Another letter to my children. I think it’s time I share this truth with them.
Okay y’all. I’m going to shoot straight with you. Right now most of you are of the age where I’m still reminding you to be polite. To use good manners. To listen and use your ma’am’s and sir’s and please’s and thank you’s. That’s all good stuff. I recently dropped the “y’all be nice” thing because, I realized where that could head. And it wasn’t good.
Be respectful might be a better way to put it.
And I’m not changing my tune on that. We all have to share this planet, so yes, being respectful is probably the best way to keep things within the guidelines of appropriate behavior.
and here’s the thing, and why I’m writing this now (two of you can read it later–one needs it now, as do I)–
being respectful doesn’t mean you have to stand around and deal with foolishness.
We weren’t allowed to use the “s” word when I was growing up. That or the “d” one either. You know, the two words that deal with intellect. Common sense. Or lack thereof. One ends with ”tupid” and the other with “umb.” My parents just wouldn’t tolerate it. And so out of respect for how I was raised, I’m going to, from here on out, refer to such as that as foolishness.
You know the ones I mean. The folks who are bound and determined to argue with you–no matter if they’re as wrong as white shoes after Labor Day or not. The folks who look at you when you’re talking common sense and have this blank look on their faces. Or worse, they look at you like you’ve lost your mind.
No, I haven’t. When I asked you this morning if you had lost your mind, Cooter (you asked for chocolate for breakfast!), you replied with that trademark dry wit of yours, “No, because then you’d see a brain walking around here by itself.”
I do try to keep my wits about me. I’m trying to remember to keep my mouth shut unless I can express myself and explain what I’m thinking, respectfully and such that I can be understood. So I don’t feel like my brain is walking around outside of my head.
Most of the time anyway.
But there are times, crew, that you just have to walk away.
Sometimes a jaw at rest is best. Just hush up and head on out.
There’s no fixing foolishness. Y’all, just no.
Foolishness will stand there and make you lose your cool, your calm, your class, and your religion. It’s like it’s their calling in life it seems.
So yes. There are times when you stand and fight because you know what is right, and you have to speak out.
And there are times when you self-preserve and you walk away. Respectfully shaking your head and wondering how on earth those folks get out of the bed in the morning.
You don’t tell them that of course.
But if the thought makes you smile as you walk away, that’s okay.
It’s taken me way too long to realize there’s some things I can’t fix. There’s some folks and groups of folks with their course dead set on self-destruct. And I can’t save them. I can try, but when I’m working harder than they are–
it’s time to let it go.
Rest my jaw, and my brain, and even my heart, and just–
shrug and walk away. Sometimes that’s what taking the high road looks like.
It can never work when you are working harder than someone else for their own well-being.
Yeah, that one I’m still working on, but I hope you will take it to heart and not lose so many years trying to fix foolishness on your own.
It can’t be done. I know.
Self-preservation is not selfish. Go watch the videos about who to put the oxygen mask on first when it drops down from the roof of the plane. It seems cruel that a Mama should put it on herself first and then her children, but no. You can’t help others if you’re all worked up trying to take care of crazy first.
I’m still a work in progress on most of this. But from recent experiences where I stepped outside my co-dependent comfort zone and hushed up and just let things go on as they will without me, I have to tell y’all.
It’s a relief.
It’s hard. I still worry a little. But ultimately, it’s a relief. And healthier.
I know this because my heart isn’t racing and my head isn’t hurting nearly as much as it was.
Take care of you. And others. But it’s okay to let some things and some people go. As hard as it is, despite all that our culture and heritage has said otherwise, it’s okay to choose to be healthy. And let foolishness find the way out of its tangled web of a mess on its own.
Maybe they’ll learn.
Goodness knows, I’m still trying to.
Love to all, be strong,