This Sunday I finished a particularly long post, but there is some kind of error preventing publishing. I tried to fix it, the error is WordPress “1 file failed to upload”… I couldn’t fix it by removing videos or pictures, which was puzzling.
I was lucky to get an ultrasound for a weird medical issue, but the ultrasound came back “unremarkable” which I disagree with, I think my kidneys are remarkable (joke). So good as far as my kidney function, which is awesome 50,000 people die a year in this country (US) from kidney issues. But it’s also unwanted news in that I still have a minor mystery on my hands, when I don’t want any. I got the results Sunday, so I discussed it with my husband, who is pretty tired of supporting me through illness. He is always impatient by nature and even more so with medical stuff.
As a woman, society has tried to groom me to turn to men or authority or others to support me, but no one really wants to, in my life I have received help support from many people, friends, mentors, but my immediate family is pretty quick to abandon me. It sounds dramatic, but it does fit the evidence. My sister called me less than three times the years she was in college. My father kicked me out at 13 and didn’t call for my birthday. My mother kicked me out when I was 14 and I don’t even know how many years ago she told me she would never call me again, but it’s been many for sure, long before I got married or had kids. My husband wants to send me away, not to end the marriage, but to look for our new house and move without me and our kids in the state. When I’m sick he always want me to be well quickly, more than he wants to help me get through the time I am sick. I don’t know if I’m alone in this experience, everything social, the dictates saying a woman needs a community, a spouse, a village, and actual reality telling her “do it yourself”?
There is a beauty and freedom to only relying on yourself. But so much limitation.
I just taught the lesson of mankind going to the moon in our school today.
It makes me realize that there are many worlds in our world.
A world where people can work together well enough to go to the moon together, Russia and the US were rivals, but without that rivalry, maybe we wouldn’t be there yet. Rivalry is interesting. Like T-rex and triceratops, growing from 25 lbs to 16,000 lbs through competition. But then entering extinction together.
It seems to not only me, but the people who made the “Moon Shot” video about the space program in 1994, absurd that a race of humans that can go to the moon, was at the same time, punching one another in the face, throwing bleach into each other’s eyes ext over skin color variation and the oppression resulting from it.
So one group of people transcends our world through team work of a nation, another rips it apart due to stupidity, and a third is caught somewhere in between.
I suppose I am also like the true U.S., corrupt, stupid, transcendent, creative, evolving, violent.
There is the best of me, the desire to know more, to teach my children the best of our world, genetics, art, music, language, reading, writing, pro-activity, cause and effect, ethics, there is the worst of me, I was quite impatient at music time when my daughter wouldn’t pay attention today, and there is the in between, the me who does the laundry, does the dishes, does things that need to be done, but things that won’t necessarily have a special lifelong impact on my children or what they do.
I think it’s impossible to function at your best level without forgiving yourself your worst, but somehow it’s hard to extend that courtesy to my family.
Being stuck at home together for a month has amplified everything we hate about each other. Our governor has vowed to keep us in another month and thus it’s the probable midway through a crabby patch of our lives.
Yesterday we tried to walk within the rules, in our neighborhood, apart from others (my husband, my daughter, my son and myself), where we live is very close to a college and nothing else, we caught a lady bug for my daughter and she was quite happy, but then security let us know we had to leave and the college will closed until August. So, we have no where to go. We hadn’t even been that far (a quarter of a block)… in over a month.
My favorite fun activity when I have the time is a computer game called Rimworld, my sister got me interested in it as something to do together to keep in touch. The creator keeps updating the game to make it better, but it almost always breaks when he does that, so that was also broken yesterday.
Having my writing platform, wordpress broken, my only entertainment Rimworld broken, my health still a bit broken in an annoyingly mysterious way, all at the same time, was difficult. I remember a superstition that bad things come in threes, I don’t really believe that, but I do notice I can handle any two things better than three.
Which makes me happy that I stopped at two children.
My son is just starting to throw fits of anger. He can open markers now, he sucks on the ink, so I take the marker away and put it out of reach and he gets mad (but I’m not going to leave him the marker).
My daughter is just growing out of throwing fits of anger. She still makes demands that aren’t within our family rules, like when she already has food served she wants to be served on an apple plate, even though we won’t switch her plate if she asks after she is served, in the past that would have been a fit, but now she just moves on without even commenting or with a nasty face. She still throws some fits, but at least she is skipping through others.
