Monday, July 16, 2012

The Power of No

There is something to be said for not getting your way all the time.

You see it every day, especially if you work in retail like I do. Children throwing tantrums until Mommy or Daddy gives them EXACTLY what they want. And we all know these behaviors continue well into adulthood if not checked early on. And I have found that as I have grown, constantly being denied the things I have wanted so desperately has had two results.

First, by not getting what I wanted when I wanted it, I have ended up with getting exactly what I NEEDED almost the entirety of my life. I have never been starving on a street corner. I have always had somewhere to live thanks to the generosity of many friends. And when I was unable to help myself, I have always had those around to help me get through times of need. I have had periods of extreme poverty when I couldn't pay my bills, keep my phone turned on, or even take my cats to the vet. And even now I am facing some hardship due to mounting hospital bills that I am not totally sure how to pay off. But luckily I have always made it through and been able to continue on. And now I have a home with a wonderful man who is patient, funny, and loving, and we are learning together how to be better adults and a better team. I have a strong partner who knows when to tell me that no, I can't have every toy I want. (Harumph!) But he still finds ways to spoil me and show me he loves me.

One of the hardest things, for me, about my divorce was not exactly losing a husband, but more that I was losing my footing and progress I had made on the path to being a mom. I'm so excited for the chance to someday have children and be a part of someone's life the way a mother is. And when X left me, all that time I had invested and progress I had thought I was making was taken away from me. And my ovaries had already become so very very very loud. Once you get to that point, you really can't even turn it off. But when I look back and see what a terrible pair of parents X and I would have been, I am grateful we don't have a kid stuck between us getting confused and bitter because the two of us can't get along even for our kid. (Sorry to say, but as much as X liked pushing my buttons just to make me look like a huge bitch in front of his friends, I can only imagine he would do it even worse to his ex-wife that he would then share custody of a kid with to make the kid like him more.) And now that I have had the things denied me, like marriage, a home, kids, I can appreciate them now more than ever because I worked so hard to get where I am. I see privileged kids in my store every day who have no appreciation for that iPod touch their parents just bought them for their birthday, or who complain about how their older model doesn't have the forward facing camera on it and that they need the new one, even if theirs was only 2 years old. "I don't WANT a hand me down, buy me a new one!" I applaud the parents who deny their kids these things. Please keep doing that, your children will be better people for it.

I see a lot of people getting their way all the time, and the truth is, I don't think they even know what it is they truly want. It just feels so good to get their way, they aren't paying attention to what it is they just got. And like a child as soon as they are bored with that thing, they will drop it and forget it. Not even bother to put it back on the shelf. Drop and forget.

We have to work to appreciate all that we have, because if it is just given to us, we don't truly know it's value. Alan & I will be footing the bill for our wedding pretty much on our own. And we know what this means, and have assessed the value. We know what we are investing. And we will know how to appreciate all the people who spend their time and money to come share that day with us. I have traveled such a long and hard road here, that I am so very fond of the callouses I have formed on my feet to make it.


  1. FYI= hospital bills=- have you tried HCCAP? (Hcap, maybe). It's gov't funded and covers most, if not all, of what the insurance wont.

    1. I actually make enough to put me over the poverty line and keeps me from qualifying for this kind of stuff anymore. It's a bummer. :/