The Casting Dock

An honest appraisal: the non-rosy side.

I have read a few different and (I believe) unassociated blogs in the past couple weeks all on the same theme: authentic, take-the-good-with-the-bad blogging. These authentic self-portraits were intended to show that in between the rosy pictures, cute kid anecdotes, and homerun outfits posted on our window-into-our-lives blogs, there are self-defeating thoughts, bratty kid moments, and days when it feels like stress and discouragement have the edge on joy and contentment  in this battle of life.  Essentially they are intended to combat this culture of unfair comparison in which we live by painting both sides of the story. I’ve appreciated them, as well as the general message of authenticity, so much so in fact that I have decided to join the fold.

SO here’s a little bit about me. An honest appraisal of my not-so-great side and some of the things that I struggle with. Maybe I’ll give some of the good later…you know, just to balance me out.

1. I take pride in the fact that I eat normal food. Definitely on the healthy side of normal, for sure, but over-all pretty normal and not obsessive. If pizza’s for dinner, you can betcha I’ll have some. It annoys me when girls are suuuuuuper picky about what they eat. More so, it really annoys when they talk incessantly about food. And their weight. And food. And their weight. It really annoys me. But to be honest, I have the food mental tally going on in the back of my head too. And I am just as sensitive and self-conscious as the next girl about a couple pound swing on the scale. JUST. AS. AWARE. And in some ways, just as mentally obsessed. Hypocrite much?

2. Sometimes certain people annoy me by no fault of their own. I am able to rationally recognize that they have done nothing whatsoever to justify it and yet I feel that pesky little emotion: annoyance. And then I beat myself up with guilt for feeling that pang. Not. Helpful. I hate that about myself.

3. I have a really hard time with change. I think that’s just inherent in my personality. I feel like some of my close friendships are shifting these days–natural pace of life stuff–but it’s been really hard for me to accept and adapt to nonetheless. I just feel a sadness and sense of loss, the recognition of which has been a near daily part of my life these days.

4. I want my life to bear witness to the transformative power of prayer and I claim that prayer in general is important to me, yet the way I spend my time doesn’t indicate that I really and truly value it. For the most part, I don’t buy the I just haven’t had time excuse as a reasonable excuse for anything, really…we all make time for the things that are most important to us. Period. It’s more like It wasn’t important enough for me to make the time. That’s a sobering thought for me when it comes to prayer, my proclaimed values, and my daily time log.

5. I keep trying to think of something on the negative side of brutally honest to say about Jerry and me, but I honestly can’t come up with anything. We’ve been married less than three years so cruising is a good sign, I suppose, but he really is a doll and we get along so well. Occasionally we miscommunicate or need to re-evaluate some aspect of our marriage, for sure, but nothing in particular comes to mind. He’s easy. We laugh. I love him.

6. I am a judger. And I am especially sensitive and opinionated about what I perceive to be poor parenting. Poor teaching is a doozy too, as are overly dependent couples, but mostly parenting. I don’t have kids and I’m well aware that my perceptions will be wayyyyy off when I do get there, but man, do I have opinions now!?! And they are far too judgmental and arrogant.

7. Even nearly 20 years after the initial split, I still sometimes think about how my life would have been different if my parents had stayed together. And sometimes I have to consciously decide to not envy my friends’ nicely intact families, mostly because I really do believe that every family has their stuff…and because there have been so many silver linings and revelations of God’s grace along this path, even though it seemed the lonelier path at times.

8. I define myself in large part by what I achieve. It’s a problem.

OK, that’s enough for now. Certainly not an exhaustive list, but just a taste to show that I know I have faults, things that sadden me, and aspects of myself that need serious pruning. It ain’t always rosy. But I genuinely believe life is better that way.

10 comments

1 noche { 02.17.11 at 10:06 pm }

Taking a good look at oneself and all that that entails is a good thing, usually sobering, but nonetheless a good thing…..every once in a while. Isn’t it Paul in the bible that says why do I do the things I don’t want to do?—paraphrased. I say, “Pick one thing that you really want to change, ask the good Lord to help you change it or better still ask Him to change it for you (since it is He in us that creates change) and watch what happens.” So, why don’t I do that? Maybe I should change my name to Paula!!!Maybe I’m human and need to focus on what I like in me more than what I don’t like?? Pondering thoughts.

2 noche { 02.17.11 at 10:07 pm }

P.S. Love the visual….you are a born teacher…..someday!

3 Kathleen { 02.18.11 at 12:10 am }

Love reading your blog Lisa. Thankful for your thoughtfulness, fun, honesty and joy. And yes, all families have their “stuff” because we’re all human; plenty of opportunities to learn and grow and fortunately be transformed because of the positive and negative stuff.

