying out of tainting that, so that they can come to their own judgements about him; I will also stay out of this relationship. My son has to see his poppy for who he is. My son may be okay with my dad's traits. He may not be. And if he's not okay with them, he has to be the one to figure out how he will deal with that. I've figured out how to deal with it-to have a pretty surface relationship, spend limited time, and not expect that I will ever be put first before his own desires. And I'm not angry with it (after years of being angry). So, I will not be angry about my son's relationship with him either.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Letting Go

42 years old has been a little (no, a lot) disconcerting in the body image department. I am not exaggerating or kidding when I say that one day I could control my weight by what I ate and the very next day no matter what I ate or how much I exercised, my weight went up by 5 pounds and would not budge. I can't express how frustrating this has been for me. Body image has always been something that I'm very aware of. I'm short (5'1"), so I've always kept a pretty tight rein on it. But I've also always been able to do this. Now, it's just not working. Not only that, my weight has shifted weirdly. I now have a poochy stomach, and, well it's just weird.

So, I'm learning to let go and come to grips with it. I don't even know if I have any kind of control on my weight or not. If I choose to eat wisely will it at least keep the weight gain at some kind of bay, or does it not even matter. Because if I'm eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains when I could be eating a cupcake, I'm going to be a little steamed. If I'm giving up pasta for nothing, then I'm about to say, who cares?

I ask myself, why do I care? I'm beyond the dating days. I truly feel like those days are gone for me. And I might just be totally okay with that. I think I've talked before how freeing that is to me. And even if I was still interested in attracting the opposite sex, do men really like someone who's rounder, softer? You've got me.

How many other women are dealing with this?