It matters how we talk to people. How we use the grace of God as an excuse to stay bitter. How we hand pick verses to make us feel better in the moment about our attitudes. How we supplement our standard for gratitude.
It’s been on my mind.
How words are powerful and ownership isn’t always what we thought it was.
When I’m having a bad day, I used to be able to muster it up and just get through it. But now? I stew a little longer, I dig my heels a little deeper. I refuse.
We went to an outdoor concert last week with the kids, planned a picnic dinner and packed the car. It was an event. It was like herding grasshoppers to bring my kids to an open space and expect them to sit down or not wrestle or not climb on every available surface or not breathe.
I mean, yeah, I meant that last one. Turns out that an outdoor family friendly concert is. not. our. thing. And we left early, completely at the end of our patience, me at the bottom of my expectations looking a mile high and wondering “how did I get here again?”
Is it that I really don’t have time? Or that I just don’t make it? Is it that I suffer from priority stammering? Or that I just don’t care about so many things after all? Is it that I believe I’m supposed to? Or have marching orders to carry it out, regardless of my emotional posture?
I feel caught between them, taking the responsibility and waiting my turn.
It’s been a bumpy summer – indescribable highs and learning-to-survive-them lows – but the ribbon through it all has been in the knowing that this is what I’m supposed to do … and finally getting to it.
My thirtieth year has been a goal since I was 16. I drew a photo of what I thought I’d be like at 30 in a journal – it’s me with long, curly hair (like Felicity). I wear halter tops and my shoulders look amazing. That photo didn’t tell me anything about who I would be though – I think I was at a time in my life where looks meant almost everything. So a photo of what I expected to see in the mirror was a self-prescription for justice in this world if I could just grow some curly hair.
Unruly, sometimes wavy hair? That’s me. Straight, natural highlights, flips at the end hair: Jodi.
Thirty has been the year I realized there was a mortality for me: I found a lump in my breast which turned out to be 3 – which were biopsied and the results are in the clear. That was last fall, something I decided not to write about because I didn’t know how. Or want to. I recently got the reminder letter for the re-check and I honestly thought if I just didn’t open that envelope I wouldn’t have to know what was on the other side. I could re-glue it and lose it in the mail. I’d never know.
I look at my body differently at thirty than I expected to when I was only sixteen. I was supposed to conquer it. And oh, did I. I punished it, I hated it, I worked on it and carried it and wore it. I just never knew how much I could love it.
How much I needed to learn what love really was – for myself, from others. How to receive it and what it felt like when it finally wrapped it’s arms around my heart.
It matters how we talk to people.
It matters how we talk to ourselves.