In another life, and honestly last year, I was a preschool teacher. I LOVE 3 and 4 year olds. They are funny, cuddly, adventuresome, and excited to learn. It takes patience and energy to teach them but it was worth it. In the classroom you have to establish rules in order to keep chaos from reigning. These rules need to be worded in positive language and in term the children will understand.
Last year I had a child who was having some difficulty keeping his hands and feet to himself. He would also lean real close and put his face in someone elses when he sometimes spoke and especially if he was getting frustrated. His mother had a phrase, "Stay in your personal bubble" or she would say,"your invading my personal bubble" I began using it in the classroom. It gave him and all the children a visual image of how to keep a respectful physical space.
In Tennessee I am looking for my phrase to say to some people, "Your in my bubble". Not because people are sitting to close or in my face. In tends to be about religion. As I speak to people, the conversation often turns toward church,"Where they go, what they do, the Christian Education etc." Then they turn to me, "Where do you go? Wouldn't you like to go to OUR church?" I want to say, "Leave me alone. Your in my bubble." But I know this will not fly. So now what?
I gave it some thought and I began to remember something my brother did in college. You have to understand my brother is very creative, very smart, and in his youth stirred the pot when he could. In college he and some friends created a religion. Just to SEE if they COULD. It became a legal religion in New Jersey for 6 years. It was called Norse Brahamanism.
Norse Brahamanism and it's creation has many wonderful stories. I encourage any of you to get my brother to share them if you get the chance to meet him. He reminded me the saying for Norse Brahamanism was "All things are One but some things are more One than others" Things I recall about this religion was that no one was supposed to take it to seriously. Anyone who did got demoted in the faith. It had everything, lore, traditions, and celebrations. As the Christian faith has Easter and Christmas as important holidays. Norse Brahamanism had "The Feast of Ragnarok". The feast was a party held just before "Ragnarok" which was when the Frost Giants would battle the Gods and win. The world would, you know, END.(really I think it was just an excuse for my brother to throw a BIG party) On the occasions it was held at our house I would get to spend the night on the third floor with a friend watching TV and eating junk food. The only rule was, "I had to stay upstairs." I didn't mind,it was fun.
Why do I bring this up? The other part of the story was that this was a religion.(of sorts) I mean ok, they had shirts that said,"Ragnarok is coming, Be There" but my brother could define and defend it as a faith. Just for fun he would tell the Jehovah Witnesses who came to the door. "No thanks, I am a Norse Brahamanist". He could tell them all about it.(if they cared to ask) To that end, I came up with my own phrase instead of "My personal bubble". I think when things are getting to religious I will just think in my head, "Ragnarok is Coming, Be There" and politely excuse myself.