I went online to pay our mortgage this past weekend and there was a sign in English on the website that said “Now available in Spanish.” My first thought was Oh how nice, they are trying to adhere to the needs of the Spanish-speaking population. Then my very next thought was wait, why would you say we are available in Spanish but write it in English? Wouldn’t someone who reads Spanish better understand written in Spanish? I find it comical, probably written by someone who doesn’t speak Spanish. What if it were written in Chinese that they now have a website in English for their English-speaking customers? There really is a thing called lost in translation. But it got me to thinking about my own life. Maybe sometimes I am reading a message in a different language than what it was intended to be written in and I get lost in my own translation of it.
Have you ever looked at someone and felt pity on them because they didn’t realize that they are living what they think is normal but in reality it’s incredibly dysfunctional? They perhaps were raised in such dysfunction that they have learned coping skills (hashtag drama) to deal with whatever life throws their way. They may look at a sign in one language and not understand it because it’s not written in the language they speak. They may speak a language of harshness, drama, ridiculing, going online to vent their issues, getting revenge, playing the victim. When the message that is being sent to them is that of love, structure, boundaries and hope. But they don’t understand it because it’s a foreign language. They have never had healthy boundaries placed with love, so they just continue on a website clicking around aimlessly hoping they will get their intended result.
In reality we can all be this way though. Seeing life through our own perspective and trying to make things appear through what we perceive as rose-colored lenses. This past Easter weekend I found myself yet again in a situation that I had created and stressed myself out over for no reason because I failed to read the message in the correct language that was being sent to me.
The weekend really started off quite nicely. We enjoyed Good Friday celebrating my brother’s birthday. We went to Kenny’s Burger Joint in Frisco, which if you have never gone, I highly recommend it. Then we went to Top Golf in the Colony. You guys…it is harder than it looks to hit a little white ball! Let’s just put it this way, I will not be the next Tiger Woods.
The rest of the weekend really boils down to I should have just listened to my mother and bought a cake for Easter Sunday Dinner. But you know what, I can be hard-headed. I can hear what I want to hear. I can say mean things. I can be overly emotional. I can some days cry for no reason. Even if I know I may be wrong, I will still want to prove to everyone that what I am doing is ok and I will accomplish it. I will overextend and over commit myself thinking I can do it all. Time is on my side, *insert evil laugh…..muahahahaha.* (I think somedays they call it being a woman).
Then reality hits at 5:30 AM on Easter Sunday morning, when I went to bed past midnight the night before, after having spent almost 5 hours in the car on Saturday roaming to and fro all over the face of the earth because I overextended myself and underestimated my humanity. The gravity of the situation hits me and I have so much to do to get ready for Easter dinner that I said we would have at our house. I also have to have my daughter up at the church by 8:30 AM for choir practice, which means we have to leave by 8 AM. 8 AM on a Sunday comes early y’all no joke.
So I am up at 5:30 AM peeling carrots, shredding them in the food processor, putting my kitchen aid mixer to good work. Because Bless God I was going to make a low carb sugar-free homemade carrot cake no matter the cost. (Disclaimer: the cake pictured in this post IS NOT the one I made. It’s a picture of a cake my Mom made a few years ago on my birthday. No pictures were taken of the cake I made, thank God.) I also was going to make a cucumber dill salad for Easter which called for mayonnaise. I have been making my own mayo for years and usually can whip it up in 2 minutes flat. It took me three tries to make it Sunday morning. Turns out the avocado oil I was using to make it was bad. It was like everything I did was not going the way I had intended and I was just getting frustrated. Which means I got to church feeling frustrated because half the things I needed to get done weren’t done and I wasted a bunch of time doing things that I didn’t really need to do. Which means I didn’t have time to properly do my hair, so I didn’t like the way I looked and I didn’t want to have our pictures made. So I have zero pictures of me with my family from Easter this year. Zero. I was just a hot mess. I was mad because I felt the world was against me in just wanting to have a nice Easter dinner yet I had made it almost impossible on myself to do so. I was fighting me, not everyone else. I was the one who needed resurrecting.
My parents and daughter managed to get their pictures made and came out so lovely!
We came home from church and while dinner was wonderful, the carrot cake was a total bomb. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t good. Or as my dad so politely told me after he so graciously ate his entire piece, he wouldn’t recommend I fix that recipe ever again. Thanks Dad. Honesty is always the best policy.
Then we took naps, watched Tim Hawkins, had a good laugh, broke some cascarones over each others heads and life carried on.
After my Easter emotions kind of calmed down and I sat down to process everything, I thought why didn’t I just understand the message that everyone around me was trying to tell me? Slow down. Just buy the chocolate cake at Costco loaded with sugar and carbs. Buying your own mayonnaise won’t get you kicked you out of the Super Mom’s club either. I cannot do it all. Everything is not always going to be sugar-free, low carb and homemade. You have to stop trying to be everywhere, accomplish all things and be all things to all people. But the message got lost in translation because of me.
Working on slowing down, not trying to do it all and living in the present is a struggle for me at times. I know it is a huge growth opportunity for me.
“If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present…. Gratefully.” – Maya Angelou
Writing helps me to work through these growth opportunities. Even though writing can come from a place of vulnerability, it can also be a very liberating experience, freeing you of thoughts and emotions that were not meant to be held onto. I hope in my transparency of my struggles that I am somehow helping others too, even if it’s just to have a good chuckle at my expense. So next Holiday, I am not going to fix a recipe I have never fixed before and if I don’t have time… I am just going to do as my mother told me to do and buy the cake! Maybe then I will be able to fix my hair, take pictures and be present.