Judging Me…

I spoke about the ease with which I judge others last week and this morning, in my yoga class,  I was cautioned not to go full out but to hold back.

“Be kind to yourself,” my yogi said, “do not judge yourself based on anyone else’s performance.”

I looked around at the cats basking in the morning sun on my mat and hmmm’d.

No competition here in my yoga space.  A lot of kindness going on by the sound of the purring.

My film-making son calls me every week or so for a ‘deep’ talk either while he’s walking or motoring somewhere…we start out with the weather and progress to the latest films we’ve seen, and then fall somewhere between gentle guidance on how to navigate the day and respectful listening as we exchange observances and pry experiences from each others’ nooks and crannies.  When he reaches the place where he needs to branch off and continue on his way, alone, armed with whatever tools for existence I may have given him he ends the conversation abruptly with,

“Time to go. Love you Mum, thanks for talking, ‘byeee.”

“Love you too, thanks for ringing, have a lovely day,” and we disconnect.

Today we talked about work ethic,

“You raised us to work hard, become responsible citizens, do our 9-5 jobs whether we love them or not, pay the bills, no complaints…that’s life.”

I frowned to myself…I did?

“Only you and Dad didn’t exactly exemplify that ethic,

“You homeschooled us when everyone else went to pubic school,

“You worked at home for yourselves or were gone months at a time on the road when everyone else went into an office,

“You did most things as a couple including theatre, shopping and picking us up from activities when other families were stretched between two jobs and numerous activities leaving hardly any time to spend together.”  I nodded to myself.

“As a couple you stretched the limits of society and disregarded the way your peers told you to live.

“As a family we lived outside the box and we thought nothing of it.

“It was the McNeny way.”

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I smiled out loud, “Now you’re talking!”

“I find myself struggling with those conflicting ‘rules’ I grew up with; work to pay the bills whether you enjoy it or not…

…and what you and Dad were doing.”

I laughed.  “I don’t remember telling you to work 9-5, I can’t imagine ever saying those words…unless that was what you wanted to do.”

“Well, you didn’t.  It was the people around me.  It was everywhere in the society of my up-bringing…”

“Except at home,” I said.

“Absolutely!” he said, “Except at home.  And that’s where it gets confusing.”

Hubs and I have talked about this for a long time, the fact that our children were not cognizant of the lives he and I were living when I worked 60 hour weeks at the office, or he was gone for months at a time on world tours.

They didn’t begin to ‘see’ us until they were in their mid to late teens and early twenties, at college.  By then we were ensconced in a lifestyle contrary to our peers’ and appeared none the worse for it.

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We had crafted and honed this lifestyle over the years, it didn’t just happen overnight and if on the surface we didn’t appear to be suffering much angst over gaps in jobs and mortgage payments it was because we were committed.

We still had bills, we still had debt and we still worried and panicked…we had four dependents, nothing inexpensive there.  But we controlled those parts of our lives we could and identified the essentials for us without judging ourselves against our neighbors’ performance.

We had struck a balance between needs and wants and asked ourselves, what was more important, quality of life or pursuit of money?

“It’s all about perspectives and choices,” I suggested.  “Is money your motivator and if so, is that all right?  If you feel trapped what are the steps you can take to freedom?  Why are you disgruntled?  How can you adjust your thinking and think of life as a journey that will take a lifetime of careful planning and patience.”

“That’s a hard one Mum,” he said.

“I think of my whole life as a journey…where I am today is a direct result of what I did yester-year!

“Failures and successes each have their own value.  Nothing you learn along the way is wasted, nothing!”

I do seriously think our children, especially the entrepreneurs, imagine we were born with silver spoons in our mouths, to quote my mother’s favorite justification for anyone who was fabulously wealthy.

We baulked against the rat-race and found our own unique way.

I never worked a day I didn’t enjoy…and if I became miserable I made a choice to follow through or to change tack.

“And remember, there is always a future so planning for that day when work is elusive or impossible is an essential part of the lifestyle decisions.”

“I know, I know,” he said.  “Each experience along the way is teaching me a little bit more about what I want and what I don’t want.”

“How to work contentedly within the big picture.”

“Yep you’re right, but it’s not always easy,” he said.

“Be kind,” I said, “To yourself.  Wrap a blanket around you,

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Wrap a blanket around you…

and don’t judge yourself based on those around you.  The only true back story you know is yours.  The only person you can change is you.”

“I need to go now Mum.  Thanks for chatting while I was driving to work.  Love you!”

“Love you too.  Have a wonderful day.”

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1 Comments

ElRay

2018-02-02 22:22:12 Reply

Yep, a solid background of ‘The Road Less Travelled’ to confuse them as adults. LOL

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