Wednesday, July 24, 2019

We Never Promised You An Olive Garden

My day did not end well yesterday. It honestly felt like a big ol' punch in the stomach. It weighed heavy on my brain and heart last night. I didn't fall asleep until a little after 11 p.m. I woke up a couple of hours later. Couldn't fall back to sleep. I finally dozed off 20 minutes before my alarm went off. Lisa could tell a black cloud was hovering over me.

"You didn't much sleep, did you?"

"Is it that obvious?"

"I know what's troubling you. I want you to vent. Get it out."

I spent the next 10 minutes doing just that. Pacing the kitchen. Letting it all out. My arms flailing. A few tears.

When I was done, I sat at the kitchen table and sipped my first cup of coffee.

"Did you get it all out?"


"Okay. Now, you need to decide what you're going to do with it. You can let it stress you out and wear you down or you can exhale and take the wiser approach."

I made my decision while fixing Lisa's breakfast.

I decided to let it go.

I had to.

I'm not going to share the details of the situation because they're not mine to share. I don't believe in airing out other people's soiled laundry.

What I will say is that it's a situation that's been going on for quite a while.

Over the past few years, Lisa and I have dedicated a lot of time, extended our efforts and kindness, and practiced the fine art of forgiveness in this situation. We've overlooked a lot. Tolerated much. Kept our mouths shut on a lot of occasions because we didn't want to be a nuisance.

Despite our tenacity, I am fairly certain we have failed.

I'm not saying Lisa and I are without fault. Over time and on occasion, we've raised our voices and didn't present things as we should have.

But, we've apologized. Owned it. Made amends.

After Lisa left for work, I sat at the kitchen table. Sipping my coffee. It was quiet. I meditated for a bit. Inhaled slowly. Exhaled even slower.

With my eyes closed, I mentally saged our home. Shook off and cleared out the negative. Made pathways for positive energy.

As I've done many times in the past, I accepted the fact that I can't change anyone or their behavior. I also do not have the power to make anyone take a few steps back and learn from those "on the outside looking in" moments.

We can't share our wisdom and life's experiences with those who want to shut us out time and time again.

We certainly can't allow situations like yesterday to continue and walk on eggshells because, at the end of the day, that puts us in the category of being enablers.

When you enable someone to continue to go round and round and round on that merry-go-round of vicious cycles, you're not doing them any good.

Lisa and I are well aware of the difference between helping and enabling.

We can't allow someone to treat us poorly just because we love them.

Because what you allow is what will continue.


Be careful with how much you tolerate because you are teaching them how to treat you.

If you haven't gotten your daily dose of cliches, here is one more...

A person's behavior has more to do with their own internal struggle than it ever did with you.

Around 8 a.m. this morning, after shaking off the negativity, meditating, and gaining a whole new perspective...

I curled up with the kids. In bed. All four of them. They all snuggled against my body. They knew their Mommy was still a bit sad and heartbroken.

We all fell asleep for almost 2 hours.

I needed that sleep. Comfort. Time to rejuvenate. Recover.

Sure, I'm still sad and heartbroken.


Our home is filled with positive light and energy.

We are not angry or bitter.

No doors have closed.

We are still here.

But, at the same time, as our elders once told us...

Do not burn bridges.

Get rid of the chip on your shoulders.



Embrace the people who have been and still are there for you unconditionally.

In this day and age, that support system is very far and few between.

The world owes you nothing.

It can be dark and cruel and unforgiving.

Be grateful for those in your circle.

Get rid of the hate.

Because life is short.

As I'm writing this, I remember an episode of Will and Grace.

'I Never Promised You An Olive Garden.'

In this particular episode, Will and Grace ditch their loyal and long-time friends for a couple who is more modern.


At the end of the episode, they both realize their loyal and long-time friends, who they consider family, have been there for them all along. Through thick and thin.

Will and Grace eventually go back to their traditional meetings for dinner and such at the Olive Garden because they realize their "new and modern friends" are, well...


That is where we are at.

We will continue to move forth.

Face forward.

Onward march.

With a little hope of that dinner.

But, not holding our breath.

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