4 Rhonda { 02.18.11 at 1:05 pm }

1. Awesome that you eat mostly healthy. I haven’t quite conquered that one yet. I find that the ones that need to lose the weight the least are the ones that go on and on about food and their need to shed a few pounds…can’t quite figure that one out!
2. I can’t relate to this one as I pretty much don’t get annoyed by people easily. I can’t think of anyone that annoys me for which I have no reason. I have heard others state that they deal with this though..so you are far from alone. My struggles just happen to be in other areas.
3. I think there are a rare few that would hold up their hands and say they love change. For the most part, I think it is normal to struggle with change.
4. Boy can I relate to this one! Excuses come so easily and action is so hard to find.
5. Love that you and Jerry are so compatible! You both are incredibly blessed.
6. Parenting is the toughest job in the world. I would encourage you to loosen up on the judgment because there is no book exhaustive enough to teach someone how to be a good parent. Just pray the grace of God over the families you see where parenting skills are a bit lacking!
7. No doubt your life would have been different if your parents had of not split. God’s intent is for marriages to stay together. Divorce was never part of the covenant of marriage. Having said that, God has a way of working all things out for your good and part of who you are today is a direct result of Him bringing you through the hardship of divorce.
8. Define yourself in the attributes that matter to God. That is the measuring stick that counts.

Love your vulnerability. Great post.

5 Lindsey { 02.18.11 at 2:40 pm }

Love this post! Thanks for sharing Lisa! It’s so good to evaluate ourselves and our weaknesses and continue to work on bettering ourselves. I appreciate your honesty! :)

6 bryan { 02.19.11 at 10:36 pm }

>>7. Even nearly 20 years after the initial split, I still sometimes think about how my life would have been different if my parents had stayed together.

That’s interesting that you think about that because if you consider the quantifiable ramifications of their divorce, especially on you since you were so young, it’s very hard to create a scenario where your life today would resemble your actual life today (unless you believe you were destined to make all the choices that you did and your environment played no role in your decisions)…

When I look back it looks plain that if they stay together: we stay in W Austin, Mom never goes back to work, never moves to RR, never takes her job, we continue as a ‘catholic’ family… you go to public school in Eanes, never meet any of your RRCA friends… Do you go to Gordon?? Hard to see how or why you would choose Gordon coming out of WHS (how you would even hear of it, they didn’t exactly have a booth at College Day when I was in HS)… And if you don’t go to Gordon (after being a lifelong Catholic and Westlake grad it seems like you wouldn’t/couldn’t end up there), you would have never met Jerry…

If Mom and Dad were still together I can’t even imagine what you’d be like. Your course was altered most dramatically. Like I said, I can’t picture what you’d be like, in personality and interests, if you stayed in W Austin. I think it would have played out pretty differently…

And, no divorce, I bet no issue w/ #8 either, though that’s a guess.

I wonder how you imagine your last 20 years in the “staying together” scenario…

7 bryan { 02.19.11 at 10:49 pm }

Just to clarify:

I am not disparaging Gordon but saying that WHS is not the type of place that is likely to steer grads there or attract attention from Gordon’s recruiting. There were a lot of materials from Colleges and Universities in the Career Center, but I don’t remember ever seeing anything from any school with a profile similar to Gordon’s, never mind Gordon itself.

In fact, if given an over/under of 1 on the total number of WHS (since the school opened in ’69) graduates that went on to Gordon College, I’d take the under.

8 Little Lauren { 02.20.11 at 3:15 am }

My responses to your statements:
1. Can we still be friends?
2. Me too! Case and point: how I feel about EVERY SINGLE PERSON who could be classified as a hipster. Always annoyed.
3. Me too. As you well know.
4. I hear you, girl.
5. Yeah, there really is nothing negative about you and Jerry, individually or collectively. Actually, that’s annoying. Add that to #2 ;)
6. I like to think that you are very good at “discerning”… “judging” just has such a negative connotation…
7. I think about that, too.
8. We all define ourselves by what we achieve, one way or another. One of the many reasons of why we need grace <3

9 why i’m gonna be an awesome mom, part 1: indoor essentials | The Casting Dock { 02.21.11 at 10:57 am }

[...] though it’s still a long ways off, I do think (oftentimes too judgmentally as I shared in my last post…) about parenting quite often. I’m curious to see my general style as a parent, mostly [...]

10 Alexis { 03.02.11 at 12:38 am }

… and this is the beautiful stuff-of-life-authenticity we were talking about tonight! I love that you took the dive into the not-so lovely and revealed some more of your fabulous self. Lauren is right – Grace is needed in so many ways. and when we call them out, name things, we give meaning to them – and give greater depth to our growing, ever changing lives.

thank you for the glimpse into your life…

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