I really liked watching the Moon Shot, it shows a lot about human nature. The seemingly pointless competition between Russia and the US, but also the team work of the whole US to work together to get to the moon the first time.
It was interesting how amazed people were to see the Earth rise for the first time, to get to the moon, and how apathetic they were the second time, what a silly waste of money they thought it was.
It’s a lot like our family. My husband and I were very much in love, 10/10. Not it’s possible for weeks to pass without a smile between us. Once I was the world to him, now I’m the wallpaper.
There’s some good to that, I stopped evaluating my self worth based on what my husband thought and when I got married I stopped caring what other men thought, so that my self worth is not based on what any man thinks about me. I have a lot of space for intellectual growth. Socrates had a nagging wife, supposedly, and thus had more time for philosophy while he avoided going home. Yesterday I started learning to code with Python, because my marriage lacks warmth, I would have preferred to cuddle on the sofa, but my husband wouldn’t so know I know a bit of Python that maybe someday I can make an app with… I would prefer to be happily married, really happily, with smiles and warmth and teamwork and open communication, but it’s not something I can force upon another person, regardless of what I want. We have more of a neutral marriage, it’s a lot better than a negative one, but watching the US work together to go to the moon rekindled a spark of hope in my heart to actually do better than just living out the status quo one day after another comfortably until I someday die.
But the hope breeds quiet desperation.
How can we get to another level as a family? How can we become a team that together does things, which would be impossible alone? I don’t know.
Most of the best things I do are things I can do alone, I don’t really have good team work skills. But a collection of individuals doesn’t work as well as a team.
We had a small family meeting yesterday, we usually do Sundays, my daughter gives a presentation, which goes well, on whatever she wants and then we talk about updates with education or trips ext. My husband didn’t stop watching videos to see my daughter’s 1 minute presentation and I didn’t bring it up then, usually I do. The stay at home order has brought out the worst in my family, it didn’t create our worst, but it brought it out more clearly.
My daughter selfish, poorly behaved, myself rigid, unable to fix problems we have in our daily life, my husband very detached from supporting his wife and children emotionally.
On Moon Shot PBS documentary (1:46 min) Apollo 1 caught on fire while on the launchpad and killed 3 astronauts. They said “it was an enormous set back and everybody felt it,” “we were really shocked because we had just left the guys and come back,” “it sent a wave of pain…” “everybody was asking what could I have done, what could we have done?” Gus Grissom responded with the response that I would want from my country:
I think the American public is mature enough to recognize that it’s an important program, and a program that must go on, and if something should happen, why um, it happened, we still have to go on living everyday and we go on and continue the program.– Gus Grissom Astronaut
But it’s not my right to say how other people choose to respond to their grief.
In my last post (the one I couldn’t post due to technical issues) I discussed the four temperaments (with myself I guess).
The sanguine (appearing happy), the choleric (angry temperamental fit throwers), the melancholy (easily thrown into depression) and the phlegmatic (me, human inside but calm on the surface).
I’m sure all types experience all emotions, joy, rage, desperation, and calm, but perhaps what we repress defines what other see.
For example, perhaps the positive attitude sanguine people repress everything except joy and stay in bad situations for an unhealthy amount of time?
Perhaps the choleric are uncomfortable with joy and sorrow, perhaps they feel undeserving of joy and too strong to grieve?
Perhaps the melancholy grieve because life does have legitimate pain and sorrow, but are uncomfortable being joyful and unable take ownership of their life enough to be angry?
Perhaps the phlegmatic are calm under fire, not because they are more rational, but instead all their emotions have been repressed so that they are out of touch with the good and bad of being human like living on a dim world, neither dark nor bright?
Like different light bulbs plugged into the same light source, we input the same events, but output different responses.
I learned about the five elements of music today, melody, pitch, rhythm, harmony and timbre.
I had known melody (the tune), pitch (low and high), rhythm (beat), harmony (clashing or complimenting other notes), but I didn’t ever know timbre (tam-ber), the color of the music.
