Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Flip Side

 ** Before I get into the post, I just want to send everyone a deep, sincere thank you for voting for me on Skinny Scoop’s Top 25 Mom Bloggers of 2012. I came in fourth place!  I am so excited.  Thanks, everyone, for your support!**

Did I ever tell you the time I almost shut my blog down?

It was this winter, and we were sick for three months.  Raising kids takes a lot of energy, but taking care of them when they are sick leaves little energy for anything else.  (Especially since they were really good at sharing their germs with me).  I was becoming so emotionally drained that I was starting to feel depressed.

But I grit my teeth and pushed on through with maintaining my blog.  I was determined to not give up on something that brings me so much joy.

Determination: it’s one of my best traits.  It helped me get through this winter.  It helps me make the best, most informative choices I can make when raising my kids (especially when it came to their various health issues).

Determination has seen me through the not-so-good times in my marriage and has not allowed me to give up on myself and my dreams.

Determination has served me well.

Until it doesn’t.  Because the flip side of determination is stubbornness.

For every time determination has helped me, stubbornness has bit me in the ass.  Hard.  (And not in a 50 Shades of Grey kind of way.  Ew).

Like the time I was *not* going to leave target without a bike helmet for Marie.  An employee from the Electronics Department knew absolutely nothing about fitting bike helmets.  When he told me they were by age, I quickly cut him off because that is not always the case.  He replied by telling me to Google it. 

Google it?!  I may have communicated in a somewhat assertive manner that he should do more to help me.  And next thing I know, I am being followed by Target security detail.

Or the summer after I graduated college and was teaching summer school English to a bunch of 18-20 year olds.  (Note: I was only 21 years old).   I was going to follow the rules and teach my favorite subject.  I was enthusiastic!  I was excited!  I was determined to be successful!

Until one student didn’t follow the rules and was about to fail which, in turn, would have delayed his graduation date .  Instead of just making up the work, he took the most *logical* step: he threatened to kill me.

Or the time when I was getting too comfortable around a difficult family member and I let my boundaries get a little soft and mushy.  I was determined to make this relationship work.  People were counting on me, for Christ’s sake!

Determination got in the way of reality.  And when reality checked in, it checked in hard.  And loud.  And nasty.  I knew the situation could be compared to a ticking time bomb.  But determination flipped into stubbornness and I made a bad choice.

Determination is like a super power and should be only used for good.  And wisely.

I walk a fine line between determination and stubbornness.  The good side of the trait has given me strength I didn’t know I had, yet the flip side has taken me down some very dark paths.

Do you teeter between a positive trait and the dark flip side?

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