You Are A Burden, and That’s Okay

Alright kids, listen up. Something I hear all the time from the people around me is the phrase, “I don’t want to be a burden.” When I offer my help because I genuinely want to help, everyone’s initial reaction is to refuse it. I get it. I am the same way. I get that you don’t want to be an obligation that the other person dreads.

But here’s the thing. You are a burden. I am a burden. People are burdens. If you are a human being, you are a burden. A quick search on Google tells me that the definition of burden is a particularly heavy load. What person doesn’t come with their own set of baggage? Name one person who doesn’t have issues. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

People are complex. We are deep. We have flaws. Taking care of anyone is a big deal. When you get an offer of help from someone you suspect actually cares enough to help you, be a burden and speak up. If you aren’t sure whether or not they are just being polite, give them something easy to do and see how they get it done (like bring you a drink from Starbucks or drive you somewhere when you need a lift). If they act annoyed or complain to others, you know not to trust them with any more “help.”

But please, for the sake of all that is good in this world, take up space.

Accept help. Be proud to exist. Acknowledge your issues, because seriously, everyone has them. You deserve to be seen. You deserve to be cared for. You are a lot, but definitely not too much. You are a burden that someone is happy to carry. You are a burden that matters to someone. Sometimes it takes multiple people to carry you, but that happens to everyone at some point in their lives.

And you and I both know you’ll be the one to help carry someone else’s particularly heavy load sometime. When they come back with “but I don’t want to be a burden” assure them that they are a burden you are happy to take on. Maybe tell them about a time when you accepted a lot of help, especially if it was from them.

We need to accept that loving someone else is a big responsibility and a big job, but we do it because we love them. Not because we have to. Letting people care for us is scary and feels wrong, but I swear, it’s okay. Just let go and be a burden.

Bittersweet

*For the first time in foreverrrrrrrr* I had a good day! I did not get the things done that I had on my checklist, but I did get a ton of stuff done. I got tons of laundry done (we are still washing all the stuff in the house because of a lice incident), and I got a lot of it put away. There was a mountain of clean laundry on my bed and since my sheets got lost in the mountain of dirty laundry, I had just been piling clean clothes on my bed and sleeping on my couch. My back is still admonishing me for that. But all the laundry on my bed has been put away and I found my bedding and washed it. So finally, my bed is made and pretty, although I’m missing my king sized pillows still. I have one wimpy pillow. Oh well.

I cleaned up the wreck of a living room, ironed four shirts (I haven’t ironed in years, and that’s not an exaggeration), did some more laundry, and cleaned up my bedroom (which is where everything gets dumped when people show up last minute and I have to make my house look clean). Oh, and I cleaned out my closet by taking all the stuff I didn’t want and putting it in the garage to deal with later. I got a lot done!

My first attempt at getting over the fact that I didn’t finish everything

You might notice, however, that I did not get a blog post out yesterday, and I did not get any of my homework done. So it’s a little bittersweet. I got important stuff done and left important stuff undone. It was extremely hard to get over that last fact.

When my husband came home, I hadn’t packed the kids’ bags for a sleepover at the grandparents’ house, in fact, I couldn’t even find clothes for two out of my three kids (lice remember? everything had been bagged up and taken downstairs). In the process of cleaning, I made everything much worse so the place looked terrible and I was hoping to have a lot more done before hubby came home. He walked in the door and I cried. Bless him, he didn’t get frustrated with me. I told him I didn’t want to go to band practice tonight, and he was very gracious and didn’t make me feel guilty for canceling. He told me that instead of having the kids sleep over, he was just going to have Mamaw watch them for the few hours he was going to be gone tonight and then he would bring them home, meaning I didn’t have to find extra clothes to pack.

He got everyone out of the house and I got to be all by myself. I listened to music for quite a while, watched some Bob’s Burgers and then I decided I wanted my house to be cozy, so I picked up my cleaning from where I left off. He came home later with the kids and two Dr. Peppers (one for tonight and one for tomorrow) to find two of the rooms in our house very presentable.

