Kurt Cobain’s birthday this past Thursday–he would have been 47

I wonder how the rest of the band members feel on this day (February 20th). I wonder how his family feels. I wonder what it was like to have the stomach pains that he endured, created or given.

Do they drag out the old sad stories? Do they work extra hard to keep them put away?

I wonder how Neal Young feels about Cobain quoting his song at the very end of his life:

“My, my, hey, hey,
Rock and roll is here to stay
It’s better to burn out than to fade away
My my, hey hey”

I wish he had stayed with us.

And he didn’t fade away.

 

30 Seconds of Vulnerability–What a child can do

I love reading Twinfamy.com. This is a pretty good list, and makes me appreciate the exponential power of having two little, wonderful “folly machines” at once. 😉

What My Kids Do During the 30 Seconds It Takes Me to Leave the Room and Pee: A Non-Exhaustive List

Feminism: Blaming isn’t Helping

I saw this comment on Huffington Post and I’m glad it ties up the problem so succinctly. It’s in response to Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s question to Nick Adams about men in decline because of feminism.

“How, specifically, are men not allowed to “be manly”? Not allowed to get away with rape? Not allowed to beat up other men without being arrested? What are the benchmarks here….Are men not being allowed to play football? Hunt? Curse? Drink beer? Good grief. Tell us, Elisabeth – how are our men “less masculine”. Because I see men working hard every day. Being good husbands, fathers, and friends. They’re providing for their families. They’re always learning new technology. They’re traveling. They’re reading, creating, being imaginative. They’re enjoying life. So…tell us. How are they “not masculine’?”

We’re men, we’re men in tights

Here would be my response to Phyllis T (if I wanted to sign up for Huff Post, which I don’t):

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Thoughts on Sunday

Bartender please
Fill my glass for me
With the wine you gave Jesus that set him free
After three days in the ground

Bartender you see
The wine that’s drinking me
Came from the vine that strung Judas from the devil’s tree
It’s roots deep, deep in the ground

I’m on bended knee
Father, please

Dave, Bartender, with an atypical introduction

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Toddler Courage – Sonoma wine, Thanksgiving, & Jack Daniel’s Honey

This past Thanksgiving my family visited the Kunde Family Estate Winery in Sonoma. It was a beautiful place and we really enjoyed it. I was excited to see the “Biodynamic” growing policy signs around the property. I’m proud to be clued in on that and participating in that kind of business. But what first got me bent on visiting Kunde Winery was hearing about their caves.

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Thanksgiving: Reason for the Season

I follow Twinfamy because he’s a clever writer who inspires me. He’s a father, husband, and a scholar. He gives me a lot of hope and reminders that it is attainable, and helps me to stop making excuses not to try.

And his post about Thanksgiving is a good reminder to take note of the people you’re with and be thankful for what you have.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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Camping with a toddler is a GO!

I was blessed to go camping with my family–my wife and son–this past weekend. I want to highlight this great little getaway and my joy in being with them. Also, I ignored a warning against camping with a toddler (specifically a 2-year-old), and I’m glad I did.

 

Fire! I have made fire!

alexis / Pixabay

 

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Distortion 6: Magnification & Minimization

[Continuing my series on some of David Burns cognitive distortions. It helps me to really see them for what they are and how I apply them to my thinking. Hopefully you may have a “me too!” moment.]

I think our society is getting worse about this distorting heuristic, because we are continually building up a tolerance for mean-spirited and extreme language; consequently, our perceptions follow that language, our beliefs follow those perceptions, and so on.

“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill,” is intuitive and common enough to know what this distortion is about, but it becomes an even more sophisticated weapon. It goes beyond fear and worrying to enable humans to continue to keep people and things in the boxes they have mentally put them in, and then can go on with their regularly scheduled program. Lemme ‘splain.

Distorting certain aspects of a particular situation or memory of a situation such that they do not respond to objective reality is an easy way to incapacitate ourselves. They either inflate these aspects to make them more significant and powerful than they really are (Magnification), or they downplay aspects to make them less significant (Minimization).

We all just went through another Christmas, in one way or another. I think this Distortion is implemented heavily at Christmas time. How often have you had a family member tell you to remember, or forget, about a certain state of affairs simply “Because it’s Christmas”?

You: I don’t want to be around that Uncle. He is abusive, unrepentant, and brings everybody down.

Them: It’s Christmas, sweetie. Let it go this one day. Nobody wants to be around bitterness.

Feel free to leave your own example in the comments. 😉 How about this one?

You: How am I supposed to be thankful that you bought me sugar cookies. I’m diabetic.

Them: Oh, well, hey, at least I remembered to get you something this year. That’s progress!

 

Catastrophizing–focusing on the worst possible outcome, when really it’s just something uncomfortable–accompanies a lot of hand-wringing. I begin with a what if and then picture it playing out in my imagination, and then it just proceeds down the suckward slide (as one blogger put it.) “What will I do? Then they’ll be pissed. Then I’ll feel like crap. Then I’ll have guilt. Then they will tell their family and…” you get the picture.

 

Once again, the truth is always the best way to go. Maybe I can’t NOT imagine a catastrophe, but I CAN look at the situation and state what is really happening. I can’t even observe most of the stuff I’m worried about anyway! If I can keep that focus perhaps I can let go of my hangups and finally start making decisions.

How to fail in marriage

So you want a recipe for disaster? You want to sabotage your relationship with your number one? Sure, everyone believes they are going to succeed and be happy at the outset. Nobody really marries expecting to fail. But some of us get to a point where our pride just becomes far too important and suddenly seems to be a better lover. Here is a list of critical steps to unravel what is supposed to be the most important relationship in your life:

DON’T push yourself to make your spouse proud of you.
DO expect them to accept whatever issues from you no matter how bad it is.

DON’T seek out new things to put smiles on his or her face.
DO continually plan to do the same old same old. Your spouse should be no better than your old college roommates who never liked change, wanted to be left alone, and to be as messy and play as many video games as he wanted.

DON’T apologize sincerely or let your spouse vent.
DO plan exactly how to retaliate, get defensive about things beside the main point, and use sarcasm whenever possible.

DON’T let your spouse challenge your family. When they go up against your mom, they will lose every time.
DO compare your dysfunctional family systems to each other all the time, and let your family justify and coddle you and your problems while villainizing your spouse.

DON’T put your spouse’s well being ahead of your children.
DO use your children as weapons, collateral, allies, and bargaining pieces.

DON’T take them out on dates, adventures, and open-ended excursions where you don’t care about getting home at a certain time.
DO come home and take off the shoes and belt and let the family know you need “me time.”

DON’T worry about proving love anymore or doing what’s right because it’s right.
DO get defensive and tell him or her their love is “conditional” if they are going to hold you to the truth or to your own words.

DON’T repent.
DO apologize and move on. Shrug if necessary.

(*Even though I’m being facetiously ironic here, I have personal experience with these. I’m sure the list will be added to. May it be a warning sign. We don’t have to relive the mistakes of others.)

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Scarecrow of the Family

I realized today that I have long been nominated and enabled to be the family scarecrow.

Scarecrows have one job—one state of being—and that is to intimidate. They are to scare away the intruders who come to steal the crops. Unfortunately, they make us all sad for probably the same reason: once their bluff is called, they cannot fight. They cannot come down and take action. They become a joke when even the birds realize it’s just another perch.

I have stood long behind my family, silently, trying to ward off evil forces, but only as a façade.

I intend to keep getting down…