If You Don’t Like it… Okay? Then What?

A common conversation I have with my teenage daughter is … Where do you want to go to dinner?

Now I’m sure that in most families it is “WHAT do you want for dinner?” but after my divorce I have gotten myself into a bad habit of eating out or Doordashing my way through life and my budget.

You could blame it on my anxiety for grocery shopping, competing priorities or busy schedule… but honestly most of the time it comes strictly down to convenience and desire to do anything else.

So for a long time the conversation used to go like this (tell me if you have heard / lived this before):

Where do you want to go to dinner?

I don’t know. I’ll have whatever.

How about Chipotle?

Nah I had that yesterday.

Olive Garden?

I don’t feel like Italian

Taco Bell?

Ugh that always makes my stomach hurt….

WHERE . DO . YOU . WANT . TO . GO?

By this point I am SUPER annoyed. I just named 3 options and all are turned down. Not to mention most of the time while having this conversation I am hangry and sitting in the car at a Stop sign deciding which way to turn.

Not the best Mom moment and really doesn’t set a good vibe for the rest of the night. So after MANY of these conversations I stepped back and thought “What do I want from this interaction?”

That’s an easy answer… I want to grab food somewhere both of us want to go and enjoy the night with my BFF. This isn’t being accomplished by our interaction. Instead it’s angering both of us and we end up at McDonald’s sulkily eating McNuggets with Hot Mustard sauce in our car.

So we both agreed to a new rule:

If you turn down an idea that someone gives then offer an alternate option to meet the shared goal

So now our dinner conversations typically go like this:

Where do you want to go to dinner?

I don’t know. I’ll have whatever.

How about Chipotle?

Nah I had that yesterday. Hmmm… how about Olive Garden?

Uhh… I’m trying a new budget this week. Piada sound good?

Deal!

So I am going to apply this logic to a very hot topic right now… The Black Lives Matter movement. A topic I am NOT an expert in nor do I claim I am. I am just a person who is trying to do my small part to help with equality for all the people I love.

I’m not here to debate about the solutions to equality that are being shown in the media or the demands of the Black Lives Matter Organization. I’ll leave social media comments and Fox News / CNN to debate that.

To all the people who I love that continue to fight – I am awed by your focus and choices that you make everyday. I’m inspired and will try my best to clumsily follow your lead and to do what I can.

To all the people who I love who disagree about the manner in which you see the movement being implemented (protests, kneeling, anger at the justice system, etc) I may not understand your opinion but I am grateful for you and the other ways you make my life joyful.

I also want to challenge you:

If you turn down an idea that someone gives (protests, kneeling, anger at the justice system) then offer an alternate option to meet the shared goal (equality for all)

Maybe it’s as simple as…

Having a Frank Conversations – Talk with someone you love in an honest manner about their experience with racial injustice – I did this and was shocked about the things I learned and heard. Good people I love experiencing things that have never happened to me. It’s a lot easier to use a us versus them when you don’t get to know any of “them” and “their” experiences.

Questioning Your Racial Biases (we all have them)

This one is huge and something I am still learning… the below is a good tip.

“One of the tools we teach people is called substitution. We ask people to substitute one person for another and ask themselves would I still feel the same way? Would I still respond the same way? Would I still have cast aside that resume?” Barnard says, “One anthropologist called it learning to do a bit of internal spying, to check yourself and think: why do I feel that way about someone?”

https://www.boyden.com/media/checking-your-blind-spot-ways-to-find-and-fix-unconscious-bias-7627148/index.html

I had a reaction the other day that both surprised and saddened me. I was listening to a podcast Shotgun Annie that was frank conversation between two black women about race. I started to listen to understand (it’s like you’re a fly on the porch). Then I found myself having a guttural reaction when one woman was talking about how she would protect her kids.. I was like…. wait… what? Now you’re going too far…

Then I immediately checked my emotions and asked myself wait why am I having this reaction? This woman is speaking about herself wanting to protect her kids. My white girlfriends and myself have said this same type of sentiment about protecting our kids and I don’t go into wow that’s too far. After pausing the podcast, putting myself in check and asking myself further questions… I realized my reaction was because one she is black, two she is a woman, and three she’s angry.

I identified (and am working on) my hidden biases, this one and others. I’m a work in progress.

Praying for Guidance and Direction – This is a complex issue and there are heated sides on the solution. It’s hard to identify what the right answer can be when you have so many passionate people telling you one way or other. However, no matter who you are praying to, most religions are based on loving your fellow man (and woman). Pray on how you can best do that. I don’t claim to know what your answer will be… but I do know when I ask humbly for guidance with no tie to the result I tend to get answers delivered to me through the universe ♥

This is the Civil Rights Movement of our generation. It’s up to you to decide what side of history you want to be on. It can no longer be an excuse that you chose to do nothing because you didn’t like the options given to you. Know that inaction is a choice. Do something… anything.. even if the only goal of your change is you (I mentioned above how I’m changing). That’s okay.
Changed people do great things and become the changers of the world. Go out there and fight for the people I love… yourself and others. 💛

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.