Out again in town filling time, for the love of a girl who loves horses. She’s riding along the snowy trails and working in the ring with a leased mare on trotting, loping, barrel racing. She’s decided she’s content to lease and not own a horse, as long as we buy a new house in our current school district, which is too far away from pasture. Says she can’t stand to live in that house any more. She and her sister are sharing a room in the semi-converted garage, and the space heater can’t quite compensate for the cold air seeping through the two garage doors. And she claims that her sister is unbearably messy. Perhaps a self-fulfilled prophesy by now–she struggled, she was nagged at, she gave up. It takes an impeding loss of privilege to move her in that direction now, even though her desire to have order still exists. Just discouraged. Ever feel discouraged like that? Like all the key observers have judged you inadequate, so what’s the point of making efforts that probably won’t be noticed as improvements if they still fall below standard? None of them have the wherewithal to come alongside and mentor you through it and show you what you’re doing right, which is surely what’s needed.
So I remind myself, NO NAGGING. I remember reading a definition of nagging once in a parenting book. It was saying the same thing repetitively, especially in a higher, more intense, or irritated voice. Requests, directions, reminders are okay. I tend to nag people when I’m failing most myself. The undercurrent: I can’t get myself in line, so at least could you improve my life by fixing what I see is wrong in yours? I try incentives: those who have their rooms clean can open a gift early.
I’ve picked up a cartload of poly fleece remnants at the big box fabric store to make more hats and mitts, maybe socks if I can learn to flatlock seams. For now I’ve slackened on sit-down meals at the table in favor of sewing on the dining room table. For meals I facilitate the provision of heatable leftovers or easy-fixings, encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables, check on protein quality of plates taken to the living room. Until weekend, when I try to make a special effort for my husband’s sake. I like them too, but with schedules, the difficulty of pleasing everyone, and the knowledge I’ll be left with the cleanup, I’m less motivated than I used to be.
I buy a few more things–a cool swim cap, a new pair of swim jammers for my youngest son, who will be working out with a swim club soon. Then take forty-five minutes to injest some Woods Coffee and write (aware that some are boycotting Woods, but I already bought the card and haven’t been convinced yet that the owner is particularly deserving of disdain. My son said he heard they only hire good-looking women as baristas (which, I am glad to see, he considers unfair), and I say that’s a common problem in the industry–haven’t seen even a token plain barista in a coffee chain in a long while. Woods coffee is weak (though not burnt-tasting like Starbucks), so I have them add an extra shot of decaf to create enough flavor. When the coffee card’s empty it’s back to the independent place near the college for me. The barista there might be called middle aged and dour, but I’m guessing has a dynamite personality hidden away for those who make the effort. If I can only charm her into turning up the heat a tad…
I guess I’m doing my part in keeping the economy growing. When I wanted to help slow it down.