I just spent Easter weekend in the Phoenix area visiting my parents. After five nights sleeping on their (albeit confortable) condo couch and one night of poor sleep in a hotel after staying up too late, I am bushed. Yet some things cannot, or at least should not, wait. I notice the clock on my laptop has turned over to 4/1/2016. My parents moved into their current Wisconsin home approximately 43 years ago, after my arrival made their home too small. In an endearingly humorous turn of events, they moved across the backyard to their current home--after several moves in seven-plus years of marriage, at least one of them long-distance, my parents were weary and wanted to stay as close as possible to where they were. They still live in a house that would be considered a starter home by today's standards, and which was my home for the first thirty years of my life. After moving out, I would return a few years later for winter housesitting/catsitting, which I was not very enthusiastic about at first. In more recent years, I considered it a welcome opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a house--without the bills! (I would still pay rent on my own apartment during these periods, though.)
Despite the roller coaster of my self-esteem, if anyone tried to argue that my parents did not raise fine children, I would have a sharp rebuke for them. I use that scenario as a way of dealing with negative thoughts--what would I say and/or do if someone else spoke them out loud? When I realize that I would go on the defensive, I discern that my negative thoughts are mental garbage and do not reflect my true feelings. How many negative thoughts have I had towards my parents--not just thoughts, but year after year of bad attitude and toxic psychological stink? And yet somehow it was like water off a duck's back to them. Ultimately, it sure ended up hurting me more than them. Someday, it will be too late for my endeavor to reel that back in. That day has not yet come.
Meanwhile, honoring my father and mother (as per the express instruction of The Man Upstairs, but equally as much as per my free will) is more important to me than positioning myself in the dating market as the "right" kind of loud, disruptive, disrespectful, independent male that would probably be better received among Wisconsin women. And I can only thank my lucky stars that I don't live in Arizona, because I would likely be much more out of place there.
(To be continued.)