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Being Positive

January 24, 2010

“Is the glass half empty or half full??”

That depends…  Is it the Wednesday before my pay is deposited, while Jon is laid off, and I’m trying to figure out how to keep the cell phones and cable/internet from being shut off, or is Jon working, bringing in plenty of dough, so there is not as much to worry about?

Sometimes I really miss my dad.  He passed away in 2000.  Perhaps he was just really good at hiding it(now that I’m a parent I know this stuff LOL), but I never saw negativity in him.  Even in the midst of divorce proceedings, custody battles, fights between his girlfriend and me, he always seemed to have positive advice, and never had a bad thing to say about anyone.  Is that who he was, or is that who he was to his daughter?  Either way, the older I get, especially as a parent, I strive to remember his attitude and outlook, or at least what I knew of it.   He was in his mid-thirties when he had me, so perhaps he had just mellowed with age…   Having Ian has really given me reason to improve myself as a person.  And I’m actually finding it quite easy to do, surprisingly.  It’s like, when I became a parent, something went off in my head that said ‘there is only one thing on earth now that’s worth investing in emotionally now, let the rest roll off”.  And I have.  Admittedly, I used to have a road rage habit.  That did not improve once I purchased my dream car(quite the ‘race car’).  When people tailgated me, cut me off, etc, I could FEEL the adrenaline and anger, and I left a token of my regards in the form of rubber laid on the pavement on more than a few occasions.  Wow, I miss driving a stick sometimes 🙂  But then, like a switch, the habit of road rage is gone.  Of course, it’s a matter of safety whenever Ian is in the car.  But, during my sometimes frustrating morning commutes, the anger and the urge just doesn’t rise up anymore.  Not even when I drive the ‘race car’ in the summer months, and the most annoying idiot tries to get me to race.  It’s just gone, seemingly overnight.  I used to have major tangles/issues with and hatred and intolerance for certain co-workers.  No more.  It’s just like one day, POOF.  Sometimes I’d have a hair-trigger temper.  Never anymore.  I think I’ve been what I would call PISSED once so far this year(damn the hockey black-out, I hate being SO mad at something SO stupid, but…), and probably a total of 3 times last year.  I used to be a monthly event, or more like several times a month.  Sometimes, when replying to an e-mail pertaining to a touchy subject, I could feel the adrenaline welling up.  The anger.  I’d be seething with rage, typing away, doing my best to stay nice.  Or a conversation would come up with someone, and I could feel the anger coming, my voice would start waivering… UGGGHH!!  But now…  Never.  How did this happen? Is it the mothering hormones(I haven’t breast fed since Ian was 9.5 months old, and he’s 30 months now)?   Did I just finally grow up and mature at the age of 34?  And if that is the case, when the hell is Jon going to grow up and mature? LOL  How is it that I can see and understand that anger serves no function and is just a big waste of time and energy and he can’t or won’t?

Jon is the captain of scream-bitch-whine-yell-throw-a-fit-break-stuff-and-regret-it-later.  I realize that he gets stressed out being the laid off  ‘bread winner’, and I try to take that and all the man-feelings that come along with it into consideration, but sometimes I get frustrated with his attitude and list for him all the things HE should take into consideration when being so mad…  There are SO many things we have that lots of other people would just love to have, can’t have, have no way of getting, etc, and Jon can always find things to bitch about incessantly.  I spend more time telling him to focus on the positive…  It seems to have only a temporary effect.  Is it a guy thing?  Is it a testosterone thing?  Is it just that men mature more slowly than women?  What is it?  Mostly he is the best, sweetest, most aweome dad and best friend, and other times he’s so angry and negative.  It’s like he’s not even the same person sometimes. Does our roof leak, is our bathroom a bio-hazard in need of total replacement?  YES, but being pissed doesn’t do a single thing about it.  When money is tight, does anger help?  No.  When the car breaks, does it help to beat the hell out of it?  No.   Does it help to blame the dysfunctional inanimate object during the moment of user error?  Not usually.

