I didn't realize until today how much I really have missed journaling. All day long I've been thinking of things I need to write and record; I haven't thought that way in years. Writing for me was such an outlet, such a way of decompressing at the end of the day and thinking things over, letting them roll around and around in my head until my brain and heart digested it.
I had a few lessons this morning, two young girls who are "advanced beginners". They ride the same horses each lesson, we do almost the same lesson each week because they come on a twice-monthly basis and that kind of infrequency is difficult to progress quickly. But they have made slow and steady progress and they are gaining momentum as their confidence grows. Today one girl rode at the canter without hands, and the other girl rode at the canter at the longest she's done yet.
These are the types of lessons that I usually try to avoid, because I really like to be able to push a student hard and work thier butts off, but these girls need a lot of praise and encouragement for the littlest things. I sounded almost drunk out there this morning as I yelled, "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD JOOOOOOB!!! THAT WAS AMAAAAAAAAAZZING!!! WOO-HOO!!! WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT! I LOVE IT! MORE OF THAT!! THAT'S IT, YOU GOT IT! LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!!"
So many things in my life need soooooo much encouragement. JJ, for instance, has a bucket labeled "affirmation" but the hole at the bottom is just as large as the opening. It takes a hydrant to pump affirmation into that child's life at a constant, aggressive rate. Just typing this last sentence alone, I counted 8 times he said "Mama?" to me because he wanted me to notice that he was using the carrot peeler and wanted me to say, "Hey, you're doing a good job, man!" Which is an improvement from what I sometimes feel like saying, which would be something like, "SHUT UP! I'm trying to type and have some quiet time here!"
I went outside to find James to ask him something when I was making lunch, and I eventually located him in his shed, or the "man cave" as he calls it. I didn't think he was in there at first because the door was shut, usually he props it open to get air flow in there while he's working. However, when I opened the door I realized why he'd had it shut, because he had installed a a/c window unit. I took one look and said, no way, that is not happening. Thus began a huge argument over it. He said, "I'm only going to run it for a little bit, every once and a while." I said, "Our electric bill is already too high, we can't afford anything more, let alone the face that you never do just a little, every once and a while... you are no way near that moderate."
The fight went south and ended at a stalemate with an ultimatum from me of turn it off and take it down, and from his end by just shutting down and clamming up. We still have not revisited it and doubt it will be any time soon, because that is not a strong department for him. I am still so mad I have half a mind to take a bat out there and smash the unit to a pulp so it won't work at all, thus ending our problem. But the other half a mind says that I want him to be responsible and make the decision on his own.
So JJ and I went to the Y this afternoon, I took him to the one on Bloomingdale because they have a fun little kids' pool with water slides and other cool stuff. There was an old man creeper there who purposefully and intentionally stayed around where JJ and I were playing and doing stuff, even when we left to go to the other pool he went over there and then came back when we did. I think I have a pretty hot body and all, but seriously, the old man thing is just a tad creepy.
JJ went down a few of the little water slides at first and then he went down with me on the bigger one. Then he went a few times on his own, made me go few more times with him again and then the last bit he went down on his own again. He started screaming the whole way down because there was a little girl who screamed in front of him, so he thought that was cool. His first time down when he screamed, he emerged at the bottom and shouted, "IT WORKS!" haha. Yes, JJ, I never doubted your volume control, ever.
I did chores while JJ napped, and then I set up the computer monitor on the treadmill so I could run while JJ was still asleep. If there is one area of my house that I avoid like the black plague, it is under the computer desk. The sheer volume of wires, plugs, cords, cables is enough, but then you throw them into a blender and viola! That's what it looks like under my computer desk. But that's what I had to fight with to plug in new cords and unplug others, move a half a dozen wires and cables and drag everything over to the workout room, but it was either that and watch a movie while running, or stare at a blank wall. But 4.5 miles later JJ woke up and I was happy I got that much accomplished, anyways.
So yes, back to the bucket labeled "affirmation" thing, I don't think I'm that much different than JJ. I think I need lots of affirmation too and I get jack-squat. I give to everybody and everything, go out of my way to do more and more, and I get nothin'. Notta. Zip. Not from my husband, not from people who should. What does fill my heart is at night when JJ and I go to bed and he reaches over and says with a big smile, "Mama." and hugs me and kissed me multiple times. And suddenly I find my bucket labeled "affirmation" full to the top! :)