The MalleyCats

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(2012) In which I eat my words. Again.

"Never say never". It's a fairly common phrase.  One of those clichés that became a cliché for a reason--because it's true.  As I get older it seems I find myself cringing at memories of times I've said, "I will NEVER ________", because as it turns out--I've gone on to do many of those things.  Most of the time, my hasty judgement was born of lack of education.  I will be the first to admit that among my serious flaws is my judgemental nature.  Why, oh why is it so hard to stop judging?  Why do I feel the need to attach absolutes to things with phrases like, "never", or "always", or "I can't believe it"?  Sitting here I can see just how stupid that sounds, and yet, give me a topic and I'm likely to have strong opinions about it, and most likely my inital response will be to think that other people's opinions on the matter are wrong. Or stupid. Or both.  Putting that in writing makes me sound like the world's biggest brat.  Yet I have to think that perhaps I'm not the only one.  The good news is: I'm trying really hard to change my wicked ways, and employ more phrases like, "sometimes, and "on occasion", and "I can understand that".  Here are just a few of the things I swore once upon a time I would NEVER do (and probably said that anyone who did was weird or crazy)


"I will NEVER have a natural birth":  "Why would I sign up for pain when I have the option to have a baby pain-free?" I would sarcastically remark when I heard about people having babies the old-fashioned way.  I went into my first labor with one mantra: "Give me the juice!" I'm pretty sure I also said things like, "They don't hand out medals to people who did it naturally". What I totally disregarded was the concept that birth can be a monumental experience in someone's life, and they just might want to actually be an active participant in bringing a child into the world.  Another concept I totally missed was that when we numb pain, we also numb our ability to feel joy.  Nowadays I look at birth in a whole new light. We have choices, and dozens of reasons that factor into those choices. Those choices aren't wrong. They are personal. And you won't find me trying to make someone feel bad for any choice they make in that regard. 

"I will NEVER buy a minivan":  I remember distinctly saying to my college roommate, "If I ever drive a minivan, just shoot me." Thankfully she hasn't shown up on my doorstep to assasinate me, because you know what I'm driving these days? A wicked awesome Toyota Sienna.  Prior to this sweet ride, the Malleycats rolled in a giant Suburban.  When things started to go downhill with the 'Burb, Seth suggested we look into a minivan.  I resisted. Oh how I resisted.  "But it's just not as cool" I would whine.  What I didn't recognize was that I lost my "cool" about 5 kids ago.  You know what IS cool? Getting double the gas mileage, having all the kids be able to get in and out of the car all by themselves, and not hitting cars on either side of us with our automatic sliding doors.

"I will NEVER do Crossfit":  About a year and a half ago Seth joined Crossfit--a very intense exercise program that I would describe as one part workout, two parts torture.  When he would tell me what the WOD (Workout of the day) was, I would often say, "You are completely crazy. Why in the world would you do that to yourself?"   I told myself I could NEVER do something like that. I was too weak, too out of shape, too chicken.  Five kids in 6 years has done quite a number on my body, and I've spent years either being pregnant, or trying to lose baby weight only to get pregnant again.  I'm not hating on my body--it's done some incredible things, namely producing 5 little humans.  But suddenly I had the thought, "What IF I did Crossfit?" And just like that, the seed was planted.  So about three weeks ago I started, and it is to date the scariest thing I've ever done physically.  I have fear, panic and a little dread before every workout. But I am ALWAYS glad I did it, and I'm so excited to get stronger.  The only "never" I tell myself about Crossfit now is that I may never not be sore again.

Other things I happily eat my words about:  Homeschooling.  Once upon a time I thought people who homeschooled were weird, and their kids weirder.  Now I think they are not only the bravest people I know, but among the most selfless and awesome and their kids are brilliant and fun and not a single bit like the socially awkward kids I imagined came out of a life outside the school system.  I often toy with the idea my own self, so don't be surprised if I add that to the list of things I said I'd never do that I changed my tune about.

I can't wait to see what I eat my words about next!  How about you? What did you swear you'd never do that you changed your tune about? 

Seth Malley