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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2007


The emancipation of Mary Pat

2nd grade
Originally uploaded by marytsao
Carmen of Mom to the Screaming Masses did the Middle Name Meme, which involves writing a post using each letter of your middle name to describe something relevant to your life.

Coincidentally, Carmen and I have the same middle name, Patricia. When I was little, folks called me Mary Pat. And no, I am not Irish, except for the bit that comes from my grandfather's mother, my great grandmother.

Only family is still allowed to call me Mary Pat.

Here's my stab at the Middle Name Meme:

P is for Perseverance. You may call me a victim of some type of Protestant work ethic, but I am a firm believer in diligence and hard work being good for the soul. Plus, it gets things done. That said, I am also a firm believer in the proverb all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. (see Relaxation, below.)

A is for Alcoholic. This is the last week of my outpatient alcohol rehabilitation program. I've learned a lot of things about myself, and I've hopefully learned coping skills that can replace self-medication as ways of dealing with whatever crazy stuff life throws my way.

T is for Travel. I like to travel; it's almost an obsession with me at this point. I see my life as having two main facets: stability and change. The stability part is living the suburban dream and providing my kids with a routine-based life that isn't erratic or unsettling. The change part involves traveling, challenging myself and my kids to be both self-sufficient as well as open to meeting new people and trying new things, exploring the world outside of our suburban paradise.

R is for Relaxation. After I work my ass off, I like to relax my ass off. I like saying no to superfluous work projects, lounging around the house in my pajamas, getting massages and having my nails done, and enjoying afternoons with nothing to do except meander through a shopping mall.

I is for Issues. In addition to my inane desire to self-medicate, I've got other psychological issues. They include being overly sensitive--particularly to criticism, and having traits associated with being a people pleaser.

C is for Children. I have two children and I'm tossing around the idea of having more. There's no doubt that having children changed me in numerous and measurable ways, many of which I can't even begin to articulate in a sentence or two. Perhaps I'll explore these changes in another blog post.

I is for I. When I'm thinking clearly, I realize that I'm the most important person in my life and pleasing myself is just as important as pleasing and taking care of others.

A is for Assimilation. I am a suburbanite. I have drunk the Kool-aid, and I am not ashamed to admit I like having a driveway, a backyard with a lawn, access to clean and beautiful parks and playgrounds, and excellent local schools. If you had told me when I was 25 that I would be 39 with kids and enjoying living in the 'burbs, I would have thought you were just saying that to annoy me.

Who's next on the list to do the Middle Name Meme?