CRS can be debilitating

Okay. I need to come clean to all my friends and family. I suffer from the little known disease called CRS. Yes, I can admit it now that I’m more secure in who I am (or think I should be).

The first time I heard about CRS was from a friend of mine, Terry Cross, a retired Navy guy at church. We were just joking around and, BAM, Terry admitted he had it. Wow! I thought I was the only one, but soon noticed that it ran in my family, but mostly with the older folks. If that was the case, I thought, I’d be fine until I get older. Nope. It happens to younger folks, too; it only gets worse when you get older.

Then I began to do so research and learned it’s more prevalent than I originally thought. It affects what I thought I said, what I thought I did, when I thought I did it, how I thought I did it, how long I thought I did it, where I thought I was when I did it, and even who I did it to. At one time it seemed like it would be a good dissertation choice, but I couldn’t find any professor who would approve the topic.

Unfortunately, the older I get, the more it affects my life. Just recently I got into an argument with my daughter about how to train her dog. I thought we were on the same page, but she kept telling me I wasn’t doing what I said I did (she can be so thoughtless). The argument bothered me so I decided to refresh my understanding of what CRS is, so I Goggled it and learned the following:

CRS can be a crippling disease. It affects what you thought you said, what you thought you did, when you thought you did it, how you thought you did it, how long you thought you did it, where you thought you were when you did it, how often you thought you did it, and even who you did it to.

By golly, that’s EXACTLY what I thought it was, but my daughter might have been right and I just forgot! Well, because the website had an additional symptom, I thought for years it couldn’t be me, but then I realized that the first time I researched the topic I only had two symptoms; now I have all except one.

Thus far there is no medication to treat the symptoms and the only thing close is Lumosity, which keeps you on a treadmill of answering questions and completing puzzles. You may know this disease by its full name, can’t remember sh*t!

So, the next time you can’t remember sh*t, try to find the CRS site and see if the symptoms fit you. Unfortunately, I can no longer find the site. In fact, none of this makes sense because I thought I was writing about dog training. Dog training? Where did that come from? We have a dog? Sh*t! We have a DOG! Don’t know if it’s a male or female (maybe it’ll come to me later, or maybe I should just pick it up an look). Pick what up? Look at what? Sh*t! There it goes again. I can just see a worm crawling through my brain like a Pac-man icon eating up those lonely cells fighting to hold on. Wow, Pac-man! Where did that come from?

Anyway, you get the picture. Picture? What picture? CRAP! Stop that! Like I said, sh*t creeps up on you out of nowhere.

[Originally posted 2/25/14]

Living life like an unmade bed

Pessimists kind of take the default position in life, in that it takes less effort to maintain a relationship with another person because it’s going to end anyway.  Saying things like “people mistake my extreme realism for negativity,” is like saying a bear is just a big brown thing; no matter how you try to disguise it, it’s still a bear.  That whole pessimistic attitude is kind of like not making your bed in the morning when you get up because you know by the end of the day you’ll be back in it.

Holistic health calls for optimistic thinking, just like positive psychology teaches us.  If you constantly tell yourself something bad will happen it’s like drawing that which you don’t want directly to you; like a universal magnet.  Optimism teaches us to think about the good things we want in life, but it takes practice to be optimistic.  You can’t try to be optimistic for a few moments and when things don’t change right away, you blame it on bad luck, or repeat a mantra of how horrible life has been to you.  You have to practice optimism as hard and as often as you once maintained your pessimistic attitude.

A student once said to me, “I have realized that by not hoping for things I know will not transpire and by always expecting the worst I will never be disappointed.”  Did she not think that may be a cop-out?

Do we realize how much of our actions we’re role-modeling for our children to behave in a similar fashion?  We tend to look at life either with an I-make-my-luck (internal locus of control) or “if he/she would only do “x” my life would be so much better” (external locus of control); if-then situations.  It’s true that sometimes we flip-flop about how much we want to take personal responsibility for anything that goes wrong (someone else is at fault) or right (I created my success all by myself) in our lives.  That external locus of control factors in on how much of our situation we are directly, or indirectly, responsible for creating consciously, or subconsciously.

I hear parents brag all the time about how smart their kids are, but when it comes to how the parents’ behavior is affecting those smart kids, the parents swear that they don’t act like badly in front of the kids, and/or are teaching them better.  I have to remind people that before kids had language, before they knew what basic words like stop, mommy, daddy, hot, and no, because they read your body language.  Any parent knows that you can terrify a baby just by walking in the room when you’re so angry you can’t even talk.  That baby will pick up your body vibes better than a Hoover picks up lint, and the only way they know how to respond is to cry, tense up, and become extremely agitated and/or angry.  A kid will pick up bad vibes that Aunt Lucy or Uncle Tim isn’t a good person when you think Aunt Lucy and Uncle Tim are so great you wished they had been your parents instead of the people who raised you.

Think about how we vow that we’re going to be different with our children.  We tell ourselves that they will never be put through the things we went through as children.  Do we ever wonder if our parents made mental commitments to us the very same way?

We are in relationship with our children always even when they aren’t in the room.  When the environment in their own homes are toxic to them and they can feel the calm in their friend’s home, for example, they may try to stay there (at the friend’s home) as much as possible.  They can feel the tension between you and your spouse even when you’re both smiling across the dinner table.  They act out when they know their parents are unhappy, or are on drugs, or are drinking more than the average person but don’t think they’re alcoholics.  The kids will know/feel the discontent before another adult can even acknowledge the possibilities of it happening.  To think we can be one way when our kids aren’t around and another when they are is only fooling ourselves.  It’s a façade we can’t maintain for any length of time.

I am well aware that the student who was “always expecting the worst” must come from a hurtful and painful past and just like they learned about heartache and disappointment, they can learn about hope, faith in a positive outcome and the belief that there is more good in the world than bad.

We have it in us to be the best person, best child, best friend, best parent, best sibling that we can be.  Just like that unmade bed—if we don’t learn to make it in the morning, the crumpled pillows and all the wrinkles and disarray will still be there waiting for us at the end of the day.