I Can Feel It! Negativity! – One-Liner Wednesday

My sister once told me that I was focusing on all the negatives about people and my life that I needed to make a list every day that included one positive thing about everyone that I came into contact with that day (she was right, it did help.)


I still have a copy of all of those lists and now it’s something I like to do automatically when I’m getting too negative about things.

Check out the original One-Liner Wednesday.

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Instructions

Sometimes the hardest thing in life is to follow the instructions. The reasons vary greatly on why that is.

(You don’t need help!)

(You know what you’re doing.)

(That detail wasn’t that important.)

(You misread them.)

(You can’t read them.)

(You forgot to check.)

(You didn’t have them in the first place.)

(Life isn’t that straightforward, better not chance it blowing up when winging it has always worked in the past.)

My mom has this little plaque that she got for Mother’s Day one year (or was it Christmas?).

Anyone can make a plan, but it takes great Management to leap from crisis to crisis.

Like a lot of people, my life has been chaos for most of my life, no matter how hard my mom tried to make it otherwise. Some of it was my fault (kids can be really stupid), some of it was just life being life and an awful lot of it was out of her control. The only thing she ever really had control of was her own influence over her children and even a lot of that just didn’t work the same for her as for others. (She had no idea that the thought of her disappointment was enough of a determent for most of her kids; there was no way we were going to tell her that when we were all minors. She still marvels over it now that we’re adults, though it isn’t quite as powerful now.)

She largely let us decide what we were going to do with our lives with only a few things required.

  • no drugs, alcohol, etc.
  • no premarital sex under her roof (or anyone else’s while underage)
  • must go to school
  • must graduate, GED or equivalent
  • must make own choices and live with the consequences
  • must never lie to her, not even a little white lie

I’d rather hear the gosh-awful truth than a pretty lie.  –Mom

  • must try to get along with each other

She’d give us instructions on things if we asked (how to cook this or that, how to clean this or that, how to sew, sing, musical theory, help with English homework, etc.) but when it came to advice it was always:

Mom, what do you think I should do?

What do you want to do? Why do you want to do it? What does the Lord tell you?

She would not give advice. Mostly because her folks and elder sister were very…enthusiastic…(yeah, I like that word, enthusiastic) with their advice about what she should do with her life. Mom was not very bossy or leader-ish when she was younger. She was the type who followed. (I’m a bit of a follower myself, but I also like to boss people around…so I’m a manager-follower-thing.)

Following instructions can both be very easy and very hard for me. Take cooking for instance, I can follow a recipe fairly well (as long as I don’t accidentally misread tsp for tbs and put 4 tablespoons of salt into a meatloaf) but if it’s one of those easy out of a box things? Somehow I cannot make them.

I know a lot of my friends during our teen years would often comment on the ‘freedom’ that my mother allowed her children. She trusted us to follow the rules she’d set down without her having to stand over us all the time. As she had to work most of the time, she wouldn’t have been able to stand over us. We had babysitters when our eldest siblings were in school, but once we were older and they were at home after school, we stayed home.

What they never seemed to realize that if you broke Mom’s trust, it took a VERY long time for it to come back.

(If, indeed it ever did…)

The point was, you need to follow the directions but you also need to decide for yourself just what those directions are worth because only you can make that decision.

This was originally for an old Light and Shade Challenge prompt that didn’t end up being posted for that particular prompt. I was going through my old drafts (I’ve been doing that a lot lately) and decided this just needed a little more before posting. I hope that it was enjoyable in some way.

Up the Ante

Your rules are really beginning to annoy me. –Escape from LA

Lately, the kids have been getting their work done really fast. So we, the adults, decided to up the ante.

Keep in mind that their housework previously included the following only:

  • pickup bedroom, make bed
  • pickup/vacuum/mop, etc. main room (living room, kitchen, dining room, hall-stairs-entrance way) (only mop/vacuum three times a week, sometimes two)
  • put clean clothes away
  • clean kitchen after dinner (dishes, counter tops, stove top, put leftovers away)
  • clean bathroom once a week
  • clean kitty litter box, pickup after dog

Sometimes we’ll throw in a little yard work every other week (as needed).

When I was their age I had to do the following either every day or at least once a week:

  • pickup/vacuum/mop, etc main room
  • pickup/vacuum bedroom, make bed
  • clean kitchen after dinner
  • pull two bags of weeds in the yard during the fall/winter, four bags during spring/summer
  • wash walls/windows/washboards every weekend
  • polish furniture every weekend (we had a LOT of wooden furniture, including a baby grand piano and intricately carved furniture from before they had kids)
  • laundry (wash, dry, sort, fold, put away)
  • rake leaves, any other yardwork as needed
  • clean out pet cages/litter box/clean up backyard from dogs
  • clean out fridge and under stove top, etc. once a month

It was a lot because we had a big house, a large yard and eight kids. Now we live in a duplex with a small yard and pretty stuffed quarters (we are going to move…eventually…) and only have three kids with a handful of adults.

When it was decided to up the housework as they are old enough to handle it now they were not happy. They must now do what they did before and wash the walls by the end of Saturday. They have informed us that there might be a revolt. The would-be revolutionaries were informed that any revolt would include loss of electronic privileges as they’d be ‘locked down.’

It’s going to be more fun when we get them to start washing windows and polishing/washing furniture in a few weeks.

When informed of a change of pace
How red you looked in the face.
At least you didn’t throw a fit
There was something positive that came from it.
 

This post is brought to you by the Light and Shade Challenge.