My grandpa Bob passed away a little over three years ago, and yet I still remember vivid details about him.  Like the way he would gently say “Easy now” to anyone acting a little too rough.  Actually, that was his response for a lot of situations – when his wife shouted bossy commands, when my siblings and I fought, when someone cut him off in traffic.  I can sometimes hear his soft words as if he’s still right next to me telling me to just take it easy.  And although I have so many other fond memories of my grandpa; I think that “easy now” is my favorite because it’s something that reminds me to calm down and be kind to myself and others just as he was.

One thing that I’ve learned about myself is that I am my biggest critic.  I am not easy on myself in the least.  I thought about this at a recent visit to Starbucks. (which is a place I fear Joy and I are mentioning a little too much in our recent posts – doublevision blog is not getting any coffee kickbacks from sbux, although I can’t promise we’d refuse….) It was even busier than usual with crowds of people waiting for their beverages and four busy baristas doing some serious hustling to fill drink orders.  All of a sudden there was a large “crash” followed by a “splat”.  The woman who had just walked up to the counter to claim her drink had dumped her iced beverage everywhere.  All over the counter where customers pick up their orders, all over the floor in front of that counter – ice and liquid traveling quickly across the floor.  A barista came scurrying out with a mop and the rest of them continued making drinks.  I was mortified for the poor woman who had knocked her drink over.  As I watched her, I soon realized that I was seemingly more embarrassed for her than she was, which I think says a lot about me.  Perhaps she was more humiliated than she showed on the surface, but her only response to this mess was to casually tell the barista “Sorry about that”, and then proceeded to give them her drink order again so they could replace the spilled beverage.  If I had accidentally knocked over my drink in this same fashion, I am certain my face would have been red as beets for at least 15 minutes, and I’m not entirely sure I would have stuck around to wait for a replacement drink.  I would have cursed RP in my head for “making” me have the accident and maybe there would have been a few tears when I got home.

Thinking back, there have been other accidents that I’ve witnessed – my husband bumping a wine glass over at a fancy restaurant, a friend tripping at the park, a cousin stepping on our poor little dog.  None of these people had vision problems, and yet they still had accidents.  I know that when these accidents occurred, these people felt bad and a bit embarrassed, but I don’t recall any of them being mortified over these mistakes like I would have been.  I think I’ve let myself feel a lot of unneccessary shame about RP, which has caused me to be so hard on myself when I make mistakes – vison-related or not.

Oddly enough, I started working on this post about taking it easy before I read Joy’s recent posts.  And after reading all the comments, especially the “mom guilt” ones, it turns out that I’m not the only one that is a little too hard on myself.  In some ways I find that comforting, but it also makes me sad to think there are so many of us carrying around unneccessary guilt and shame over accidents.  After all, if we’re this hard on ourselves, how can we expect to have grace for those around us?

So the next time I make a mistake, vision-related or not, I am going to try my best to remember to take a deep breath and whisper “easy now”.

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15 thoughts on “Take it Easy

    • Thanks Colleen! I added a picture at the bottom of this post of him, Joy and me from our 19th birthday. What an amazing father he was to you and I feel lucky to have had him as my grandpa.

  1. Loved this post. Loved the intro, loved the content, loved the question, “If we’re this hard on ourselves, how can we expect to have grace for those around us?”, loved the connection to Joy’s post…can’t even tell you how I appreciate this blog…I can soooo relate to this…I will be thinking, “Easy now” for days. Thank you.

    • Thank you for your encouragement, Tracey! I am so glad that you loved this post and I hope that “easy now” does pop into your head when you need it to!

      Jenelle

  2. My Dad had a very similar style to how you describe your Grandfather. Al Andrews talks about how none of us have a “positive inner voice.” It is always our harshest critic. It is something I work really hard at. To be able to have positive voices in my head and be able to see myself the way God sees me and give myself some grace. It takes work, but it is worth it. Thanks for a great post!

    • Thanks Tammy! I’m glad this post made you think of your dad and the “positive inner voice”. It’s nice to think that the ones we’ve said good-bye to here on earth can still be providing us with wisdom.

  3. Awwww! This makes me cry with good memories! Grandpa Bob was the King of “Easy.” Maybe we should rename him the ‘Easy Rider!’ I will re-post my Desiderata poem quote from Joy’s blog-“Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.”

  4. And I instantly thought of him yesterday when I gave Cora a big loud, squeaky kiss. He was renown for kisses like that! And his hugs were super ‘boa constrictor’
    tight!

  5. Yes, dad (aka Grandpa Bob) did give the best hugs and squeaky kisses. This blog did make me think of him, as I do often, and get teary eyed. I miss him and his wonderful wisdom so much. You and Joy definitely got his writing abilities! Keep them coming, I love to read your stories. You both have much wisdom, beyond your years. But definitely need to “go easy” on yourselves. Love you!

    • Thank you Beth! I wish I could read more of his writing. If you have anything he’s written that I could read, I would love that. Love you!

  6. Awwww, I have fond memories of your grandpa, too! I’m just getting caught up on your blog & am missing you ladies. Glad you’re going to ease up on yourself a bit. My own “accident rate” has increased the farther along I get in pregnancy…starting a few months ago when I fell down in the street for no reason after purchasing a large ice tea and ended up a bloody, tea-covered mess who arrived late to a first meeting w/new auditors! Andrew looked at me and said he didn’t know how it was physically possible to have landed in such a way that left the scrapes & bruises it did! Heehee. 🙂

    • Audrey – your comment cracked me up! Okay, I had no idea you were pregnant! I can’t believe I didn’t know…I’m so excited for you! I was actually just going to call you to see if you and Andrew were still up for O’fest this year, but perhaps you’ll need to come next year with the babe!
      Thanks so much for keeping up with our blog and I love that you have fond memories of grandpa Bob. Let’s catch up soon!
      Jenelle

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