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Monday, May 25, 2015

Big Boys Don't Cry

     Emotions, we all have them, some we celebrate others not so much. Emotions are usually divided into positive and negative. Examples of positive emotions: love, happiness, joy, hope, enthusiasm, trust, gratitude. Examples of negative emotions: fear, anger, guilt, jealousy, worry, grief. These are just a few examples of the many emotions that we all can experience. If we feel a certain emotion whether positive or negative, it is still our emotion and it is real. For me it is this realness that makes all emotions valuable.

     Anger is considered a negative emotion. But if left bottled up anger can cause real harm to a person's well being. On the other hand if your anger gets out of control and you hurt another person either verbally or physically then that's not OK. But still it is a legitimate emotion that hits us all at one time or an other.
     A number of years ago when we were moving, my husband accidentally broke part of a mirror. It was a full length beveled mirror my mother had given me. He was being careful but when he set the mirror down on the ground to get a better grip it hit a small rock and a corner broke off. Needless to say I got very upset. My husband defended himself saying, "I didn't do it on purpose". I angrily replied, "I know you didn't do it on purpose. I'm not mad at you, I'm angry that the mirror broke. I have a right to be angry about that". Now my husband can be pretty smart at times. This was one of those times, he shut his mouth and didn't say another word. I fumed for awhile and then I got over it. Because in the big scheme of things a broken corner or even mirror isn't the end of the world. I hung the mirror at our new home where it remains today.

     Have you used an emoticon recently in a email or Facebook post? When you write to someone it can be difficult sometimes to convey the way you're feeling. The creation of emoticons has helped us give people a little better idea of the tone of our message. But really nothing beats talking to someone in person; to hear the tone of their voice; to see the expressions on their face. This is what makes face to face interaction more valuable. Negative emotions in others can make us uncomfortable. Many times we just want them to go away.
     Crying is one of those emotions. We can cry for many different reasons, here's an interesting article on Why We Cry. When someone is crying sometimes our first instinct is to try to get them to stop and to feel better. Maybe instead we should be saying, "Go ahead and cry, get it all out".

    One day when our son was about three years old I was going to the post office. I don't remember what but something had upset him and he started to cry. I carried him into the building, as we stood in line he continued to cry. The lady behind me said to my son in a cheerful voice, "Big boys don't cry". I looked at her and said, "They do if they have something to cry about". Now I know that she meant well but it still annoyed me. First of all he was only three, far from being a "big boy". But more important I believed then and still do that boys/men have as much right to cry as girls/women. Implying that a child's feelings are wrong is not helpful.
     We need to accept that we all have a wide range of emotions, it's what makes us human. The positive ones are easier to deal with. It's the negative ones that can get us into trouble. We shouldn't necessarily try to ignore or suppress them but we also shouldn't let them get out of control. Showing no emotion is no better then going overboard with every emotion. How we each express our emotions is influenced by numerous factors: culture, gender, family dynamics, etc. Many studies have been done on this subject and I'm sure there have been papers written about almost every emotion. 
     For me helping a child learn to deal with negative emotions is very important. I don't think a child should be told they're bad if they feel anger, jealousy, fear, etc. But rather help the child to understand (appropriate to age) why they are having these feelings. And then help them to learn constructive ways to deal with them. Sweeping something under the carpet is never helpful. I know it is easier said then done but we must learn to face the hard things head on.

Our son at three, 1974

A thought to ponder: "Feelings are much like waves, we can't stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf."                  Jonatan Martensson

Participating in: Let's Talk MommyShare the Joyl

Monday, May 11, 2015

Garden Therapy: A Deep Subject

     As I mentioned in my last Garden Therapy post we have a large lot, about a half acre.  We live in the city so we receive city water. But because we have such a large area to keep watered we decided to put in a well.  The state allows home wells as long as they're only used for irrigation ( otherwise the water must be tested). All we had to do was pay a small fee and fill out a form which also showed where the well would be located.
     That was the next task, figure out where to put the well. After walking around the yard I decided on a spot about half way between the back of the house and the very back of the yard and half way from side to side. I thought that's where it would look best and we'd hopefully be able to water the whole back yard. Of course we had to hit some water to pump.

     We then had a fellow named Steve come with his backhoe to dig a hole.  Before that my husband had purchased a 21 foot (we were thinking positive) metal culvert with a 24 inch diameter. He took a pick ax and made numerous holes in the side of the culvert.
     Steve started digging. At seven feet water began gushing. My husband's first thought was that they'd hit a water pipe. He quickly realized that wasn't possible as there were no pipes in the area.  Steve continued to dig with water pouring into the hole. Finally at 15 feet he had to quit digging. There was so much water that the sides of the hole kept caving in, he couldn't go any deeper.
     So we put the culvert up right into the hole, leaving 2 feet above ground, the excess was cut off. We filled around the culvert with gravel  then topped with dirt. We now had a 15 foot well with lots of water. But the big question was would it water our big yard and for how long?
     That was over twenty years ago and the well has never gone dry. We can water for hours at a time all summer. Even several years ago when our area experienced a drought and the city water was put on restrictions, our well continued to flow.

     A two foot piece of metal culvert sticking out of the ground with a pump sitting next to it wasn't very attractive or safe. So my husband built a wishing well around it.

     A friend who is a stone mason did the rock work. He used stones that came from the hole they dug for the foundation of our house. You might have noticed the name on the well. One of the requirements when you register your well with the state is to give it a name and number. My sign is Aquarius, the water bearer, and we were married in 1966. Seemed like the perfect choice.

     Many times when we tell people about our well, how I picked the spot and how much water we get. They will tell me I should take up water witching. I just laugh and say it was just dumb luck.

Here's a well I built recently with the help of our grandson, for our fairy garden.

A thought to ponder: "The grass isn't greener on the other side. It's green where you water it."