Folding Laundry, Frogs and Shame

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Welcome back. You belong here.

Without a doubt, when I feel afraid I’m not creative, but when I’m honest with myself and others, I feel connected and ready to change the world.

Earlier I was sitting with my wife in the garage and she asked me “Why do you think you were so upset yesterday?” I said, I’m not sure.

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The last few days I’ve felt insecure about being a good father, my vocation and other things. It stems from a deep sense of shame about not being where I thought I’d be financially, in my education, my body, etc.

Saturday I tried to bring our family together and do home projects such as paint the fence and mow the lawn, but it blew up on my face. I was mean, uptight, a perfectionist. Why? I had been feeling insecure and unworthy, rejected.

Last night, I was reading and listening to Brené Brown on Oprah talking about vulnerability. I suck at being vulnerable, so when I feel insecure, I get uptight, I disconnect from life and isolate.

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Later that night I heard our 10 year old son David Dennis say “when are we going to have dinner together?” My wife was online doing her homework, I was online listening to Brené, we were all doing our own thing. So I pulled the table together, got things ready and we sat together and had dinner (which we do often, this is why David Dennis missed it).

At dinner, my wife noticed that David Dennis was sitting where his sister Isabela usually sits, Isabela was upstairs doing her nails. Rachelle asked David, “why are you sitting there son? Because Isabela is not here so you wanted to sit there?” He said, “No, I wanted to sit here so I can see papi.” I almost fell apart.

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After dinner, I asked my wife, where is David? She said, upstairs folding laundry with his sisters. I said, no way, that’s one of our Trigueros Family Traditions – We Do It Together. So I went upstairs, called the children, got all the laundry off from the floor (it was clean), put on their favorite Disney movie (something about a frog and a princess) and we had the BEST time folding laundry, with our dogs laying on the clean clothes (oh well), being together, having a good time, getting things done. It was priceless.

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When we’re vulnerable, when we become aware of ourselves and are honest about it with those closest to us, beauty happens, wonderful moments happen like folding the laundry together, eating together, hearing each other at the dinner table. It makes you feel grateful.

So here’s the list of things I’m grateful for today:

1. I’m thankful for laundry

2. I’m thankful our daughter Isabela (12) makes dinner

3. I’m so glad our daughter Canela (14) babysat, earned a few bucks and did her homework

4. I’m thankful for David Dennis sitting across from me at the dinner table

6. I’m thankful for how well David Dennis (10) plays the drums and how much he likes to practice (Billy Jean is his fav song right now)

7. I’m thankful for my song “Don’t Cry Alone”

8. I’m thankful for Brené Brown, my counselor and friends

9. I’m thankful for time spent with a good friend last week

10. I’m thankful for our home, our dogs, our backyard, our two cars

11. I’m thankful for my wife, how gorgeous she is, her schooling and our date (Indian food) a few nights ago

This is what I’m learning, this is what I want for my life and others.

I have a feeling I’m going to need to do some real work with this issue of shame. I’m willing to do it, because I don’t want to be the evil papi, the perfectionist who thinks it’s never enough. Instead I want to be the papi who folds laundry, who sits across from my son eye-to-eye feeling proud. I want to be the man who is content with his wife, children and two dogs folding laundry in the living room at 8pm on a Sunday night, watching a frog that talks and thinking, this is the best day of my life.

Thanks for being here,

Trig

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