Divorce, Holidays & Marriage

Being a child of divorce makes holidays particularly miserable. Especially when you have two very large sides of the family and one side consists of master guilt-trippers. I used to love the holidays, but after years of being dragged back and forth, people guilt tripping me, and basically sucking all of the joy out of the holidays, I have become a Scrooge, Grinch, Negative Nancy, whatever. I hate the holidays.

Now I am getting married and I have THREE families to please. Well, let me tell you, this year it feels so easy to say ‘no’ to both my families and say ‘yes’ to my awesome new family. All I have ever wanted was a stress-free holiday season! I guess even normal families find the holiday season to be stressful, so at the very least I want a less stressful one. With my awesome fiancé, my Scroogy-Grinchy-Negative-Nancy-ness is subsiding. I hate it a little less when stores start advertising for Christmas so damn early. I even decorated our apartment already for Christmas (minus the tree).

I guess I forgot the point of this post, besides, marriage is good, divorce is bad, mkay?

Draw the Line

Throughout my life I have been told many things about how I should deal with difficult people. I’ve been told to “be the bigger person” by being the first to apologize. I’ve been told to be nice to so and so, to be accepting, to be patient, to be kind. I even tell myself these things, to just deal with certain people. In many situations, this is good advice. But where do we draw the line? At some point, we have to think about ourselves, and our own well-being. I came across this quote recently, thanks to Facebook sharing:

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I think that this is 100% true. There are certain people, no matter if they are family or friends, who are not worth being around. There are some people that cause so much emotional damage, stress, drama, physical damage and I truly do not believe in associating with such individuals.

I have had people in my life who have caused me tremendous emotional pain and stress that I decided it just wasn’t worth it anymore. If I made one wrong move, or said one wrong thing my life would practically start to fall apart because of this person. I cried, I stressed, and I got ulcers, intense headaches and depression. There were absolutely no benefits that I could think of to make me stay close with this person.

I know that it seems harsh to cut a person out of your life. But I truly believe that in some cases, the benefits outweigh the loss. I no longer have this stress in my life, and I have no regrets about it. I’m happy, and currently have no emotional pain. I had to think about myself, and I’m glad that I did.

Perspective

Ever have a really bad experience with someone being extremely rude to you, without being provoked? I just did. I work at a clubhouse for a homeowner’s association. People come here to exercise, swim, play pool or cards, etc. There are rules, especially involving guests and children. One rule is that kids under 16 years of age cannot play on the pool table. Its an extremely beautiful pool table, and serious pool players use it regularly. This afternoon, a woman and her grandson were beginning to play pool. This is the part of my job I absolutely hate. I have to remind people of the rules and enforce them. So I politely told the woman that kids under the age of 16 cannot use the pool table. She got very defensive and began to rant about the fact that she pays into this homeowner’s association and should be able to do what she wants. She told her grandson not to touch anything because I might “have a fit.” After a bit more ranting, she left and said, “I hope you have a wonderful day now that you ruined ours.” I was very hurt by this situation. In general, I’m a very sensitive person, but this encounter was uncalled for and unprovoked.

When things like this happen, I try to think of reasons for it. First I think of what I said, what I did, how I reacted and if I was appropriate. In this case, I didn’t do anything wrong. Then I change my perspective and start thinking about what would cause someone to lash out like that. I consider the fact that maybe she’s having a terrible day, maybe something bad just happened to her, maybe she’s been treated badly by someone else here in the past. I’m not naive. I know that some people are just not nice. But for the most part, I assume the good in people and try to put myself in their shoes… It helps!

Studying the Mind

The brain is the most amazing and powerful tool we have; the mind is powerful, but not in the same way as the brain. The distinction between the two is important. The brain is the physical organ in our bodies. It regulates everything; it’s in charge of everything. Some things we are unaware of, like breathing and sleeping. Other things we have to think about, like eating and moving. The study of the brain is neurology.

The mind is messy. The mind is the entire study of psychology. So many things can go wrong (or right if you’re into positive psychology). It’s difficult to study because the mind is not a physical thing. Even when people take the time to study the mind, there are no definitive results. If you actually take the time to read a scientific study of psychology the results are never 100% one way or another. This is why psychology is considered a “soft science.”

