Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today I'm a hypocrite

I'm frustrated today. Actually, I'm way beyond frustrated. I know I shouldn't be feeling the way I am, but I'm human and sometimes I can't help it. To top it off, I feel like a big ol' hypocrite after having posted those quotes the other day about courage and about being in control of how you react to what happens in your life.

I woke up this morning at 5:30am because nature called. When I got up, I noticed the lights were on downstairs, so I went down to investigate. My son was sitting at the dining room table eating a bowl of cereal. Now this wouldn't be such a big deal if he had gotten up at 5:30 and was eating breakfast. But he was up because he hadn't gone to bed yet.

Over the last few weeks I have grown to accept the staying up late thing. But I think this is a bit extreme. When I asked my son why he was still up, he said he couldn't sleep and that he was going to go up to bed when he was done eating. And when I asked him how he was going to get up at 10:00am for his full day of classes, he assured me he would get up. So I went back upstairs.

Well, I don't think I have to tell you what happened when 10:00 rolled around this morning. My son did not get up. Both me and my mom, who was going to drive him to school, tried to get him up. It just didn't happen.

My wife and I are at our wit's end. I think we're going to try and find some type of Outward Bound program to send my son to this summer. The status quo just isn't working and it's making everyone in the house crazy. We need more sanity and less crazy. Maybe that's being selfish, but to have several people suffer daily as a result of one person's actions just doesn't seem fair anymore.


  1. There are also volunteer organizations that sponsor trips to, say, Louisiana or Mississippi for Katrina cleanup (which is still ongoing; some folks from my church recently went on a cleanup week there). Or to other places where help is needed. Maybe GP Unitarian (I'm just thinking of somewhere close to you) is involved in something like that? Some go-away-and-help-people thing ... well, it's worth thinking about, anyhow.

    Or some stay-in-town-and-help-people thing. Every Saturday at Westminster Presby in Detroit, they feed people. I know, getting up to do it is the thing ... how to get out of bed ... but ... somehow, it just seems like doing something on purpose just to help somebody else is a good way for somebody to, I guess, get their head out of their, you know, pillow. And probably going away to do it -- like away to New Orleans or someplace far (with an appropriately caring and consciencious group), just away -- might be good for both you and him.

    Thoughts, anyhow. (And here's some prayers, too.)


  2. I'm wondering, too ... Is it possible for you to remove yourself from the role of human alarm clock? That's SOoooo much easier said than done (I don't think I ever totally removed myself from that role). But the idea is: There will be failures, yes. Classes dropped, jobs lost. There will be successes, too. But what will his successes mean if *you're* the one who made them happen? He won't be able to "own" his own successes, he won't be able to feel proud of his own self, because you're the one who made him go to bed (or tried to), woke him up (or tried to), drove him (why not a bus or bike?) ... whatever he succeeds at doing might seem more like your victory than his. So (his thinking might go), why even bother to try?

    I dunno. I don't know how much practical value any of that has. But it's the kind of thing therapists say, so I'm repeating it. :)


  3. Deano: In a management class we learned a trick which actually worked for a good perecentage of people in class: go in front of a mirror and smile the biggests, cheesiest grin you can. The sight of that (biofeedback) and the tingling feeling in the corner mouth/cheek muscles releases endorphins and can actually elevate mood :) Strangely, this actually works for me, and I'm a very morose person.

    I smile, say 'F#k It!' and force a laugh...but: I have silly problems/worries and YOU have actual family things to deal with.

    Now, I know unsolicited cheesy advice can sound patronising or pat so just know this Deano: I am pulling for you and wish you and your family the best, you are such a bright light for many of the people you interact with during the dull day.


  4. ugh. my heart just hurts for you.
    I don't think you are a hypocrite, btw. Just trying to grapple between being hopeful/courageous and facing the grim reality. It's a shitty position to have to be in.