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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

They said the F word. I said nothing.

 photo F-word_zpsefef1b15.jpgThere I was, minding my own business, soaking up free WIFI at a McD's, biding time until I had to go pick up my daughter. About 20 minutes and one large iced tea into my solitude, a group of 20-somethings seated themselves two tables over from me. They were loud and they were vulgar.

Every sentence was peppered with the F word and the B word and the S word. I'm not a stranger to those words, but I don't use them often. Or proudly.  But these "kids" were flinging them around without remorse as though they were saying "very" or "heck" or a thousand other more polite and intelligent-sounding words.

I wondered if the young family I'd heard sitting behind me earlier had left the restaurant. I hoped they had. And I sat there wishing these profanity-prone hipsters sitting four feet from me would just shut up and go away. I opened my Facebook page and mused with my fingertips when such vulgarity had become so commonplace, so mainstream.

What I wish I would have done, what I should have done, was stand up, walk over to the table and asked them to not use that language. Not so loudly. Not at all.

But I didn't. I didn't because I feared what they might say, already imagining the red embarrassment climbing up my neck and across my face. I feared what insults they might hurl in my direction. I didn't because I worried that after I'd said my piece, I would feel compelled to pack up and leave and I didn't want to go just yet. I had things to do, time to spend and I had been there first.

I didn't say anything because I allowed the people-pleasing anxiety I carry to take my mind to scenes of them following me to my car, threatening me, hurting me.

I wish I'd said something. It wouldn't have saved a life. It wouldn't have conquered a great injustice. But maybe it would have made this corner of the world for that moment on this night a little nicer place to be.

What would you have done?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I am content

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This past week we've been on Spring Break. Tomorrow the kids go back to school and Mike & I head back to work. And I am content.

It's such a peaceful feeling. I'm really grateful for the time we spent as a family, but even more grateful that I am in the calm, rested place I find myself.

We didn't have an extravagant Spring Break. We visited my father-in-law for a couple of days and visited two college campuses for Annie. We spent one night in a hotel and spent 4 days at home.

There were times that I logged onto Facebook and saw people's vacation photos from tropical locales and felt a twinge of jealousy. But I didn't go there. Instead, I chose to "sit still and allow contentment to come to me." (Thanks Elizabeth Gilbert.)

So what's made me content?
  1. A deck of cards. I bought a deck of cards from the hotel gift shop and since then we've had hours of fun sitting around a table playing Crazy 8s and War. Best $2.97 I ever spent.
  2. Rain. Annie & I got caught in a torrential downpour during one of her college visits. It was wet and inconvenient and memorable. Whether or not she chooses that school, we'll always be able to remember that day we got soaked in St. Louis.
  3. Laundry. Ordinarily laundry would not be a source of contentment. But I spent the past 2 days doing load after load of laundry. The result? We are heading back to reality with clean clothes and matched socks and boy, does that feel good.
  4. Sleep. What a difference being rested makes! While we were on a schedule during the first few days of Spring Break, the past 4 mornings I had nowhere to be, so I slept in until 9:30 or so. Love that little luxury. 
  5. Cooking. I know...who am I and what have I done with Amy? Honestly, because we have been home with no place to be, I've had the time to plan a menu and cook. Nothing fancy, really, although tonight I did make some pretty yummy roast cauliflower. 
  6. Love. I got to spend this week with people I love doing nothing special in particular (ok, the college visits were pretty special), but sharing space and time. Life is good.