Today, my hubby was my happy place. He took me there and I am so grateful for him and his patience. Even though he can’t always help me, he always tries. It’s why I love him. It’s why today turned out to be a good day.

Do you ever have issues celebrating your successes because you didn’t get things done exactly how you wanted? Can you get to a place where that doesn’t happen anymore? Tell me how you cope in the comments! I need advice!

4 Musicals to Take Me to My Happy Place

As you can probably tell by my last post (How Much Do You Think It Would Cost to Hire a Body Double to Live My Life for a While Because I’m Temporarily Dead) this week has been a complete terror. But hubby and I worked really hard to prepare for today so that it can be a relaxing day for both of us while still having the kids. We were out late last night at a family party which tired the kids out and they slept fairly late (for them anyway). We set up the PS3 downstairs so that the kids could go hang out in the den down there and keep the morning quiet. We had food ready for them when they woke up so they wouldn’t scream and cry at us first thing. They had blankets and pillows and comfy chairs and pretty much everything they ever wanted and hubby and I had peace. Sweet peace, glorious peace. I slept until 9:30 and he got to play Destiny all morning (with some care for the baby in there somewhere). This kind of morning has not happened since… I don’t even know.

Feeling a little uplifted after that kind of a morning, I put another load of laundry together (good heaven, it never freakin’ ends) and another load of dishes (ditto) and I put on a musical that I thought my daughter might like to watch with me: the Phantom of the Opera. She didn’t quite understand all of the story (she’s 6) but she loved the dresses and the music. As for me, I love pretending I am Christine Daae and I get to be that pretty and wanted and special. It definitely took me to my happy place. It’s one of my go-to musicals to get me there. I thought I might share my list of favorites to help someone else out too.

In no particular order:

  • Phantom of the Opera: you get to be Christine Daae, the orphan who is the daughter of the late great violinist. Her voice and beauty beat out the Prima Donna of the opera and her great voice teacher is an unseen genius. Her childhood friend, Raul has become the patron of the opera house, and he recognizes Christine singing on stage and he still loves her. It’s a great tragedy and romance set in France in a time when ladies wore incredible gowns and gentlemen were dressed to the nines. It’s very stereotypical, but I still love it.
  • Hello Dolly!: This is another musical that will transport you to the past. It’s 1890 and widow Dolly Levi has been hard at work managing other people’s affairs. Anything you need done, she can do it and she specializes in the art of matchmaking. When she realizes that the man she has her eye on is going to ask another woman to marry him, she comes up with a plan on the fly to be her own matchmaker. In the process, she sets up the lives of those around her and moves all the pieces into place. She is bold and lively and lovely. She has grace and elegance to spare and she only needs one day to change her future and find love once again. You’ll be spending the rest of your day pretending you are Dolly Levi.

The King and I: Okay first of all Mrs. Anna’s wardrobe here is amazing! I wish I could walk around in dresses like that and not be looked at like I’m due back at the mental institution any minute now. But I love this musical because Mrs. Anna Leonowens moves with her son Louis to Siam to teach the King’s children about… well everything. The King has like 60 children or something like that, not to mention the children of his wives who are in trouble with him. Anna is something new to Siam because she is a woman with an education. She becomes an unofficial advisor to the King during her time there and she calls him out on some pretty barbaric traditions. I like this musical because Anna is a force to be reckoned with and not even the King of Siam was enough to subdue her. In fact, she changed his thinking and therefore his reign. And because she taught the crown prince who is still very young, she changes the ways of Siam through his education. The music and dancing are phenomenal and make me wish I was in a musical on stage in real life.

