Friday, September 2, 2011

another kind of roller coaster

Overcoming Uncertainty by Sean Ogle (Trust 30 Prompt 29)

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Write down a major life goal you have yet to achieve or even begin to take action on. For that goal, write down three uncertainties (read: fears) you have relating to each goal. Break it down further, and write down three reasons for each uncertainty. When you have three reasons for your fear, you’ll be able to start processing the change because you know where the fear stems from. Now you’ll be able to make a smaller changes that push you towards your larger goal. So begins the process of “trusting yourself.”
Blah blah blah about goals ... whatever ... but peace? Trust? Principles? Those are things I can sink my teeth into. STG and I are leaving in the morning for a weekend trip. No biggie, usually - spending time together is something we are very very good at. But this is a special weekend - his kids are coming with us and BB2 and his Sweetie are meeting us during the daytimes as well. It's my first overnight with the mini-STGs, and their first time meeting either of my BBs. We're going into high energy, high input, high traffic fun at the Vancouver Aquarium and the PNE.

And I'm scared spit-less. Scared no-clothes-packed-yet avoidy. Scared ice-cream-for-dinner nauseous. 

What am I scared of? 
  • That I'll get over-peopled, eat crap food, not mind my mood and end up either screaming or crying
  • That somewhere over the course of the weekend the mini-STGs will admit that they really don't like me and want their dad to themselves
  • That BB2 will feel anxious or jealous or replaced and shut down and abandon the rest of us
Three reasons I'm afraid I'll get over-peopled, eat crap food, not mind my mood & end up either screaming or crying: 
  • it's all just a little bit of history repeating ;-) - I have a history of getting overwhelmed and forgetting what really matters in the moment - and what really matters is a great family weekend where we all relax, have fun, create some great memories, and get to know each other better
  • I know that when I forget to eat at least one protein rich meal, I get weeping & take things personally, and I'm not sure that the PNE has a wide selection of healthy gluten-free foods that'll stabilise my blood sugars
  • I really want everyone to have an amazing weekend, and the pressure of wanting to make it all perfect is always a great set-up for being upset with it's not perfect
Three reasons I'm afraid that somewhere over the course of the weekend the mini-STGs will admit that they really don't like me and want their dad to themselves. 
  • I've never dated someone with kids before and even though I'm a mom this is new territory and I feel like I don't know what I'm doing
  • I like these kids ... and nobody wants to be disliked by someone they like ... and I want them to be relaxed and have fun and enjoy the weekend without there being any awkwardness
  • I know how hard it was on everyone when I dated people the BBs didn't like ... I don't want any of us to go through that
Three reasons I'm afraid BB2 will feel anxious or jealous or replaced and shut down and abandon the rest of us.
  • We've had some good times as a family - but you can only get so much juice off of a trip to Disneyland that happened 11 years ago and there have been a lot of lean times in between and a lot of summers where no trips happened. If I was him I could resent being a day visitor on this weekend while I hang out at the hotel without him. On the other hand BB1 isn't coming at all ... 
  • BB2 and I sometimes spark each other. We're alike in some really really great ways and have some really fascinating conversations. We're also both stubborn know-it-alls who get offended when people don't just take our word for things. As in fear 2, it matters to me that he has fun, that he feels wanted and accepted for who he is, and that he enjoys being there
  • BB2 is 19. He lives in his own great apartment in another town. I don't get to see him often enough, and I hear from him even less. I don't want anything getting in the way of our time together this weekend - who knows how many more weekend like this there will be?
I know that STG will say "just be yourself ... relax ... it'll all work out" and I know it's actually easy enough to do that. Really, who goes to the Aquarium, where the giant pacific octopus has just given birth to 300+ baby octopuses, and get's cranky? Who wouldn't smile and laugh at the otters holding hands, and be awestruck watching the belugas in the underwater viewing chamber? Who could be upset on a giant wooden roller coaster or staying in a jacuzzi suite hotel room? I trust us - I trust the look in STG's eyes and his knowing when to pull me closer and when to let me breathe a little. And the principles behind this weekend - the family time, the memory making, the adventuring - well that's just what I'm about. It gives me peace to remember that. We could have done separate holidays, but we want this holiday. 

It's going to be an amazing weekend ... and now that I wrote out what I've been freaking out about today, and what in fact ate an entire pint of caramel pecan sundae ice cream for dinner just seems so silly now. Silly, and really good training for the food at the PNE! 

Wanna know one more thing I'm scared of and am TOTALLY going for this weekend? Riding the Corkscrew - even if it means digging my fingernails into STG's forearm and screaming until I pop a blood vessel in my face. 'Cuz that'll be fun for all of us, right? :) 


  1. I love how well you know yourself, and how open you are to sharing yourself. You are a most remarkable woman!

  2. Thanks, Leah. We had a really good weekend, though there were a couple of moments when I wondered if this post was a self-fulfilling prophecy. ;-)

    For the record, I chickened-out on the Corkscrew, but then was told it's MUCH less scary than the wooden coaster I did go on.

    Great weekend all around.


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