Eden Turns 17, and I'm Still Growing Up!

 Oh, there are days when I have to Thank God for bringing me to counseling.  Not only because I have all of this nurturing empathy to share, but also because I have learned and continue to learn so much about myself...and with this kind of knowledge comes a precious freedom that enables me to continue to be genuine and transparent, which enables me to be a better counselor and person.

At least, Jesse thinks I am a good person...

It's crazy how we can walk around so unaware of the baggage that we carry.  Then, someone shakes the Coke bottle.  And someone else. And someone else.  And someone else.  And then some "nasty little imp" comes along and turns the cap.  We lose it.  We explode.  We pour out our ugliness all over the room, leaving a sticky, sugary mess on anyone and everything in our path.  And it is humiliating.  It is disappointing.  It is discouraging.  And it is annoying, because now we have to go around trying to clean up a nearly impossible mess.

44 years and I am still learning about the baggage and wounds that I carry.  I know I'm a pretty unique case, but I also know that I am not alone.  I will know it as long as my phone keeps ringing, and I hope and believe I am helping at least some of these precious people to clean up their messes and walk into freedom a heck of a lot earlier in life than I have!

Beautiful things arise after we are made to toil.

I had a moment this weekend, where I shared (for the first time) the intense cruelty of my own thoughts about myself.  I had never spoken them out loud.  Now, I am aware that there is such a thing as an "inner critic."  I have taught it, along with growth mindset, a few times in the classroom.  However, what came out of my mouth that day was closer along the lines of emotional abuse, and I was the victim AND the perpetrator.  Suddenly, I had a grasp on the heaviness of my own incessantly berating thought process, and I began to understand the why behind some of my emotions and actions.  I've got a LOT of work to do!

Whew!  I am too exhausted to think about it all right now, but I will keep removing these negative thoughts and behaviors one weed at a time, until the garden of my mind is clean and peaceful...and probably by that time, I will have (at least) one foot in the door of an eternity of complete and utter freedom from all the ICK!

I LOVE this team.  The transition is never smooth, but it has been easier than some.

Fortunately, I made a VERY wise decision this morning to sleep in and miss the baseball game.  (Yep...the season has started in FULL FORCE.  We have been freezing off our little...noses (what did you think, anyway????) and cheering for a new group of kids.  I love them.  I love the team.  I LOVE the coaches, who happen to have a bridle on their tongues and a heaping measure of self-control.  (More than me, obviously.  I just about went off the deep end with two RIDICULOUSLY HORRIBLE, GAME-CHANGING CALLS IN A ROW!!  And all that time, coach just kept his composure and managed to catch my own eye when he turned to placate the boys. ...All this fire in one girl's got to go somewhere!!  But...I have pledged my loyalty, and I stepped back and bit my tongue.)

I joked that I am going to start bringing my business cards to the games, and (when we come across an abusive coach...and apparently, there are MANY) walk the line of shaking hands until I get to my target.  At that point, I will look him in the eye, hand him my "Kristen O'Hara Counseling" card and say, "When you are ready," in my most patient and love-filled voice.

I am now opening my practice to children, teens, moms and...Anger Management for bully coaches.  😉😂

I am most proud of this.  👆 We are blessed with this crew.  

Ah well, other than my little meltdown this weekend, I would have to say it's been a couple of good weeks.  Given the meltdown, I am aware it was a little too busy, and I have GOT to delegate and learn when to say no.  But...didn't I just do that this morning?  I am slowly learning.

Listening to my internal needs and fulfilling them is so important to my ability to function.  It's like the airline analogy.  You can't help others get the oxygen they need if you haven't got the oxygen you need, yourself.  Self care is not optional.

A little macabre, but...he is SO funny!  Can you believe how perfectly he fit in this box?!!

I missed out on another frustrating, emotional game, and I feel bad I wasn't there to help and support...but kid came home grouchy and then he got over it.  In the end, I WAS there for him.

Speaking of being there, Eden turned 17 last weekend!!  Can you believe it?  My girls are 20 and 17.  How can that be?  (I have to admit...I feel it all over.)

We were sad that we lost early in the tournament last Sunday, but that meant the O'Haras got to be there to celebrate.  She got a hammock, as very specifically requested through an Amazon link.  And she got the heart-shaped cake she begged me to make.  And I was not pushed to my limit.

Turns out it wasn't too difficult, even though I didn't have a 9 x 9 square pan...because I live in an old-school neighborhood, where you call your neighbor when you need an egg, a cup of milk or...

Who knew a square and two have circles could make such an easy heart?!!  And I thought Tangrams was my game!  Ha.  #stilllearning

Well, anyway.  My eldest went to Sanibel, Florida this week, and I am DEFINITELY not jealous because I am so filled with joy for her.  I promise (-ish).  It prompted me to actually book a vacation this summer.  One that I, probably, can't afford...so I'm just gonna trust God and a little hard work to provide.  Smoky Mountains better get ready, because the O'Hara party will be breaking through late summer.  I picked something as private and self-entertaining as I could get, and I don't care if I never leave the porch and the (if it's as good as the photos) BEAUTIFUL view the whole time we are there.  Because this one is about easy diversion for the kids, so I can CHILL.  

But...let me briefly recant.  There is one place I'd like to go, and it is The Spinnery, because...turns out Gatlinburg has a yarn shop.  Consider. Me. There.

Living the life.  I have not made all these sacrifices in vain.  💕

Peace and love I leave with you.

Amen and goodnight!