Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Catholic Guilt and the Ugly Face Phenomenon

As part of the baby preparations, I emptied out my cedar/memory chest so we could move it out of the nursery.  I came across a million scrapbooks and journals.  On the first page of the first journal I opened it seemed like a confession.  I was 11 years old.  Martha threw something at Kathryn, I dropped a bottle of salad dressing into a basket of clean laundry (which I washed again), I had a spelling test and I made a bunch of mistakes.  I thought, "Man, I was hard on myself."

Then later I opened a seminary journal, I was 17 years old.  I expected to find my thoughts on whatever scripture we had been studying but as I opened it to the first page I read, "I forgot to say my prayers this morning."  I always joke with people that I'm half catholic because my mom used to be catholic.  I think this guilt I have displayed all through my life is further proof of that.  Catholic guilt is hereditary despite what Chewy may say.

So I'm 35 weeks pregnant now.  I can tell you that my back hurts no matter what I do, I pee more, I have begun to feel contractions from time to time (apparently normal), but even with all this I'm scared for the baby to actually come.  I'll be fine, I know, everyone has told me I'll do great and not to stress, but how do you not stress about suddenly being responsible for a little life that will be completely dependent on you?  Or for labor pain- yeah, how do you not stress about that?

Anyway, the emotions still run high, I am more cranky than before though my goal this week has been to be better about road rage.  Here's why.  Last Saturday, Chewy and I were at BJs.  It was cold and rainy and so he went to get the car and I stood in the lobby - people watching.  An employee was out there in the cold and rain collecting carts and bringing them inside.  He was coming down a hill in the parking lot with a whole line of carts.  A woman in an SUV starts backing out of her spot.  He waves his arm in the air to get her attention so she will stop.  She does, and then I watch as she turns toward the store watching the guy with the carts go by.  She is talking to her passenger, hands gesturing in anger and indignation and a face all like:

And of course my face went

and I thought, what an ugly face to make. Is that what I look like when I'm cranky on the road?  Therefore, I resolved to be better about my attitude on the road (and to not use my ugly face - especially when judging people for using theirs).  It's been really hard this week but I think I've done alright.  I've hit traffic every morning and I keep telling myself to keep calm and listen to my audiobook.

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