The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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Therapists Unaware

on May 29, 2012

   Therapeutic: (2) providing or assisting in a cure.  My friends and family have no idea how therapeutic they are. I know this because I had a Facebook discussion this weekend with my father-in-law about what good therapy it is to spend time with them.  He thought that was funny.  He has no idea how serious I was. After a busy week that included the last day of school, award nights and roofers banging overhead for three days, I was at the end of my proverbial rope by Thursday. Thankfully, I had therapists lined up for the weekend. They were just unaware they were therapists.

My first session was Thursday afternoon in the hair salon.  Several months ago the lady who works at the drive-thru at my bank said, “Your hair is so cute. Who is your beauty operator?”  Beauty operator? I had visions of my sweet little grandma going every week to her ‘beauty operator’ have her hair set, styled and shellacked. Shortly after that I asked Holly, my wonderful hair magician, what she prefers to be called: Cosmetologist? Hair Dresser?  She told me I could call her what ever I like.  I call her my “Hair Therapist.”  Seriously on my calendar you will see my appointments written in as “Holly Therapy”.  Think about it: close to two hours of being pampered and in the end you come out looking nice and feeling better about yourself.   It’s therapy. Holly is one of the sweetest women I have ever met and I enjoy the time spent talking with her. She’s always got great things to say and she’s a great listener.  She’s amazing at what she does.  She has no idea that she’s a therapist, but she is!

After working all day Friday, we set off in the evening for my parents-in-law’s home which is about two hours away.  I was tired of people banging on the roof and was quite ready to escape. As we walked into their home, my mother-in-law was pulling chocolate chip cookies out of the oven. NIRVANA! There is nothing quite like a warm cookie that you didn’t bake. There is nothing quite like a home that accepts you lovingly all the time.  There is nothing quite like spending time with people you love and I love my in-laws. Their home is relaxing and inviting and they make room and time for us whenever we show up.  (They even made room for our dog who was also tired of roofers.)  We spent a lovely evening just relaxing and visiting.  Balm for my weary soul. Therapy!

The next morning my husband and I took our oldest daughter to the drop off for her missions trip.  Our younger two children stayed with their grandparents, being spoiled and having fun.  There is nothing like “Grandparent Therapy”: having the total attention of people who think you are the greatest kids on earth.  My in-laws are especially good at grandparent therapy.  My kids are some of the luckiest kids on the planet.   After we dropped off our daughter my husband and I were able to go to lunch with another set of parents.  More therapy.  It was great getting to know these people better: just spending time talking with nothing else more pressing to do.  When we arrived back, my  mother-in-law suggested we take a nap.  (A mother is a mother as long as she lives.)  See? More people who are therapists and have no idea.

That evening, my husband headed to work and I headed out to “the farm” where my parents live.  We are so fortunate that our parents only live about 15 miles from each other.  It makes visiting everyone much easier.  Again, to be lovingly embraced into a home just because you are you is the greatest thing in the world.  We had no agenda, no plans, just the opportunity to spend time together: therapy.  We spent the next day relaxing and playing cards and laughing. I would laugh at my kids laughing at their grandparents.  My parents would laugh because the kids were laughing. More expert grandparent therapy.  More therapy for mom!The following day my siblings and their families came out for a barbecue.  We are a silly bunch when everyone is together. more laughing. More great food (that I didn’t cook!). More therapy from people who have no idea they are therapists.

Driving home last night I reflected on the weekend and how wonderful it had been.  (It was quite enough in the car: my kids were mad we had to come home.) I began thinking of how nice it had been to just be with people who love me. People who accept me for who I am.  People who are always there to listen when I need them to.  People who encourage me when I need it.  It occurred to me that I have more therapists than I realize.   My friend whom I can text, “Can I Vent?” and she always responds “Yes”.  The one who is always ready for a coffee run.  My dear friends who have moved away yet still check on me via text and Facebook message and let me whine. My dear friend who beings me goodies from her garden, takes me out for lunch “because I can” and mothers me because my mother lives somewhere else.  Countless other friends who have been  there in different phases of life to listen and support. I have had some of the best therapists in the world!

Now the challenge to me is this: am I being a therapist in return?  Am I willing to be there for people even when it isn’t convenient? Am I willing to just listen and keep my mouth shut?  Am I willing to accept people for who they are?   I’d like to think so….but I may need to start working on that.  The world needs more good therapists unaware.


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