At last summer has come. I’m sitting in the garden and it’s still light and warm as I write this at 10pm – hooray!
My eldest son is, I think just entering Tweendom, which, if you google, means that he’s in a strange pre-teen phase which seems to have involved hourly strops, tears and bossiness – and that’s just me!
After one such strop/tear/shout session (aren’t I the perfect parent!) he blurted out that he had stood up for me that day when one of his friends said that I was weird.
‘Oh’ says I, ‘and how did you feel about that?’ ‘I didn’t like it’ quoth he.
I thanked him for his loyalty and courage in standing up for me and then raised the idea that maybe we are ‘weird’. ‘Are we?’ he said astonished.
Dear reader, the lady above is our hairdresser April. She’s also a trained welder, sewer of yurts and chimney sweep who is currently re-lime plastering her own house. Oh, and she’s a mum of two adult children. She took them to Australia on her own when they were 6 and 7 for 6 weeks, backpacking. And she’s a lovely, warm friend and fellow village dweller. But I guess, some people would call her weird. ‘Would they?’ said eldest son astonished.
‘Yes’, I said. I then went on to point out that some people would consider going to Greece to a holistic holiday centre to live in community for a month is weird, especially as we lend out our house while we’re gone.
I carried on pointing out that we have a friend who whispers to horses, dances with them and allows Eldest Son to play tag with them.
And we don’t watch TV in the summer, we don’t have play station, or a DS.
From a young age I’ve asked the kids if they want an adventure or a thing as a treat…they usually go for the adventure (although lego is featuring largely at the moment).
So, I guess for some people, that’s all a bit weird.
‘But when we go to Greece we’re not weird because everyone else is doing the same as us there’ he said.
Which then brings us to the nature of ‘weird’. ‘Weird’ just means ‘different from the norm’; that particular norm. And when you change your environment, suddenly you’re not weird at all. So weirdness is not innate, it’s situational (I said, but not in those words).
So, we have a choice, I explained, we can live how we live now and some people might think we are weird, or we can change how we live, so they don’t think we are weird and then we’d have to try and guess how ‘they’ think we should live in order to be normal. ‘
‘ How do you think you want to live?’ I asked.
‘ Carry on living the way we do’, he said, ‘and let them think we are weird, because we know when we’re with other people we’re not weird at all’.
And that’s the question we all have to face in our lives. Do we live how other people think we should or do we live the way we want?
- Do you live the way you want or the way you think you ‘should’?
- What are the ‘should’s in your head ( we all have them, the art is spotting them. I used to have a should about ‘finish everything on your plate’. Now I eat until I’ve had enough, regardless if there is anything left on my plate. I used to think I should do my cleaning myself (but it didn’t get done and the house was gross) so now I share my money by paying a cleaner (and in so doing create work for another person).
- List your shoulds…just go wild with shoulds, list, brainstorm, shout them aloud…and then check them out and change your shoulds for wants!
I think Eldest son made the right choice because how can we ever know what ‘normal’ really is? How can we ever get ‘should’ completely right when it’s a judgement that comes from outside us? We can spend (and I have spent so many) years doing what I think other people think other people think I should do, without ever even knowing who the ‘other people’ are half of the time, let alone what they think ‘I should do’.
But ‘want’ is a different matter. When I do what I want, what I love, what feels right, I know it’s right because it feels good, I can be myself, I don’t have to hide or pretend, or change, I can be all of me, all the time.
So be as Weird as you want to be, because being weird to some people, means you you’ll be normal to others, and being weird means you’re being you, and being you mean you are doing what you want, and being who you are, which means you’ll feel good, feel happy, feel accepting of yourself and so more able to accept other people.
And that, ladies and gentlemen is one way to bring more peace and love to the world and bad can that be?
Viva la Weirdness – what ever that may be.