I enjoy my neighbors on both sides of me for many reasons including the fact that they are good people and we all try to be good to each other.  With that said, I sometimes enjoy them because life can be funny.  One of my neighbors is a single Mom.  Her two youngest children are men now in their 20’s.  One is working, but still living at home and the other lives in the area and comes by multiple times per week to help out with the property and the house. Over the past 5 years I have witnessed the boys finish digging out the basement so they could create a love shack (they have their own entrance which goes directly into the basement), invite friends to stay who move in for almost a year creating a small village of their own, and most recently cleaning up the back patio area to hold parties and have a hookah bar.  That’s not the funny part, although hilarity has occurred within those events. No the funny part is when Mom talks to me about how she keeps her boys on a short leash.  8D

She actually said this to me as I was pointing out the party remains.  The shock on her face was so comical that I had a very hard time keeping a straight face. I mention this because, funny, but also as a parable in how we don’t need outside events to trip us up or slap us around, we’re quite capable of doing this all by ourselves.  The stories we tell about ourselves can be the thing that’s causing us the most grief if those stories are wildly out of sync with reality.  I don’t mean the difference between the current situation and an aspirational future.  That’s not dysfunction, that’s goal setting.  What I’m talking about is claiming that we are something, are doing something, or are being in a way that is different from the reality.  The ways in which we pretend that things are different from what they are or talk about them as if they are the way we would like them to be.  We’ve all seen this in action with the Dad who is beaming and happily talking about his beautiful angels as they destroy the entire aisle in 7-11 or the Mom who is talking about what a gentleman her boy is as he bashes someone’s face in on the court.

We do this to our detriment all the time, telling ourselves that our job situation isn’t really how it seems and creating a narrative where all the signals and warnings and shrieking prevention measures are going off inside us yet we ignore them because nothing is really wrong.  It must be something else. I just need a bit more sleep.  😛 Or something pretty much all of us have done at one point or another, tell ourselves that the relationship is just fine when if we checked the Magic 8 Ball, it would tell us “All signs point to no.”  So, while it’s good to have a sense of humor about life because we can take things too seriously way too often, we probably should avoid becoming a running gag.  It’s good to note the stories we tell others and ourselves, the assumptions of “that’s the way it is” to see if it’s still true or ever was. Also, you might want to check and see if there’s a hookah bar being set up next door.  Makes for a short commute on a Saturday night. 🙂