  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: I will probably catch some flies for this one. It is about seven brothers in the wild west who don’t know how to treat women, but still want to marry them. That’s the TL:DR version. The oldest, Adam, goes into town looking for a wife and comes home with Milly, all in one day. Milly is tough and she doesn’t take crap, so when she comes home to six nasty looking brothers she realizes she is going to have to cook and clean for, she immediately makes plans to get them married and moved out of her house. She cleans them up and teaches them some manners just in time for them to go to a barn raising where they meet the girls of their dreams. The men are genuinely in love, but the ladies have tons of men to choose from. The brothers think they are never going to get a chance with their ladies so they do something terrible. They kidnap the ladies and cause an avalanche between them and the town, so they can take the ladies back to the cabin for the winter and their families won’t come for them until the snow melts. They think they can make their ladies fall in love with them before that happens. They are complete idiots, but love-sick idiots (although is there such a thing as a love-sick genius?). Other than, you know, kidnapping them, the brothers are never disrespectful to the ladies and you can tell they are genuinely trying, which over the course of the long winter, the ladies see that too. They all end up falling in love and everyone lives happily ever after and really the concept of this musical is terrible, but I like the choreography and music. I mean those are some really talented men (for reference, look to the barn raising dance). Anyway, I don’t care who gets mad at me. I like this musical with a horrible story. It takes me to my happy place and that’s all I care about.  #maybeIhavesomeissuestoworkout

I hope that you can find ways to your happy place. Don’t be afraid to like what you like. Try everything and discover new things about what makes you happy! Maybe you could comment with some of your favorite musicals! I need some new ones to try!

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Some Upsetting Thoughts From Today and How I Changed Them

There is a lot of power in how you think. Thoughts are a particular stumbling block for people who suffer from depression. Thoughts of shame pop up way too easily and stick for a long time, whereas thoughts of pride and accomplishment struggle to surface and are fleeting.

And for my next trick, I will make all my successes disappear!

If you don’t know, you can train your thoughts to lean a certain way. For example, if you’ve been brought up as a racist, your initial thought when seeing a black person would be negative and mean. If you learned to recognize those thoughts and make yourself change the thought to a positive one, you can change your outlook on people of color.

Like this…

Negative: “I bet this lady ahead of me has all those babies just to get a free ride and live off the government.”

Fixed: “There is nothing wrong with having many children and I have absolutely no evidence to support the idea that she is getting government assistance. Even if she is, there is nothing wrong with accepting government assistance when needed. I have no authority to decide whether she is worthy of government assistance. Sure I may pay taxes so that people can live with assistance, but I have no knowledge of her personal information and I am not entitled to her personal information.”

I read somewhere that the first thought that crosses your mind is how you’ve been conditioned to think. The next thought is from you. You don’t have to feel bad about being conditioned to think terrible things. You just have to re-condition and re-train your brain until that first thought is the one you’re proud of.

Actual footage of you taking control of your thoughts.

The same goes for the thoughts you have of yourself. You’ve trained your brain to see all the imperfections about yourself, and that they are deal breakers for anyone who might consider a relationship with you. There are many reasons you have been trained this way, but you have the power to change it!

Something I do once in a while is writing out my negative thoughts, and change them so that I see the positive.

1. Negative: I am fat and ugly. Everyone is looking at me and thinking how glad they are that they aren’t me.

Positive:  I am overweight but that has no bearing on my beauty. I have personally witnessed the transformation that occurs between seeing someone for the first time and getting to know them. Beautiful people have quickly become ugly and vice versa. No one is judging you because they are too busy judging themselves, thinking these same thoughts. Not to mention, literally no one has the authority to decide what ugly or beautiful is.

2. Negative: I am so lazy I can’t even take care of myself, my house, and my kids. I am the worst mother.

Positive: Simply because I sit on the couch a lot does not mean I am lazy. I work on my blog and my homework and things for the church, all things that are important and need to be done, things I would feel bad for not doing. I do have a weakness for cleaning the house so I will do at least one thing today to make myself better at cleaning. Every day my kids are fed, safe, clean, and loved. It’s okay that I hit periods where they play their devices all day because I always find my way out, and my children are still cared for very well and they know I love them. I am a good mother.

You have to prove to your mind that you are in control. Lasso those destructive thoughts and make them serve you, bend them to your will. Rebrand them as uplifting thoughts and train them to run through your mind often. It’s not easy, and it takes a lot of work to believe the positive thoughts, but if you practice enough, you will start to believe and think positive automatically. Think of it as a workout you don’t have to get off the couch for!

