Grace Michaelson

101 Dalmatians and Look-A-Like Vehicles


Do any of you remember 101 Dalmatians?  I was sitting in my car today, I must confess eating a Costco Combo Pizza and drinking a Pepsi, and watching people going to and from their cars.  I was eating there because I was trying not to be late to my next errand, however, today I was glued to my car, something that seems to becoming more and more of a tendency in my life.

I was suddenly reminded of 101 Dalmatians today and the scene in the park where you watch different dog owners and get to laugh at how each of the dog owners have morphed into looking just like their dogs.  As I watched the car owners go to the cars that they belong to I was oddly aware that they look just like their cars.  Now, I must confess that my humor and creativity is on the warped side of things, so what looks like one thing to me, probably doesn’t look like that to someone else.  However, I watched an outdoorsy kind of man walk across Costco’s parking lot and step into a four door Ford Truck.  Ha!  There was a Mom wearing 3/4 jeans and a stylish relaxed fit blouse, followed around by a couple of teens or maybe a tween- wasn’t sure he could have been 12- and they followed her right up to a perfectly matched SUV.  So, you get the picture.

I wondered at that moment if I looked like my car.  I was actually driving my husband’s SUV.  This summer, all three of my teens have jobs and we only have two cars and only one teen driver.  I’m hoping my middle son will be driving soon, but that doesn’t help with the car problem.  So that explains that constant occupation of my backside in the driver’s seat.  It seems that in this age, we’ve replaced walks in the park with our dogs with races down main street in our look-a-like vehicles rushing to get our children and family’s to their many assorted activities, and cramming our individual errands into spare time in-between.  Yesterday, I’m ashamed to say, I burned through 1/2 a gallon of gas, and I don’t even live in a big town!  We just have a busy family of three teens with three jobs, a husband who has to get to work, and then their’s my own freelance writing business that’s starting hopefully to take off.  Thankfully, I can get inspiration for my blog in interesting places like Costco’s parking lot, watching interesting people get into their interesting look-a-like vehicles before they are off to their next hopefully interesting errand.  Life! What a fascinating portfolio to write about!

Time to turn the key in the ignition.  We’re off to the races!

Social Anxiety and Backyards


I’ve been dealing with Social Anxiety for a very long time. Being at the PRC this last month has thrown me into a social environment and thrown me out of my comfort zone to the extreme. I’ve been using every single coping skill, whether good or sometimes bad, to get myself through this month, just so that Caleb could get the full benefit of the program.

One of the things I do for myself is paint pictures for myself so that I can distinguish for myself what is mine and what belongs to others. So during this time, I have been thinking a lot about backyards. I look at myself like I’m in a backyard. My feelings, my thoughts, my judgments, my decisions, and my actions are weeds or flowers in my backyard. When I use a good coping skill I pick the weeds in my backyard, if I use a bad coping skill then I let the weeds grow.

Some people, like those of us who are socially anxious, don’t know how to stay in their own backyards. We worry about what others think of us, or what their judgments are, what their feelings are, etc. So we go over to their backyard and start pruning their flowers and picking their weeds and don’t tend to our flowers and our weeds start getting overgrown.

This picture has helped me a lot over this month. Every time I was thrown into a situation where I became really anxious about if someone was thinking negatively about me, I would say to myself, “That is their own weed.” Then I could go on with the situation using some deep breathing or some other good coping skill. After all, what can I do if they actually are thinking negatively about me? Nothing. In the past, changing my behavior around negative people has only always made them more negative because then they know they have more power. In the end, it’s just best to be yourself, weed your own backyard. I like who I am. If you don’t like who I am, then you’re totally screwing yourself and missing out on are really nice person. And that’s the truth.