There’s a part of me that used to think that Jon could just flip a switch and be more like me in the anger/stress department.  But the more I watch Ian growing up, the more I think that might just be something in his family’s DNA.  Though Jon has never thrown ‘one of his fits’ around Ian, he some how has the same temper.  If he’s, say, trying to retrieve a toy from the toy box, and it’s stuck, IMMEDIATELY comes the screaming, yelling and crying.  He’s been that way since before the terrible 2s.  I’ve tried to give him instruction from afar on  how to accomplish what he’s trying to do, and when he does it successfully I CHEER and clap and hoot and holler with delight.  He gets a big smile.  Then, 2 minutes later, he’s back to having a ‘daddy fit’ again.  Jon claims he was the same way when he was a kid, and that he got it from his dad, though he never saw his dad have a fit either.  His dad has mellowed a lot with age, I hear.  I guess that maybe I’ll just have to wait for Jon then, huh?  I wish, for his sake and for the sake of his happiness, that he could just flip the mommy switch, like I apparently did.

Overall, I am an incredibly happy person. My glass is more than half full.  Jon, on the other hand, will never be a happy person.  His glass is broken because he threw it across the room and now it won’t hold water at all.  I have my best friend as a spouse, have an incredible kid, a super dog, a house, lots of land, own my dream car, have a job I don’t loathe(and actually have fun at), and I feel that I’m well informed in things that matter to me, am capable of educating others about those things, and strive each day to be the change what I’d like to see in others.  My house is FAR from perfect, my dog misbehaves sometimes,  my cars have rust spots and are not getting any younger, I work only part time now and don’t have the financial ease I used to have,  often there are bad things in the news that negatively affect things I strive for, but through it all I am HAPPY.  Maybe escaping from an emotionally abusive marriage 11 years ago makes happiness easier for me, I don’t know.  But Jon…  he’s a ‘thing haver’.  Ever hear the song “all that I needed” by the white stripes??  His theme song.  His cars aren’t fast enough, he’s not a good enough musician, his job sucks, the house sucks, the pets all suck, all the decisions he’s ever made are bad, the yard sucks, eating out always sucks, eating at home sometimes sucks(but sucks less because there’s less money involved) there is no end to the number of things in his life that suck.  The only way I could possibly be a happier person(besides winning the mega millions) is if I could somehow share with Jon whatever it is that’s happened to me to allow me to just be calm, cool and collected, take things as they come, and only get mad at things that matter.  It takes too much energy to be pissed to waste it on a bunch of little things.  Especially when that energy could be put to use being a daddy 🙂

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 30, 2010 7:21 am

    This is great. I mean, not that Jon is struggling, but the way you write it all out. I think you’ve described a dynamic between my wife and I very well. I’m not sure if it’s a man or woman or even a married people thing, but whatever it is, it’s definitely there.

    Sometimes I feel like, ” I can’t be happy until…” and then a few weeks later I realize I haven’t been happy for a while but I can’t remember what I was waiting for, or why I’m still not happy.

    And if everyone were to list out our lives as articulately as you have, we’d all find things to be happy about.

    I also don’t think what’s happening to Jon is entirely his fault or related to genetics. I think he’s experiencing varying forms of alienation because of the economic system he has to deal with every day. That system is set up to cause disharmony and unhappiness in peoples lives so that they seek the comfort of wage slavery.

    In other words, if people were happy with whatever situation they had, they would have less of an incentive to work for someone else in order to get more. The people who own the businesses in our world benefit tremendously from the struggle we face every day because they know it means we’ll eventually be working for them, without asking for a share in the profit, without asking for the authority to make decisions, and without questioning the environmental and social impacts of the work.

    And instead of the unions putting pressure on employers and sticking together in order to guarantee workers rights and welfare and access to living-wage jobs with reasonable hours, they oftentimes focus on keeping their membership manageable so that they have enough workers to fill every job. Some act more like an employment agency or something. They’re far from perfect, most of them anyway. But, they’re also far better than nothing.

    How could union leaders making all that money sit back and do virtually nothing while good people like Jon are out of work, while others struggle to eat healthy food, while union workers are becoming homeless, and on and on and on??? They should be on the street in protest of a system that treats fellow works like this. But, they’re not.

    Something’s not right with this whole system and maybe Jon is feeling this. I know I am. Jon should be able to work when and how he wants, spend as much time with his family as he wants, eat all the healthy food he wants, play in his band as much as he wants, and on and on and on. This is his right as a human being. Some humans get this right and in the process, they take away this right from the rest of us. Why do wealthy people get a relatively stress-free life while the rest of us have to struggle?

    So, maybe that’s one of the reasons Jon feels the way he does. Maybe it’s not conscious, but he might sense that things could and should be different. And yet, it’s interesting because like you write, if he (and I) focus a little more on the good parts of our lives, we might start to get further away from the capital-induced struggle we now find ourselves in.

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