Peace in Disagreements

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This holiday season turned out to be a lot more stressful than I remember other years having been. This year involved a lot of discussion. And such discussions led to disagreements. Getting together during the rise of omicron led those in our family to ask a lot of questions:

  • What’s safe?
  • What isn’t safe?
  • Should we still be worrying about all this?
  • Should we test people before gathering?
  • When should we test?
  • Whom should we test?
  • Where can we get tests?
  • Are rapid tests reliable for the omicron variant?
  • Has anyone been exposed?
  • What day did you get exposed?
  • Who’s vaccinated?
  • Who’s been boosted?
  • What is the best venue for our gathering?
  • What are we serving, from a food perspective? (just kidding…..I didn’t ask that, but I was certainly wondering!)

Here’s the thing: questions are great. Questions can lead to answers. Answers can bring knowledge. Sometimes answers bring comfort. But when family is involved, things can get dicey. Because we love our family members. And while we want what’s best for everyone, we can disagree about what’s best.

Because we’re different. We have different opinions. We have different beliefs. And some of us, like, ahem, little old me, don’t always have an answer.

I’m not a scientist, a medical professional, an epidemiologist, a politician, a religious leader, or much of an authority on anything except soup (Truly, people, I make a mean soup. Come over any time!)

To say I cried a little this Christmas season would be an understatement. I cried, I yelled, I lost sleep. I let my confusion, fear, and disappointment in disappointing others RULE. I don’t like when people disagree. Former ultimate people-pleaser speak: I just want us all to get along!!!

Finding peace in this headspace was a challenge.

So, what did I do?

I let it go.

I said, ok, we disagree, and that’s ok. It has to be ok. This is what we need right now. The path is disagreement. If God wanted us to agree all the time, we would have been all the same. Which, if I were choosing, I would have made all of us Oprah. (I know, I know: agree to disagree….but I love Oprah. I also love Sonia Sotomayor. I could have gone with that choice, too, since she has the work ethic of a god.)

I breathed. I baked. I cooked. I tried to do the things I love to do and kept going.

And you know what? I found my way back to peace. I always find my way after a little time and effort.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace?

Peace at the Bryn Coed

My favorite tree is just on the side of this photo! Even her bare branches are quite beautiful.

With warmer weather this December, our little family has managed to spend a fair share of our holiday week outside.

Instead of snow we’ve got rain and fog.

“The clouds are low and spread!” LM2 shouts from his view in the backseat. Our own meteorologist seems to know more than the Alexa App these days. I treasure his observations and choice of words.

Wednesday we made it to the Bryn Coed, a preserve close to our house that boasts many beautiful trees, but one in particular that is estimated to be between 100-150 years old.

Hubs downloaded a geocaching app, handed over his cell and let the kids run free while we enjoyed the hike around the preserve. Like little treasure hunters, my kids were SPRINTING toward dirty, crusty, rusty coffee cans hidden in the woods, following a little green dot on the screen.

This was the most peaceful thing we’ve done all week. I love the Bryn Coed in and of itself, but to have the kids completely amused and thrilled by a race toward hidden treats was icing on the cake.

If you haven’t checked out geocaching or this beautiful preserve, I recommend either or. It feels like that Time Travelers Wife movie, where something is left behind for others to discover. Once you hold the find in your hands, we can only wonder about those to discover the caches before us. It’s an inspired little practice. It was fun and silly and interesting and made for a peaceful afternoon.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace in David Grohl’s Energy

Lately we’ve been listening to a lot of grunge in the house. After picking up David Grohl’s memoir The Storyteller, Tales of Life and Music, I can’t get enough 90s alternative. I’ve been blasting Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Goo Goo Dolls, REM, Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, and Radiohead, to name a few.

Pandora and Amazon Music have helped me put together a really fun playlist.

I cannot remember the last time I listened to any of this music. I was a teenager a long time ago, and my musical tastes have shifted as different kinds of music have become available, not to mention my need to play “kiddie appropriate music,” which mostly consists of Cocomelon, Baby Shark, and Going on a Bear Hunt.

Filling the house with this new energy has been enthralling, fun, exciting, and so much more. There is a nostalgia and familiarity that comes with listening to the head-banger music I appreciated in my youth. But, oddly, it has also brought in room for peace.

I’ve shown the kids a few videos of David Grohl drumming. I find his presence to be so focused and connected with the energy of his music that after watching, I’m inspired. And feeling inspired always brings peace.

Check out this video of Grohl playing drums for Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. LM3 has dubbed this the “wet hair man video.” Grohl gets so into the music, he’s sweating in no time, his wet hair tossing back and forth with the rhythm of his movements.

It’s incredible.

Not only is the music itself remarkable. Watching Grohl connect to his notes and beat the $hit out of his drums shows how present he is. Nothing exists but the drums. And in full presence, there is nothing but peace.

In our home this week, we’re recapturing the peace found in music, without only listening to soft “plinky plinky” music, as LM2 calls it. You know what I mean, the Kenny G, the spa water trickle music that puts us to sleep. We can find peace in the chaotic, crazed, syncopated beats of rock music. And it’s been a pretty cool experience.

What brought you peace? Share the peace!

Peace in “F*ck It”

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

When life starts to get stressful with a lot of avenues and choices and decisions, I like to think I’m on the precipice of a “f*ck it” moment.

In a more mature, spiritually conscious realm of thinking, one might call this a “surrender” moment. But I’m a New Yorker. New Yorkers curse. And the familiar is comforting. Evidenced by my father’s thinking that s*it and d*mn are not curse words, merely colorful figurative language. He’s been corrected in his line of thinking many times, to no avail.

So, I use foul language. I drop f bombs from time to time. (Read: I do it all the time, but I’m trying to be conscious that not everyone approves of this, so I’m sugar coating.)

Cursing feels good. Because it reminds me of a time when I lived in a place where it was commonplace. Before 3 kids and all that comes with raising a family.

I had an “f-it” moment this week. I am always moving toward peace. I seek the calm. I seek the tranquil, but sometimes it’s hard to find.

I want to make decisions and think things through. I want to rationalize. I want to find reasons for things and tell myself a story about “the way the world works.” There’s just one problem with all of that: sometimes the stories in my head don’t line up with reality. Sometimes that isn’t the way the world works. Sometimes no one knows how the world really works, or things change and the norms established have become a thing of the past.

So I have to say f*ck it.

I have to give up, give in, and let life show me the direction. I have to surrender, lean into faith and let the chips fall. I have to be quiet and patient and trust that life will work out, because so far, it has.

Every. Single. Time.

So, F*ck It.

This week, ever since I said those two precious, magical little words, I’ve found peace.

What brought you peace today? Share the peace.