by Giselle Renarde
My mother recently told me about something that happened when I was a child. There was some kind of workshop for parents at my school. The leader asked everybody to write down five things they enjoyed doing, but none of those items could be family-related.
While everybody else wrote their lists, my mom sat staring at a blank piece of paper.
The workshop leader came over and asked what was wrong.
My mother said, "I can't think of anything to write. Everything I do is for my kids."
"Well, what do you do for fun?" the leader asked.
"I spend time with my kids."
"But non-kid things," the leader said. "Do you take time just for you?"
My mom didn't understand that question. She didn't understand the concept of ME TIME.
"What about reading?" the leader asked. "Do you ever read a book to relax?"
"What about friends? Do you go out for drinks? Have a girls' night?"
My mom didn't have friends, aside from other parents at my school. And everything they did together involved us.
The workshop went on, but all my mother remembers was the fact that she had no interests. Twenty-something years later, she told me she felt like a non-person, in that moment. "What kind of a person doesn't have even ONE thing that they enjoy in life?"
I actually think it's sweet that my mom's joy came from us, her children. It showed. She never told us to quiet down or give Mommy a moment. I don't remember ever feeling like our mother resented us being around. That must have been because there was nothing else in the world she wanted to be doing. She just wanted to be around us, because we were the most important thing in her life.
Is there anything in my life that I would call THE MOST IMPORTANT?
The usual, I guess: my family, my girlfriend, my cats, my career.
But that one THE MOST IMPORTANT thing is rather more nebulous. It isn't a person or a thing. It's more like a feeling. It's kindness--which probably sounds weird, coming from someone who regularly swears at strangers (but, honestly, why do so many people try to run me over? and if a jogger shoves me into a mud puddle, oh yes, that jogger WILL be called an asshole)...
What was I saying?
I don't always live up to my own ideals, but when I do, I make a conscious effort to treat everyone I encounter with the same big love I feel for my family. I see no reason not to. Sometimes it's really easy, but often it's a challenge. Many humans are not friendly. That's when I need to redouble my efforts, because the people who are meanest to me are probably the ones most in need of kindness.
True, heartfelt, loving kindness is important.
That's not a bad answer, eh?
On that note, I've got a new anthology on the market and I'm giving ALL my royalties away. I'd love it if you could help me spread the word about LGBT Love:
10 Queer, Trans, Bi, Lesbian and Gay Romance Stories
by Giselle Renarde
***All royalties from the sale of this anthology will be donated to charitable organizations supporting LGBT individuals and communities.***
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lgbtlove10queertransbilesbianandgayromancestories-1894075-166.html
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/LGBT-Love-Lesbian-Romance-Stories-ebook/dp/B0155ZIXXU