It was wonderful learning about the color of music today. I’m so grateful to Robert Young and his wife Samantha who put out free children’s music lessons on Youtube so that I can teach my kids music and music theory at home on a daily basis. I knew basic piano and grew up reading music, but without Prodigy Playground I wouldn’t be able to replace a “real” music teacher, because my background is mostly science and medicine without much music theory.
Yesterday I found myself a bit more than ever before as a phlegmatic, “calm person” and over the past year I wondered what is the purpose for nature or God putting every family together with such high contrast?
Every family seems to have a “crazy” person, more traditional people, pacifists, warriors, ext…
I think it’s not an accident that we can barely stand our family members, I think it’s a survival mechanism and a challenge. My husband is focused on money, but it’s the money that feeds the rest of us in the present. I am focused on teaching, but the way we educate our children, ethically to not shoot the other kids, is our families only lasting legacy to the future. Perhaps not all families are as full of clashing personalities as ours, but I find them more common than uncommon.
I find getting along with your family, coworkers, spouse, children is probably the hardest thing in the world. It was harder for America than going to the moon, and is still our biggest challenge.
Our species is millions of years old, you would think we had figured out getting along well with one another a long time ago if it was easy, but wars, divorce, murder, prove that it hasn’t been done on a large scale.
Perhaps some people know, just as some people know genetics or astronomy, but the public doesn’t know. Politics is good evidence of a lack of people with conflicting views being mature and working as a team for the overarching well being of everyone.
So if there are three waves of knowledge, perhaps the first wave of understanding has happened, but the next two are far behind… if…
So we can go to the moon, but not get along with our own families. That’s why getting along with coworkers is the biggest career advantage, and perhaps getting along with other people is the most difficult and also most important challenge of a human being.
I am finding myself the past two days, and what I find is that I’m already doing what I was meant to do, but that I’m not done allowing it to “feel like enough”.
According to the phlegmatic chart the way I can best be a part of the human race is as a diplomat, an accountant, a teacher, and a technician. Right now I am a poor and reluctant diplomat between my father and sister, between my daughter and husband, between myself and the world. I handed my husband the job of accountant since he makes the decisions, I’d rather not watch his decisions in action. I am a teacher, very much so. A lot of people home school, but I do it with a very high amount of my heart and soul. I think of myself as a “real teacher” of a “real school,” even though I just have my own kids.
Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.Epictetus
I think the lasting input of me on the world will be mainly through the decency and or kindness of my two children. I write because it helps me think, it helps me grow, it helps me live better, be better, but I don’t think it will be my legacy to the world, I believe in my children that they are agents of change for a better world (I believe that of all children, but I have access or capacity to them, so mostly mine are burdened and or gifted by the education we do at home from birth until they escape).
I perhaps am noticing for the first time how that sounds, like I’m putting too much pressure on my kids to live for me or be what I could not, but it is also the actual truth.
They will literally live on when I am actually dead, the pressure is from nature and reality, it’s a real pressure, not an invented one.
I’m not in a rush to beat the other kids by 1 year or 2 years or stress out the kids, but there is a real pressure that they will replace me on this world. Like in “Men in Black” when the main character tells the supporting character, “I haven’t been training a partner, I’ve been training a replacement.”
I don’t put a sense of urgency in learning, I feel like that actually impedes things like math learning, but there is a gravitas that I’m not sure should be absent.
When I die, a normal lady, the only people who willing likely remember me are my children, possibly my husband, the larger impact I will have made is whatever life lessons I was able to impart of my children that were helpful, valid and spoke to their hearts loud enough to drown out competing messages from society.
It’s kind of a strong pressure, the pressure to choose what to teach, in a world with so much.
There are ethics, there is culture, there is art, there are life skills, job skills, technical skills, so many sciences, everything chosen is something excluded.
What must never be excluded? How to get along with different people… how to know yourself… moderation between doing nothing for others and burn out.
But those are things I’m just learning myself.
So, I teach as I go, staying either one step ahead or sometimes with humility at the same step as my children.
I’m learning music everyday and finding my lost soul there, in the children’s songs, in the clapping, the silly baby shark song that I once hated.
I had no idea where I would find myself when I was lost.
I had no idea where my life would go when I was asked to pick a major in college.
I had no idea what my purpose was most of my life.
But now I’m finding that the place I needed to go, was where I already was anyways, just with an attitude adjustment.
