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Filters

Last week I was at the doctor to get some blood test results. I had a conversation with my doc about my aging father and his inability to seem to filter things he says to people. My doctor explained that there is a part of our brain, a filter of sorts, in the frontal lobe. As we age it begins to “thin” out. This is apparently why people who are elderly say just about anything that comes to mind, at least that’s what I got out of it. Several years ago a friend of ours said that because he was over fifty he felt entitled to tell people off, something I guess he felt he earned. I bring all of this up because I am quite frankly worried for my children. They’re fine, its their having to deal with me that I’m worried about. Have you ever looked at your mother or father and said, “I’ll never be like that.”, and then you start seeing your parents in yourself? Certain turns of a phrase, or mannerisms that just come out of nowhere. You find yourself aghast at something that just came out of your mouth, something you swore you’d never say. I already have filter issues. Ask anyone who knows me, I’m very confrontational. I have no problem whatsoever telling someone exactly what I think. It doesn’t always go over very well. I’m not mean about it or anything (at least most of the time), but I don’t think that holding things in does anything but build resentment. Over time resentment becomes like picking at a scab (I know, gross comparison, but I have a point), if you aren’t honest in your feelings, particularly with those who are close to you, you pick and pick in your mind at what upset you until it’s an open wound again. Now the wound that was maybe just a little scratch has become something that might require a stitch or two.  The little upset that would have been solved with an “I’m sorry”, has become a major infraction. (Never good in a relationship) I want to live in a world where when someone upsets me I say, “You’ve….”, and they say, “Oh, I’m sorry.” I’m not letting myself off the hook either. If I have angered someone, hurt their feeling, been unintentionally thoughtless, I want to know. I want to say, “I’m sorry.” For now I am in control. I don’t say anything inappropriate,  and when I make fun of people I make sure that they don’t hear me. (Don’t judge, you know you do it too.)

Now after that long explanation of how my world should work…. I’m afraid that my kids may have their hands full with their filter-less mother. I promise them here and now on this page that I will try to retain as much frontal lobe filter as possible, but the fact is that I can’t make any promises. I may have to apologize here and now for all the embarrassment in their futures, but guess what?  I’ve dealt with my Dad, my sisters have as well. We all love him terribly, but we have all had our “Dad” moments, where you “Shh!”, or in a rather exasperated and pleading tone say, “Dad, be quiet. They can hear you.”  I guess it’s just something we will all have to suffer through, unless of course there becomes a scientific breakthrough in frontal lobe fattening. (Honestly, I can’t imagine myself to allow anything fattening anywhere near me, well, unless it’s chocolate) In the meanwhile, if you run into me be assured that I am really, really nice, but if you happen to say or do the wrong thing…

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