If you’re interested in the sociology of positive and negative thoughts, check out this ten minute TED talk: “Getting Stuck in the Negatives (and How to Get Unstuck)”

How often do you struggle with negative thoughts? What method do you have for dealing with them?

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Five Great Shows To Keep On Loop

“Thanks, Jack, for coming to this emergency meeting. I’m sorry I’m four hours late, but my alarm clock didn’t go off because it died in a cock fight last night.”

Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock

I keep a screen on all the time. I can pretty much guarantee it’s not a good thing, but here we are. I am a stay at home mom so that screen is pretty much my link to the adult world. I watch certain shows over and over again (usually up until the last couple of episodes so I can start back at episode 1 and it’s like it never went off the air). I could dominate “The Office” themed trivia night.

I’m one of those people that keeps the screen on at night because it’s hard for me to sleep without it. I have tried and occasionally I can, but most of the time I’m up for hours thinking about terrible things like

  • what would I be doing right now if all my family had died in a car accident last week?
  • what if I had never married my husband?
  • what if my daughter had cancer and had to live in a children’s hospital and our family had to move to be close to her?
  • what if I am going to die tomorrow?
  • what will happen to me?
  • will my soul actually go to be with the Lord like I hope?
  • I’m not a great person, maybe I will go to hell.
  • What will hell be like?
  • How will I live for eternity in hell?
  • Oh God, Jesus save me.

Things get real really fast when I try to go to sleep. If I turn on a show, my mind follows what’s happening in the show, even though I can’t see what’s going on because I am literally closing my eyes to go to sleep. It’s why I only put on shows that are light-hearted and familiar. I can’t put on anything I haven’t seen before, because then I will be too interested in what is going on and I won’t fall asleep.

I’ve come up with some of my favorite shows I keep on loop during my time. They can all be found on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

  1. Bob’s Burgers – Hulu: This show is genuinely funny with its musical numbers and quirky family (and turkey). It follows the Belcher family as they navigate three children and running a not-too-successful restaurant, but they are pretty terrible at life. It makes for a great show though. 
  2. Grace and Frankie – Netflix: Frenemies Grace and Frankie meet up for dinner with their husbands, whom they have been happily married to for forty years. They think their husbands are announcing their retirement. Come to find out, their husbands are leaving their ladies… for each other. I am not sure why but this show truly comforts me. It has its fair share of drama but it is honestly funny throughout. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin make me excited to get older. 
  3. The Office – Netflix: This one had to be a given. It’s the perfect show to watch over and over because the jokes never stop being funny. It follows a group of office workers in a paper company led by a completely incompetent boss. There are a few fantastic love stories to be found and a million “that’s what she said” jokes.
  4. Doctor Who – Amazon Prime: This is my favorite show in existence. I could watch this and only this for the rest of my life. It is a British show about a time-traveling alien called “The Doctor” who flies around in his T.A.R.D.I.S. (i.e. living spaceship) that is bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside. He usually has a companion with him, usually a human from earth and usually from our time period. The amount of ridiculous is hilarious in this show and the idea of dignity for all is prevalent throughout. It’s been on for over fifty years! If you have never seen it, I recommend you start with the ninth doctor and push through the cheesy special effects (they get better). It’s absolutely worth it. If you haven’t seen it, it won’t be a good one to keep on loop because it’s too interesting, but when you have caught up, it makes for a great companion to your days. 
  5. The It Crowd: This one will have you laughing so hard, so maybe keep it on during the day only. It’s another British show (I end up watching a lot of those) and it follows the I.T. department of a company, which is four people. Two are socially incompetent nerds, one is a woman who lied her way into the job, and the last one… well, spoilers. Try it. Trust me. It’s amazing. 

These are just some of the shows that bring me comfort. I’ll probably do another post soon with more suggestions but for now, check these out. You won’t regret it. Happy binge watching!

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