For some people finding their way means exploring another culture, lifestyle, country, or planet, for me it means singing a silly song with my kids at home, without being ashamed.
I was already who I was supposed to be, I just didn’t know it, own it or appreciate it yet.
In the chart I’m supposed to be relaxed, quiet and calm, content with myself, kind, consistent, a steady and faithful friend, accepting, affectionate, diplomatic, peacemaking, rational, curious, observant and an easy friend maker.
I was that person as a child, but I’ve gotten away from letting myself be as relaxed as I like to be, I’ve picked up nasty habits of not being kind to those I love (that I both regret and struggle to change), I’ve been less consistent that I want, I’ve been a steady and faithful friend without question, I’ve gotten decently good at acceptance, better affection, I lack diplomacy, but have never lost my rational, curious and observant nature. I don’t really believe in “making friends” I believe friends are wonderful gifts.
Making goals to return to myself based on this list feels more important than any of the goals I’ve set, such as loose 4 lbs, read 100 books, write 100 articles.
New goals: relax, be content with myself, remember to be kind, train consistency, learn diplomacy, make time to explore curiosity, make time to be mindful/observant.
Now looking at my weaknesses from the phlegmatic chart: sometimes shy, fearful of change, prone to laziness, stubborn, passive-aggressive, indecisive, permissive, not goal oriented, unenthusiastic, too compromising, undisciplined, sarcastic, discouraging, non-participate.
I’m not sarcastic, but everything else is fair game.
I prefer to focus on the goals and strengths rather than the weaknesses, but when I look at my actual failure to achieve the things that I have set out to finish, some or all of the weakness here make sense as reasons why, as evidence.
Particularly I think I fear change, I don’t fell lazy, I have been permissive out of love, yet in negative ways, I have compromised myself very quickly in the name of others, when perhaps a compromise wasn’t the only solution, I have been afraid to dream anything at all to avoid the pain of failure, thus a non-participant in life I think those three stand out for me in particular.
So maybe if I don’t meet my goals I’ll scan the list and check if I compromised, if I didn’t participate, if I let fear of change keep me stagnant.
I think the greatest gift of human kind going to the moon, was watching the Earth for the first time.
Perhaps it is fair to say the same of parenthood, that it allows (but does not guarantees) you to see yourself as a unique individual for the first time. As you see them, if you look closely in their eyes, there you are also, a person too.
As you wonder what their life will hold, your life is there too… noticed or unoticed…
To me the parent child relationship is very like the moon and the Earth, they are forced to go where you go, but they are not you, they affect you and you them, but they are pulled to where you are headed, and where you are headed is out of your control to some degree (to a large degree), but one thing is certain about where they are headed (when they are young) it is with you. You are the only temporary constant in a fast paced world.
In terms of planets, I’m Mars, because I have two moons. That was enough for me. My sister is Venus, with no moons, that was enough for her. Plus she has a choleric (hot) temperament.
I wonder how many of my family and friends knew who I was before I did?
I wonder how people really know themselves?
I think what prevent most of us from knowing who we are is wanting to be the person someone else wanted us to be (out of love).
I think most parents want the “happy baby,” how can I hate on that as a mom that got the sanguine “happy baby.”
It’s wonderful having that baby, seeing him smile and the smile feels like a sunrise after a winter of complete darkness. His kiss that feels like it heals all the pain of not only the present, but the past and future.
It’s really nice having that happy baby.
But not all of us were meant to be sanguine.
Not all tools can be wrenches, some are hammers.
Not all instruments were meant to be violins, some are guitars or pianos or drums.
Yeah, the four temperaments are an over simplification of a unique individual, but I think it says a lot of the timbre, the color of a person’s soul, and when you don’t know anything about a subject, a simplified version can be a very appropriate place to begin.
I’m glad that I found my temperament, not all personality systems are valid or helpful, but I find this is both for me in this time. Yes we all have all the types, but red with a splash of yellow is different than yellow with a splash of red.
Thank you for reading, not being able to publish the last article I wrote, really lets me know the value that sharing my words and ideas with you brings into my life, sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
Without you an article is just a journal, without you a discussion is just a thought, without you a conversation is just an idea, you readers are the Earth to my moon. 💞