When you read an article about some psychological discovery, chances are the author didn’t read the actual entire study, or they misinterpreted it, or they stretched the truth to make it way more interesting. For example, a popular article might be titled, “CURE FOR DEPRESSION FOUND!!!” and go on to describe some pill or method or therapy that cures depression. (I made this up, total exaggeration). If you were to find and read the original scientific study you would most likely find that said pill or method or therapy worked like 60% of the time. You would probably also read that whatever it is isn’t actually a cure for depression, it just alleviates the symptoms. Even then, the article will describe every single aspect of the study and why they got the results they did and it is a LOT more convoluted than that popular article you read!

Popular articles are important because they draw attention to the field of psychology and help people to understand it without having to decipher a scientific study. It’s just important to remember that there is nothing definitive in psychology. We continue to do study after study and people study the same things over and over with different methodologies and mixed results. Eventually, hopefully, whatever is being studied will start to produce similar results and we’ll be launched forward little by little.

Heart & Soul

What do you really truly love to do? I think it’s difficult to place it. We think of what we love in different terms. We think of what makes money. We think of our current jobs and place the things we love about it. But do we really truly love it?

In college, I studied psychology. I really, truly love psychology; but I’m not actually using it, I’m not taking it further. I don’t want to be a counselor, a psychologist, a psychotherapist, etc. Last night I had an epiphany. It’s that I really, truly love to write. I love getting my thoughts out. I love educating people about interesting things. I love having discussions about said things.

If I really chose to take something I love as a career option, I would write. I love it deep down in my soul; the core of my being loves to write. I don’t know what the next step is… besides to keep writing.

Over Thinking

Ever notice how unhealthy thinking can be? Well, over thinking. One of my favorite quotes is by Ayn Rand, “There are no evil thoughts except one; the refusal to think.” In this case I’m talking about irrational thoughts and over thinking. I love to think. I think about human nature and why people are the way they are and why they do what they do. But sometimes I’m stuck thinking about my life and certain events and I think myself into a dark twisty circle of sadness and anger.

What I want to know is how to let it go. How do you say, “oh well” and really feel that way at the same time? I can say, “oh well” all I want and I won’t feel it. I have thoughts about things and I know for a fact, I shouldn’t feel this way, this shouldn’t matter to me, I’m happy with my life. I can’t stop thinking and over thinking and making myself feel badly for something I have no control over. I want to control my thoughts and feelings. I want them to be rational.

Are feelings ever rational? My rational mind and my feelings don’t add up. I think our lives are controlled by both, but not at the same time. Its one or the other, but you can’t live without either. You need feelings and you need rational thought. Why aren’t they on the same page? I’m thinking myself into a circle again.

Cave Men & Abortion

Lately, whenever I read or watch news about current events, all I see are things relating to women’s reproductive rights. All I see are men trying to make laws about birth control, contraceptives, and abortion. I don’t want to go into deep detail about bills and laws. My main question is, who the hell has the right to make these laws? Why are people even trying to intrude on the business of others? I don’t feel that I have the right to tell anyone what to do with their bodies, and I feel that no one has the right to tell me what to do with mine. Forming laws about reproductive rights and denying these rights to women is equally as terrible as female genital mutilation in other countries. Those women have their options taken away, they don’t get a choice about what happens to their bodies. I don’t see any difference between that and taking our rights away. Some may see these as extreme opposites but I do not. That is the degree of disgust I have with the mere idea of people trying to make laws about our bodies. I have a theory though.

I keep trying to think of why men, especially, would think that they have any right to make laws against abortion (because I just must find an explanation). Then I remind myself that almost everything we do can be tied back to evolution. Daily, men produce several hundred million sperm. Women are born with about seven million eggs and release only one per month. Because of their excess of reproductive fluids, men feel the need to spread their seed. Many people blame cheating on this fact. They want their seed spread far and wide. They want their genes to be carried on forever and ever and to never die off. Women, on the other hand, have to choose carefully who they mate with because they have a limited supply of eggs. They don’t want to waste their eggs on a man who can’t or won’t support them (or on a complete idiot, because… come on). So back to abortion and why men seem to hate it more than anybody. I am concluding that it’s because they are threatened by it. We have a way to control who we mate with, or when we mate with them, and they hate that. I’m wondering when we will evolve and be able to move past this cave man crap.

I can think of theories all day as to why people act the way they do. Unfortunately, this doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t make it okay for anyone to make these decisions about women. Life is hard and complicated enough without laws about our reproductive rights. Leave my uterus alone and think about something that really matters. Help starving children, make schools better, and stop wasting your money on something you have no business thinking about.

Side note: Men does not = all men (because I like to cover my ass).