So for reasons I am not going to fully explain here, I am supposed to find a vice to give up. The vice doesn't necessarily have to be an addiction to give up, but it can be something that I don't feel like I am doing well or enough according to my own moral code. This is gonna be a tough one. I don't really have any addictions....at least I don't think that I do. I do have things that I should do differently. I have a couple of ideas, and I might just try to do all of them.
My first idea is that I need to follow some of the precepts of my faith more. I haven't fasted during Ramadan in years, let alone attempting the fast for a day or two each month. I also need to make sure that I read the Quran every year. This is something that I should try to do irregardless of having to find a vice to give up. I should use my language skills more....I should eat ice cream less...especially as I hurts my stomach.... There are alot of little ideas that might make a difference, but I think that I need something that will make a large impact in my life.
My other idea is much much harder....however, recent events have come to light showing me that the need to do this is becoming greater and greater. Basically, I need to stop taking care of my brother. I mother him, I humor him, and I take care of him to the point where I am doing him more harm than good.
Here's the background to this.....
At the moment I am paying for my little brother's schooling. I gave him a scholarship that has very specific rules that I have disregarded or bent to cut him some slack. The primary requirement of the scholarship is that you have to have a 3.0 gpa. His first semester he came close....and I agreed to continue paying because there is a huge adjustment to college lifestyle...blah blah blah. The next semester he did great and made the 3.0. This last semester however he didn't do so well. In fact he withdrew from a class a week before finals....and still didn't get the 3.0. He also waited for over 3 weeks to finally tell me what his grades were and what he did. I feel like he waited for so long in the hopes that I wouldn't be angry with him. At the time, I told him that I wouldn't pay for him to retake the class and that was that. But it still kinda sits there....taunting me. The other requirement in the scholarship is that you have to pay for the next semester, get a 3.0, and I would start paying again. Well he didn't have the money when tuition was due this semester (even though he told me that he would have), and I loaned him the money for school. He still owes me money for helping him with vet costs, and his half of my parents Christmas gift, and now this. Its over $400 now, and he hasn't paid me back a cent. When I've been asked why I am helping him with school....I mainly tell people that since I knew he wouldn't listen to me about his future plans, I hoped that he would at least listen to a professor. There are more reasons however. I have a HUGE student debt load. I had a huge credit card debt load at one point as well. I want to spare him that. Instead, I have made myself his source of credit. There is also a part of me that wants to help him and make sure that he doesn't have any debt because of what my ex-husband did to Jimmy's credit rating. I shouldn't hold that guilt, but I do. And I think that it is depriving my brother of a valuable lesson.
My brother does, for lack of a better term, street art. I've encouraged him in any outlet for his creativity. I look at all of his drawings. I listen to his dreams and ideas. Whenever he has talked about going out "painting" I've always said that if he got caught I would not bail him out. Saying it and acting as to what you have said are different matters. So about two weeks ago, he got caught. I got a phone call about 11pm on a Thursday. When you get a call from a jail they tell you the jail name and then they leave a pause for the prisoner to say their name. When I heard a low male voice say "c'mon Debbie, you know who this is". I originally didn't. I originally had thought that my ex-husband had been arrested and only accepted the call because I wanted to gloat that he had gotten caught. I know that makes me sound like a horrible person. When I accepted the call I discovered that it was Jimmy, and thus began a really REALLY awful 24 hours. I had to notify my parents what happened. I had to contact Jimmy's friends to let them know that he was ok. And I snapped.....I was up at 2 in the morning trying to find out how bailbonds worked on wikipedia. I was contacting the jail. I was trying to get a bond for him once his bail was set......I was at a hysteria point. I was worried he was going to be hurt. I was worried that he might not be released soon and lose his job. I even asked my boss if she would co-sign a bond for me because I was told by a bondsman that I needed to have a house to back it. I had even managed to find $1200 to pay for the 10% bond....I just needed to wait until the banks opened in the morning. (Oh, by the way, if you are going to graffiti, don't mark up a telephone box. It becomes a felony offense as it is a public utility.) In the end he was released without bail as this was his first offense. He was home safe.
The aftermath of this has been frustrating. I've had to listen and argue with him about what he perceives as "unfairness" in the law. I've had to listen to him complain about how he is being forced into this painful artistic box. I've had to be told repeatedly by him that I cannot possibly understand this because I am not an artist. He has this sense of entitlement that is just unreal. I feel like he isn't appreciating how lucky he is not to have lost his job or his freedom....or school....or the fact that his sister was trying to move mountains because he did something completely and totally stupid.
So I need to stop. I need to stop enabling him. I need to stop mothering him and treat him like the 22 year old man that he is. He already has two parents, he doesn't need a third. I don't need to buy him dinner if we go out. He's got a job. I don't need to buy him food. He can feed himself. I don't need to pay for his school when he obviously doesn't find it necessary to do well in it. He needs to shoulder the responsibility of his own adulthood.
And this is where it gets tricky. If the events of the last month have taught me anything, its that while I may say one thing, I may act differently. If this is the vice I am to give up, it will be the hardest of them all.