Prompt 102: In Your Family What’s Your Way to Make Amends?

How my family would make amends varies largely on the definition of Family. When I was married we used to use a virtual reset button. 

How my family would make amends varies largely on the definition of Family. When I was married we used to use a virtual reset button.

Both my ex and I had short tempers. When we got upset with each other we would both say things we didn’t mean. That, in turn, could cause the silent treatment. Depending on what the disagreement was the length of not talking to each other could vary.

I began the idea of pushing the reset button. It was a way to reach out and nonverbally express love and a truce. Sadly it took a devastating illness for me to realize how irrational some of our disagreements. These worked both ways.

One, in particular, occurred shortly before she faced a life-threatening illness. On a warm summer night, we were having dinner outside on our patio. We grilled dinner but were boiling corn on the stove. I forgot to put the corn in the pot. She got extremely upset and was screaming at me. This was a common occurrence.

When she would become upset with me, she would scream, verbally abuse me and call me names. Some of those names included Hitler a moron and telling me I was like her father.

She didn’t often make amends to me through in-person apologize or do something nice to show me her love. If we use an unspoken apology as something that is done through something that is actually not said orally then did apologize to me through non-spoken words.

I would often receive an email the next day while she was at work apologizing and explaining why she acted the way she did. I remember the last night we ever spent together before her illness vividly.

I was going through some things in my personal life that were very difficult. I had a very down day. She had plans to go out with her mother and sister. I had to beg her to stay home. She went out with them anyways. I later found out her reason for leaving wasn’t what she initially told me.

When she returned home that night she crawled into bed after I was already there. She tried to seduce me. I was so upset she left that I pushed her away. She did eventually hold me in bed.

Some of the non-verbal ways I would try to make amends were by buying her flowers, chocolate or something else she would like from Trader Joe’s. Ultimately, it seemed like there were too many outside influences in our relationship that any amends were only temporary.

I could never compete with others in her life who should put on a much higher plane of importance than I was on. Her siblings, one sister in particular and friends ultimately were too much to overcome. Their dislike towards me and my family weighed down on her and caused us to split.

 

Prompt 88: A time you’ve been lucky

Miriam Webster’s four definitions of lucky are:

  1. :  having good luck

  2. 2:  happening by chance :  fortuitous

  3. 3:  producing or resulting in good by chance :  favorable

  4. 4:  seeming to bring good luck

What exactly is having good luck? The second definition seems a bit more plausible. I’ve often thought the difference between luck and being fortunate or as the second definition says fortuitous.

One of my favorite quotes is “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity” People often make their own luck. If you are prepared when opportunity presents itself luck will be more likely to come your way.

In my own life, I’ve been lucky and unlucky, or was in fortuitous? In my previous post, I discussed the amazing experiences I have been able to have in my life. Was I lucky, fortunate or was I prepared when the opportunity presented itself? A bit of all three is probably accurate.

 

From My Journals: A Lesson Learned and Insight I Gained

I am not sure where all the prompts I have in my journals come from. This is one I wrote probably sometime in fall 2015.

A lesson I learned and insight I gained was that I felt and acted at the time of my marriage I should not sacrifice my principles. 

Now I see that making your spouse, partner, feel loved, accepted, wanted, beautiful, talented and important. It has to work both ways, but in a relationship being selfless while still keeping a sense of self is a balance is important in every relationship.

Prompt 79: Who in your family tree are you named after and why? Who do you wish you were named after?

I am named after my great grandmother and great grandfather.

I am fine with being named after both of them. I never really liked my first name, but my middle name is ok. I neither love it or have strong feelings against it.

What I wish about who I was named after is that I knew more about them. My mom rarely talked about her paternal grandmother. Her maternal grandmother lived until I was about seven and I remember her myself.

She spoke much more often about her paternal grandfather than her paternal grandmother. I think she passed away a few years before I was born.

My middle name comes from my maternal, paternal grandfather. I know nothing about him other than he was 6’3. My father rarely ever talks about his family other than his upbringing with his brother and sister and parents.

My grandmother didn’t get along easily with people, was tough and wanted things her way. My understand is that she caused a falling out with my grandfather’s brother.

I don’t even know the names of my father’s other grandparents. He and my aunt often speak about that they had no toys growing up and the things that they didn’t have instead of what they did. My Uncle who is the middle child often disputed this.

