A has really started mimicing me lately. Mostly she just mimics noises–smacking lips, oohs, ahs, and chuckles are her favorite–but she will also mimic my facial expressions. Most of the time this is pretty humorous. For instance I crack up laughing when she tries to mimic me raspberrying her belly or clicking my tongue.
But she’s also starting to mimic my reaction to things. She will look to see how I react to something new before she decides what to do. This is making me stop and think about all my actions. What behaviors of mine do I want her to copy? More importantly, what do I want her to stay far away from?
Nobody is perfect, I know, and I definitely have a few flaws I do not want A picking up on. I think the biggest thing I don’t want her imbibing from me is my habitual tendency to overstress and worry about everything. I am one of the worst worriers on the planet. It’s gotten so bad lately I am very seriously considering finding a therapist or someone to talk to, because it’s starting to interfere with my quality of life and happiness.
I do not want A inheriting this from me, because our life is wonderful, and the things I worry about are pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. I want her to understand a little worry is okay, even natural, but it’s unhealthy if it reaches obsessive levels. After almost 27 years I’m finally learning this.
Another thing I don’t want to pass on to A is my master grudge holding ability. In all honesty, I am probably one of the more forgiving people on the planet. It takes A LOT to get on my (real) bad side. Mostly I need to feel angry for a little bit and I’m good to go. I don’t really like being upset with people I love so I let it go relatively quickly.
But there is a line (it’s a fine line and drawn in the sand but it’s there), and if you cross it I am. Never. Going. To. Forgive. You. Ever. This is pretty terrible of me, I know. I will (and have) completely erased people out of my life. Did they deserve it? Maybe, sometimes you need to cut certain people out, but I hold anger and resentment for a very long time. Probably the rest of their natural born life. I’m not proud of this, and I want A to be a little more zen about life and people. It’s totally okay to get angry or upset if someone hurts you, and in some cases, you do need to let those people go, but holding onto hate forever only hurts you, not them.
Lastly, I have a tendency towards negativity that is probably my biggest character flaw. This is John’s NUMBER ONE biggest pet peeve about me. It’s probably my biggest pet peeve about myself. And it’s stupid because I have so much to be happy about and thankful for, so why am I such an Eeyore about things? I don’t know. I’m sure much of it is a learned trait–not that I am surrounded by supremely unhappy people, by any means. I grew up believing there is always a “better”, and you should try to achieve it. I often find myself in despair that I’m not “doing better” (whatever that means) yet. This, of course, is connected to the stress/worry bit, creating a pretty depressing cycle of self-deprecation.
I want to teach A that happiness and contentment are choices you have to make everyday, which will be difficult if I’m not making that choice myself. While it’s cute that she’s mimicing me, I want her to mimic the right things. You can’t always pick out what they will pick up on, so the better option is to make sure they’re all good choices.