Beware: Mental Zombies!

I was driving home from Scouts one night with my 9 year old, when he piped up with these words of wisdom, “We have to watch out for the mental zombies!”.
Ok, I thought…this is his little imagination kicking into overdrive. He is my sensitive one, and in many ways my hard one…so I thought I should follow this up with something.

“What’s a mental zombie?” I asked, careful to moderate my voice to sound unscary.
“Oh, its like a regular zombie,” he said, “but it eats your brain and makes you super tired.”.
Hmmm, teachable moment here.“Well, there is no such thing as a zombie,” I assured him, “So, we don’t need to worry about that anymore.”
But…wait. Do we? As I sat there thinking very hard about what this little man had just told me, I realized that Mental Zombies do exist. Sometimes they are another parent at school, sometimes they are a friend, sometimes they are a neighbor, and sometimes they are your very own family. They may not be “zombies” in the textbook sense of the word. But, they do drain you…and make you tired..and make you feel as though your brain has been eaten right out of your head. The worst part is that you can’t see a Mental Zombie coming, but they hit you like a freight train.Though I can laugh about his little moment of hyper imagination, I also think back to this a great deal. How does a person handle a Mental Zombie?
IMG_1317Can you simply remove them from your life? Not always. But, you can make their mental zombie-ness less burdensome on you and your family by deciding you simply DO NOT CARE what they have to say or what they are doing. You can end conversations, politely, that are sucking your energy and your brain. And if they are not a relative, and sometimes even if they are, you can say goodbye if that’s what you really need to do.The thing is, mental zombies THRIVE on making other people unhappy…or uncomfortable…or mad…or even sad.
Since that day, I have paid much better attention to the people in my life and all but eliminated my personal mental zombies. Some were drama kings or queens, some were attention-seekers, some were panic-stricken overwhelmers…but all are not missed. I am polite, friendly, and kind to them but I do not welcome them into my personal life. And I am better for it, in every single way. Getting rid of the mental zombies can make you a better parent, spouse, and person. Plus, when you answer this question from your own little can honestly say:“Mental Zombies do not least in our lives!”
Much love,Dusty Boots

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