My favorite show is Finding Your Roots on PBS. My oldest son also loves genealogy. I would love to somehow be able to do a family tree and figure out not only the names of who I was named after, but who they were, what they were about, what they did for a living.

I know that my grandfather moved to the USA when he was about somewhere between seven and 11. I know that both of my great grandparents that I am named from where not born in the US and not a whole lot more.

Hopefully, someday I will be able to learn more.

Prompt 78: The Scariest thing is realizing that you are slowly turning into your parents. What does that mean for you?

My parents have had a far less dramatic life with far more love in it from each other and emotional support from family than I have had. If we are referencing this in “scariest” terms there are a lot of things I hope to avoid.

Growing up my mom was one of the most patient, caring, understanding and empathetic people. She was very loving and kind. As she’s aged in many ways she has become her mother.

My mom was far more like my grandfather. My grandmother did not finish college, was judgemental and not very patient. My parents have been through a lot with me, but I feel emotionally abandoned by them.

My father has achieved on a high level his entire life. He has g-d give talents that very few people have. He does not have patience for those that are not high achievers. He is drawn to people in positions of authority and those that are highly successful in a multitude of ways.

I have had to learn through my own struggles as an adult to dislike an act, not a person, to not judge others that are different from us and to try to work with others, not against them.

I have always felt like an outsider in my own family. I have not seen my children for a very long time, but I hope to be able to see them and whoever becomes their partner as they age for the person they are and not their accomplishments.

I want to be there for the important people in my life no matter what. I have been put in a position to be alone. Most people only seem to care when life is either extremely good or bad.

How much to we truly love those close to us and reach out just because? My father has never really been good at being emotionally supportive. He is very guarded with his feelings.  So is my mom.

So is my mom. They likely keep things private. I am the opposite. I am very open with my feelings. I state how I feel and that seems to put many people off. The only way I truly hope to be like my parents as I age is to find someone special to share life with again and to hopefully be able to live comfortably enough to enjoy life.

I have learned that judging others different than us does no one any good.

Prompt 77: Takes us inside your grandmother’s liquor cabinet

This one is relatively easy. Only one set of my grandparents drank. My grandfather was always in the liquor business in one area or another.

Those grandparents always drank. Whether we were at their house or they came to ours it was seldom that they didn’t have a drink while they were over.

Since this is strictly about my grandmother, she almost exclusively drank hard alcohol. She occasionally drank wine. I never remember her drinking beer.

Gin and tonic, scotch or whiskey seems to be her drink of choice. I never remember her drinking rum, maybe vodka. The liquor cabinet at my grandparents was always stocked and they used decanters instead of just using bottles.

In their generation, cocktails seemed to be an important part of their culture. I didn’t watch Mad Men, but my Grandparents very much fit that generation. Going to happy hour, sharing drinks with friends and family and toasting to a special occasion were common occurrences.

They always had good stuff too. It was never cheap liquor in their cabinet. My grandparents liked to live comfortably and that included good liquor. They also liked to travel and see shows.

They were not snobby nor did they live outside their means. They led a good life and sharing a good drink with family and friends was a part of that.

Prompt 72: Write about the first time you remember using a computer. What were you doing, and what was your experience of it like?

I don’t remember the first time I used a computer specifically. I remember the first era of computers I used.

I don’t remember the first time I used a computer specifically. I remember the first era of computers I used.

My introduction to computers was primarily through the Radio Shack TRS-80 Computers. I primarily used the computers in school. This was an era when floppy disks were used to store all of the information. It would be another 5-10 years before hard drives came about.

The only thing I really remember about my general experience using a computer was that I was fascinated by them. From there I remember using a Commodore 64 and then the Apple II lines. At both home and at school I began using the Apple II, Apple IIe Apple IIc and an Apple II+.

Looking back and thinking about the Apple IIs is that they looked like a typewriter, but were sophisticated on the inside. Being able to use a word processor was a huge step up from the typewriter. No more correction tape, no more backspacing on the typewriter or at worse having to redo an entire page.

These were the computers that preceded the internet. the internet became available to the public. We used an online precursor to the internet called the Source. It had limited reviews of restaurants, the ability to make airline reservations, play games and interact with others. Connection to the Source was via dial-up through a subscription service and by the hour.

It eventually was bought out via CompuServe and AOL. To look back and think about those computers versus what even a cell phone can do now is amazing.